LET THE BABIES DRINK THE BATHWATER
My littlest boy, Lukey, has had a funny tummy recently. Nothing major so I won’t get dramatic, but he didn’t like something he ate, or maybe he’s just nervous. And to be honest, these days I don’t really blink at anything more than a high fever, because with 3 kids, it’s always something. And I figure, let the babies drink the bathwater.
Flashback to 18 months ago, my mother was here and we were bathing the babies and they were still little and fragile and they were really starting to enjoy the bath. Bo put the wet rag in his mouth and started sucking the water out of it. I screamed “No, yucky that’s dirty.” And let’s be honest, it’s pretty nasty. Ya know, they pee in the water and we wash their butts and stuff. And my mother said “Isn’t that fun Bo? Are you sucking the bathwater?” And she giggled out loud for the remainder of bath time while I watched in horror.
Here’s the thing. Mom looked at me while I yelled at her in a state of panic saying “Don’t tell them to drink that, they’ll get sick Mom!”. She said, “Maile, it’s fine. Relax. They’re fine. You did this all the time as a baby and loved it. I remember it like it was yesterday. They’re fine.”
I rolled my eyes (so typical) and we finished bath time.
Cue to yesterday’s bath and I’m pretty sure they drank it all. And you know what? Let the babies drink the damn bathwater. And here’s why.
I’m a stressor by nature. And with my stress comes these un-cute migraines called hell. I hate hell. Hell sucks. So I prefer these days, to learn how not to stress. Or more precisely, how not to stress so hard about the little things. Parenting, motherhood, it’s a big job. A big one. And we are all skating through it with flying red capes trying to look like heroes every day. One post at at time. And It’s lame. It’s un-true. It’s too much. Micro managing every aspect of our children’s lives in an effort to keep up with the expectations of the world and the term “mother” is sometimes just too big a cross to bear. For me personally, I’m removing this stress from my life now, or at least trying. Reason being, I think we need to take a load off. And if that means they drink the damn bathwater, then so be it.
And when the facts state that seventy-five percent to ninety percent of all doctor’s visits are for stress related ailments and complaints, I got to thinking, my Mom was right. And I hate when she’s right. She’s right a lot. Alleviating stress by not allowing yourself to stress in the first place is the first step. Not panicking over every minute of every breath of our child’s well being is step 2. I’m a firm believer that when I protect myself from entering the stress gates, I’m healthier. And that is a wake up call. I’m not telling all the parents of the world to let their kids fill their cups with bathwater today, that’s missing the point. The point is, if we can focus on the really tough stuff that infiltrates us every day and let go of the mundane, our lives will get easier. Less muddy. More relaxed. And as my mother always says, “if they get sick they get sick, if they throw up, they throw up”. It’s part of the parenting. It's part of the motherhood badge. We can only control so much. And as much as I wash my kiddos hands and as much as I try to wipe off the grocery cart before we get in it, they are going to pick up hand foot and mouth somewhere. And they are going to be sick sometimes. And it’s ok. Everyone is ok. And as I type this and my inbox gets an email from the school saying there’s a bug going around the classroom, I practice slow breathing, I focus on what I’m doing and I move on, because if I sit here and stir in the what if’s, I’m only worrying to worry and that never does anybody any good. So just let the babies drink the damn bathwater.