I am not one to tell people what they should do. I think we do enough “should-ing” on ourselves.
But, in case you are unsure, moms should shower pretty much every day.
Once a week, you should take a boss mom shower.
A boss mom is a mother who knows what’s up. She knows that in order share her cup, she must first fill her cup.
A boss mom shower is one that is long, relaxed, and uninterrupted.
So, here is Balanced Breastfeeding’s instructions for how to shower like a boss mom:
- Have your partner take first call for the baby.
Please note that I did not say, “Have your partner watch the baby for you.” She isn’t strictly your baby and he isn’t doing you a favor by watching her. This baby is both of yours, so it makes sense to take turns watching her. After all, when is the last time your partner said, “Hey, Hon, I have to go take a long man poop. Will you watch the baby while I am gone?”
In all fairness, you may want to give your partner a heads up about this marathon shower you will be taking a few hours in advance. That way he can clear his schedule and mentally prepare himself or something.
Be very, very clear that he is not to interrupt you until whatever-o’clock. Stick to the time you set. If the baby is crying, your partner should do everything he can to quiet the baby so you can’t hear her.
You will feed the baby, then immediately hand him the baby and go directly to the shower.
The boss mom shower can also be done without a designated care provider for the baby, but it ends up being a little less leisurely when you have to bring the monitor in with you. It still works, it just isn’t quite as awesome.
- Gather all of your favorite shower things, including a snuggly bra.
You’re going to need your bra on hand after your shower, so bring it and some comfy clothes in with you. Also, grab your favorite body wash, exfoliating scrub, body lotion, face lotion, a new razor, and deep conditioner.
- Set a timer or make a playlist. I suggest at least 30 minutes. Surely, everyone can survive without you for a mere 30 minutes.
Setting a timer isn’t so your shower isn’t too long. It is so your shower isn’t too short. The goal during a boss mom shower is to take your time. So, setting an alarm will help allay your irrational but very real fear that you will accidentally shower for two hours and miss a breastfeeding session.
- Lock the door, turn on the fan, and shut out the world.
The baby will maybe probably cry while you are showering. It’s okay; he’s safe with his other parent. White noise (fan) and music help drown out the sound.
- Get into the shower and exhale.
Once you are in, you will be tempted to furiously start washing the dirtiest parts and try not to get your hair wet because that is how you are used to taking a shower. Catch yourself. This is a Boss Mom Shower. We don’t rush these.
Breathe. Drop your shoulders. Breathe. Let the water run over your head. Breathe a little shower. Relax a little more.
- Ask yourself, “Where am I and what am I doing?”
I recommend before you let your mind wander, you ask your mind to stay put. Feel the water. Feel the space of time to yourself. Feel the heat. Hear the water.
Breathe and zone out for a while. Let thoughts come and go, but don’t follow any one thought. When your mind starts to drift, simply notice it and say to yourself, “Wait! Where am I and what am I doing?” Remind yourself, “I am in the shower. I have plenty of time. The hot water feels good. I am right here and everything is okay.”
- Lay some serious respect for this body of yours: wash, shave, lather, worship.
Washing your body might feel like a different kind of experience now that your big beautiful belly is empty. You might be tempted to wash your body with something other than love and respect. You might be unhappy with how it looks and feels. You might feel triggered to think about a birth that didn’t go as you had hoped. You may have breasts that are making more or less milk than you’d like.
But I want you to try to stop yourself. I want you to try to simply respect your body for what is has endured. I want you to remind yourself that your body has grown and changed throughout the course of your life and that right now, your body is allowed to not look and feel its best. Wash yourself gently and say kind words to your one precious body that made your one (or more!) precious baby.
Check your timer. Still have time? Feel free to stay in there as long as you’d like and do whatever you need. Crying would probably be a good use of your time here. I bet you might need a good ugly cry.
- Towel and dry in the shower, t
hen put on your bra.
Gently dry your breasts and get your bra on ASAP. That nice, long hot shower probably lead your body to be inclined to leak. Get those girls locked and loaded while you finish your boss mom shower. Nope, it isn’t over yet!
- Stay in the shower, door locked. Lotion your face and body. Brush your teeth. Maybe even blow out your hair if you are feeling extra fancy.
Remember, nice words. Maybe even say thanks to your body.
No, you aren’t being selfish, you are being smart. Smart moms take long, leisurely showers.
No, you shouldn’t feel guilty. You didn’t do anything wrong.
No, you shouldn’t feel body hatred for your smushy, mushy, wounded body. It has grown you a human, birthed you a human, and it is feeding your human. Show some respect for it… And dare I say some love.
By the way, if you can’t take an awesome shower because your nipples hate the shower water, I hope you are working on that with an amazing IBCLC. On a related note, Lilypadz may be worth the investment.