Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Taking Refuge in Motherhood

Taking Refuge in Motherhood -- living in the moment can be hard when you're waist-deep in the work of parenting  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

This morning, I was almost knocked over in the bathroom by a small, pudgy, lily-white streaker.

It was my 3-year-old, racing naked into the bathroom and pushing past me into the shower. Before disappearing behind the curtain, she pointed at the towel in my hand and yelled, "I want the white one!" 

You see, my daughter has become accustomed to showering with me. 

Initially, it was a decision borne of necessity, and possibly desperation. 

When I brought home baby #5, it was a definite time-saver to kill two birds (or wash two smelly people) with one stone. I was also scared that if I left my toddler alone with the baby while I showered she would literally love him to death.

Simultaneous showers kept everyone clean and alive, so that's what we did. You know how it is.

And it just kind of became a habit.

This morning in the shower, I looked down at her, one arm hugging my leg while she played with a bath toy, and I suddenly realized how much I'm going to miss this one day.

Lest you think my rose-colored glasses deceive me, let me be clear: there have been plenty of cringe-worthy moments involving my daughter waving my razor around like an axe murderer.

The white towel  the one she wanted this morning and every morning  is my favorite. Or was, anyway, before she decided it was hers.

It used to be that I could escape into the shower to be alone, usually (in my head) bellowing "Sanctuaryyyy!" like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Where's my safe haven now? 

I know I'll miss these days once the kids are all grown, when the house is too quiet and the laundry is under control and messes only appear when I make them myself. Sometimes it would just be nice if I could have a few of those days now.

Unfortunately, that's not how parenthood works. 

It's complete immersion at every stage, and the hardest job of a mother is to enjoy each step as it comes and keeps on coming so incessantly, on evenings and weekends and holidays and in the middle of the night. 

And then ironically, when my kids are no longer little, I know I'd gladly trade a few days of my quiet, orderly life for the refuge of constant noise and chaos and in-your-face love of a houseful of 5 kids under 10.

Looking at my oldest child who will turn 11 this year, I'm forced to admit that all those older ladies in the grocery store were right: it does go by so fast. I know it, but all the same I still can't believe the little girl crawling between my feet while I shampoo my hair won't always be there. 

So I don't really mind letting her use the white towel. I'll give up a few minutes of alone time in the morning.

Showering isn't exactly the sanctuary it used to be, but for now I'm happy to take refuge in this moment of motherhood.

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Crystal said...

I've decided that once a person has five kids or more, being with only one child at a time is the equivalent of being alone. I recently commented to the grocery store clerk about how nice it was to get to the grocery store alone. She gave me an odd look and said, as if to remind me, "Your baby is with you!'

Jenny Evans said...

That is too hilarious. I can just imagine what the clerk must have been thinking. I feel like I can pretty much do anything with 2 kids that I can do with no kids - it's not too much of an ordeal to go to the store or drop them off with a sitter, etc. Of course I didn't think so until #3, #4, and #5 came!

normaleverydaylife said...

The total immersion of each stage is what gets you.Then that stage is over and you miss it! Reminding yourself to enjoy it as often as you can helps your perspective though. Today two of mine are home sick and one threw up three times in the night. It's days like these that I need lots of reminding! :)

Stepping into Motherhood said...

Great post. It does go incredibly fast. My oldest is about to be six and just realized/learned we may not have a third and final baby after all so as I look at my baby, now three, I just want to cling to this crazy, hectic stage sometimes. Stopping by from the Shine Blog Hop.
Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood.

Misty said...

Oh, it goes by SO fast. My oldest is 10, and I'm just like "When did THIS happen?".

Unknown said...

I use to take showers with two toddlers not because of a baby but just the fear of getting in there and leaving them all alone! As a single Mom for most of their lives I did what I had to do. Now that they are teens I sure do miss the days when they played with their toys in the shower and I invented new yoga positions just so I could shave! Enjoy these times while you still can they go by way too fast!

Thank you for sharing this post on the SHINE Blog Hop!

Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Much love,
Lysa xx
Welcome to My Circus
Co-host #SHINEbloghop 2/5

Queen Mom Jen said...

I shower regularly with a one year old. It is like she has a special spidey sense and knows when I am getting in. This morning I thought I could sneak in alone for a moment without her knowing . Not so, as about one second in I felt a brush against my leg and looked down to see her fully clothed standing in the shower!

Jenny Evans said...

I love kids. No mere article of clothing can keep a toddler from interrupting shower time. We've never had that one happen over here. Yet.

Unknown said...

Carrie at A Mother's Shadow recommended I check your blog out. So glad I did. You have a great writing style. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who keeps her kids safe by showering with them. Will follow on bloglovin. It's nice to keep up with fellow LDS ladies.:)

Jenny Evans said...

Nice to meet you too - send me an email when you get a chance! I checked out your blog but didn't see your contact info.

Lynne said...

What a beautiful phrase. Taking refuge in motherhood. Our 3 year old has been climbing into bed with us when he gets up, and although he kicks and wants to go downstairs shortly after he gets there, I love the snuggles and the closeness.

Teresa said...

I know this is old; I’m enjoying reading through all your archives. This post describes my 3 year old right now. She wants to be with mommy all day every day (well, ocassionally she’ll go with daddy for a bit, if it’s to go to the park), including in the shower, and if my 11 month old sees me she comes crawling as fast as her chunky little legs can go. My husband jokes that when we have another baby we’ll have to build a bigger shower.

Jenny Evans said...

Why is it always the shower???

Amelia J said...

Thanks for this, I've never known another mom who showers with her kids (or more likely, it's just never come up in conversation). I don't have the patience to bathe kids separately. I started out of necessity with kid #1, when we discovered he loved laying in the bath lounger infant seat in the shower and watching the water. It was one of the few ways to get a guaranteed 30-60 minutes of peace. I transition babies from the bath seat on the shower floor to sitting in a laundry basket on the shower floor to just crawling and eventually walking around in there. Now both toddlers join me, and I imagine when baby #3 arrives this summer, s/he will join the fun haha.