We’ve all been there. You’ve got into a rhythm with this new motherhood thing, living your life in three-hour increments and carefully planning your showers, meals and general self-care during nap time.
And then suddenly, nap time stops and you’re left wondering how you’re supposed to do anything when you’ve got a baby who won’t let you put them down. This is exactly what new mom Gabrielle Union-Wade was dealing with when her daughter Kaavia James, who is almost 5 months old, fell out of her nap habit.
“Kaavia went through a phase of not napping. I was like, ‘When do I shower or pee or live?’ ” Union-Wade says in an interview for the May issue of Parents, People reports. “So I had to get a little comfortable with her crying, which I had not been. And then I took the quickest shower of all time!”
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This is something so many of us can relate to. Many babies go through a phase where they don’t want to be put down, regardless of how much mama needs to use the bathroom or shower.
Plenty of moms have had to dance in the shower to entertain baby while they watch from a bouncer. But you don’t have to multitask as a bather/children’s entertainer if your baby starts doing what Kaavia did. Like all things with babies, it’s not going to last forever, and there are things we can try to make sure we can carve out shower time.
Here are a few tips for mamas who need a shower right now:
Ask for help: Let your partner, co-parent, a grandparent or BFF know that you really need someone to hold the baby for a bit so you can take an hour for yourself.
Be mindful of your time: When you do have some time to yourself, prioritize what you want to get done so you don’t put the baby down for a nap and lose yourself in Instagram scrolling only to hear that little cry and think, but I was just about to shower!
Figure out what works for you: Some parents don’t want to put the baby down ever, even to pee. If that’s your style, go for it, but if you need to take your baby carrier off to go to the bathroom, that’s fine too, mama. Your little one can chill in the bouncer or on a blanket while you tend to your human needs. Kaavia James made it through and your baby will, too.
Give yourself some grace: The vast majority of new parents have days when they don’t shower, or find themselves wearing the same milk stained sweats all week. It’s okay to have one of those days. But if those days turn into weeks or months, and you’re feeling really down about it, it doesn’t hurt to talk to someone or get some professional help.
Give yourself permission to be human: That’s what Gabrielle Union-Wade is doing, she tells Parents. “I’m not trying to be a perfect parent. … I’m okay with life not being balanced. I’m not hitting it out of the park in every area. There are times I should be studying lines, but I’m playing with my baby and I’m enjoying it.”
Some days you won’t be 100% clean and some days you won’t be 100% rested and some days you won’t be 100% into every minute of motherhood, but you are 100% the mama your baby needs, even on day five of dry shampoo.