Mom Hacks: Bath time for grownups

(On today’s Mom Hack I share one of my best tricks, my ability to abandon everything from kids to dirty dishes and take a bath.  Many are the evenings where I hit the tub within minutes of Kel’s arrival home.  Every Mom needs a safe place and mine is the tub)

Bathtime Allow me to paint you a picture of the day we decided to buy our house, errr rather the day I decided we’d buy our house.

It was a cold October Day and I was newly pregnant with our firstborn and recently relocated to Oklahoma, a state I knew nothing about.

At the time we were living in a rental which was in desperate need of repairs.  It had a stove with a Lamborghini door and the range was a pull out.  One room was full of old furniture which made the house an ideal home for unwanted roachy visitors.

I had no sanity and I needed some, fast. I spent a lot of days in lonely tears with no job, no friends and no idea what end was up.  I needed a sense of permanence and control as I sifted through my completely foreign surroundings and my first pregnancy. 

I needed….a HOUSE!  A place to call our own where I could nest and feel comfortable bringing my baby home to.  A home that free from roaches and other people’s junk.

Once we had made that decision to buy I set things in motion and we began the house hunt.  Some of our relator’s picks were an obvious “no” but then, THEN we set foot in THAT house.  It was half finished, all dust and tape and we were told we could customize it to our liking.

As we walked through the unfinished rooms I commented on the halls, the kitchen, the lot and then I saw it… the master bathroom complete with a deep jetted bathtub.

In that moment I realized that not only did I need a house, I needed a bath, lots of them.  I realized how badly my exhausted soul had been craving the warmth of a nice, long soak. (I certainly wasn’t taking any baths at the roach rental)

So to rectify my needs for a house and a bath I convinced Kel that we should buy it, and buy it we did.  Upon closing, as soon as we settled in, I took a bath and then another and then for good measure… one more.

I bathed extensively while pregnant with both children, always pressing the limits of our hot water heater.

Sometimes I even propped up my laptop so I could catch up on TV shows in the tub.  Sometimes I listened to music music, although usually I simply soaked in silence with a good book. 

Occasionally I even ate in the tub, usually just a cupcake or brownie but sometimes a sandwich.

I wrote imaginary books in the tub and said a thousand prayers over our life, which came together, fell apart and then healed up again during our four years in this home.

Once I was even serenaded by Christmas carolers outside the frosted window above the tub. It was one of the most awkward and hilarious moments of my life. Nothing freaks out college carolers like the silhouette of a naked and extremely pregnant woman, trust me.

This tub is my retreat, the place where the hot water forces my body and my brain to slow down and think things through.  My hands quiet themselves in the tub, there are no dishes to do or laundry to fold, no keys to press or yarn to crochet.

My weary hands swirl the water and the stress washes off my shoulders, the enormity of everything seems to shrink down to something manageable, something I can pray over, bit by bit and give back to God, the rightful orderer of my cares.

I was born with a love for bathing and I don’t see anything changing. One of my biggest fears is that someday, when I’m old and gray, I’ll fall getting out of the tub and those poor firemen will find me all sprawled out wrinkly on the  tile floor.  They’ll be scarred for life, but at least I’ll have had my bath.

Believe it or not, when I share my love of bathing, a lot of people tell me that they would love to take a bath but they just can’t do it.  They get too hot, too cold, too bored, they’re jealous of my ability to bathe.  

I don’t understand this at all, for me it’s the most simple thing in the world, you get naked and get in, what’s the problem?

Nevertheless today I’ll share my tips on bathing for Moms and non-moms who just need a good long soak.

1) Keep a towel within arm’s reach so you can read a book or sip your drink with dry hands.

2) Bring in some water or non-hot drink of your choosing, baths create thirst and you don’t want to soak thirsty.

3) Bring a book as an option in case you get bored, I get some of my best reading done in the tub.

4) Use bubbles cautiously, I find that they dry out my skin and make me itchy so I hate them, but I am okay with bath salts.

5) Get the lighting right, not too bright, I like candles while I bathe (someday I want a chandelier over the tub.. like an Ikea chandelier)

6) Make sure you have everything you’ll need (shampoo, loofa etc) before you climb in, getting back out for an errand sucks.

7) Do not bring your phone into the bathroom, not only might you drop it in but the buzzing and beeping will screw with

8) Adjust the temp as needed toward the end, you can always make it warmer but if it’s too hot you’ll sweat.

9) If your tub is big enough for two make sure your spouse knows that he is sometimes but not always welcome, the bath should be able to be your escape as well as a fun tub.  (yes I said that)
10) Take a bathe!  what do you have to lose? So many of today’s homes have lovely tubs that go unused, this pains me, I want to start a bathtub rescue program.
(Also, bathing before bed can slow your blood pressure and make for deep sleep especially if you keep the light pollution down and get into bed, to sleep, with 30 minutes of exiting the tub.)

Okay talk to me, do you like baths?  Why or why not?  Do you have any tips to share?

  • Jamie Kocur

    I LOVE baths and take them frequently, but don’t enjoy them as much as I could. My tub is a shower tub and there’s just no comfortable way to sit. I usually sit straight up and it’s okay, but I find I can’t fully unwind and relax that way. The warm water and low lighting calm my soul tho, so I’ll keep it up until I have a real tub.

  • Deanna

    When I was in nursing school we lived in a mobile home with a huge garden tub. The kids were very young (2 and 5) when I started school and finding time to study was challenging. Many nights, as soon as they were fed and bathed, I’d turn them over to David and I’d head for the tub. Most of my nursing books had slightly wrinkled pages.

  • Pingback: On moving in, finding grace and moving on (a letter for the new woman of my house) |