For what feels like the 20th time this week, I watch the showerhead kick on in my master bathroom. Steam fills the dark space, carefully lit with the dim glow of the closet light. Waiting for the water to heat up, I look in the mirror. In the quiet of this moment, my thoughts are free to surface for the first time today.
Did I remember to brush my teeth this morning?
These leggings are so gross, toss them in the laundry basket.
Did I get the whites out of the dryer?
Ugh, I need to get my hair done.
…and my eyebrows.
My back is hurting again tonight. Is this just a thing now?
I. Am. So. Tired.
The 10 PM Shower. We’ve gotten to know each other well in this season of life. I get in and just stand there for what seems like an eternity. I’ve adjusted the water to the approximate temperature of the surface of the sun. After what feels like 4 million hours of parenting, the scalding hot water pours over me and gives me a fresh start. A mile marker in the 24-hour cycle of mom life.
I stand there and think about everything I did today. All the moments I was in the zone, down on the floor playing, in the bathroom wiping bottoms, in the kitchen serving up meal after meal…after meal. I think about what there wasn’t time for. The toilets that still need cleaning, the laundry that so desperately needs attention, my non-existent self-care routine.
I think about the family I’ve created, the three little beings I dreamed of. I note that when you craft your perfect family in your “someday” thoughts as a young woman, you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the mental and physical toll it will take on you to run the show for your family. You don’t think about the weeks you find yourself completely out of fuel, flattened by the demand of it all.
I wonder how much time has gone by while I’ve been absorbed in my late night thoughts. Before choosing to wash my hair, my thoughts drift one more time. To my babies. Three babies asleep in three fluffy beds. Exhausted from a full day of play with their family. Bellies full, tucked in exactly the way they like. In this season of life, I’ve decided that this level of security and joy for my kids is worth the wait for this 10 PM moment for myself.