Showers Count As Self Care, Right?

Hello, my Screen Savers, today I’d like to chat about my daily shower ritual. It’s a self care ritual that I love to do but there’s specifics about my water temperature preferences.

Each evening, after the kids go to bed (and sometimes twice on the weekends) I like to take my shower.  I do admit that sometimes at 5:00 a.m. when everyone is still asleep, it’s nice to be able to shower in peace.

I like my showers hot so I typically put it on a nice average temperature, known as “Satan’s tongue”, before I’ll even dare to step foot in the tub.

The heat is meant to scare my husband into thinking there’s a demon sauna in our house so he won’t fucking bother me but for some reason he’s not yet been scared away. “Hey babe…?” he hollers from the kithen.

My eye roll is huge. Couldn’t you have asked me whatever it is before or after the damn shower? Whhhyyy now?

Why is it that when I couldn’t care less if I was surrounded by a pack of crazy shit-throwing monkeys, that not one monkey is around? And when I want to be naked, alone, and enjoying the limited privacy in our one-bathroom house, fucking EVERYBODY NEEDS ME RIGHT THAT MINUTE?

And then, because we’re trying to talk over the sound of the water, our conversation reverberates up through the floor and sends a ripple into the space time balance where my sleeping kids sense a disturbance in the force. We can hear them gallop down the stairs because they “have to go to the bathroom” when really they just want to hear what fascinating boring conversation the adults are having.

At this point I’m almost out of hot water before I’ve actually had any time to myself. And I’m frustrated AF.

This was supposed to be my self care, damn it! I was supposed to escape into the bathroom, pretend the kitty litter box wasn’t there, and wash all my troubles away with the blessed sounds of the tranquil water flowing over my body. Just like a goddamn rain forest!

And then the whole thing is ruined because my husband is mad that I’m mad and now both kids are arguing over who has to go back up the stairs first (as if we’d forget the first one exists while the other one is still at the bottom of the stairs and tell the last one to stay and par-tay!)

I read an article at tinybuddha.com that said “Self-care means pausing and paying attention.” the author brings up the fact that self care means taking care of yourself. That it doesn’t necessarily mean escaping to the spa for a massage or, in my case, a shower (but definitely not a lovely soak in the tub for me, because that never happens anymore. I can’t get my ass unstuck from the sides of the bathtub without giving myself a body hickey.) The article mentions reflecting on the day and sending yourself to a time-out, if it’s necessary.

If only! I’d love a time-out to think about what a naughty lady I’ve been…while everyone else behaves themselves on the other side of the door.

But between the job and the husband who can’t seem to find the spoons (the real ones, not the metaphorical ones) and the kids who fight… And guess who gets the majority of the chores for running the household?

That wasn’t a complete sentence up there. I can’t even finish a grammatically correct thought.

Anyway, back to the TinyBuddha.com article.

The article gives the impression that taking a shower isn’t enough for self care and that it’s simply escapism and it’s not enough. What’s important, according to Tiny Buddha, is to truly reflect on oneself and take necessary corrective action, take responsibility for oneself. It’s mindset work and models and figuring out why you keep doing the things you don’t want to do.  It’s making dinner when you don’t want to because you have to do the hard things even if they suck ass.

Reflect on myself?  Hmpf. Interesting idea. I feel like that’s easier said than done. After having kids I find myself far from focused and definitely not in a state of mind to have any ease of reflection. And that sentence was a run on. On the best days my brain is mush. I’m tired by 8:00 pm and then get a second wind until about 11:00pm then berate myself all night for not going to bed by 9:00 pm.

Is that reflection?

Or, if I am trying to fall asleep and run my day through my head and beat myself up for that wrong thing I said to one of the kids out of anger or frustration? Or the bill I forgot to pay?

Or the bill I “forgot” to pay.

Let’s take a cue from Brooke Castillo, one of my favorite life coaches and follow the model.

C
T
F
A
R

I’m going to start with the “F” line (you knew I’d go there) for FEELING.  What am I feeling?

Anger.

We’re only allowed one word here.  If I were to have more than one feeling then I’d need to write another model for it.

And then I cam work backwards from there to THOUGHT and then CIRCUMSTANCE.

What’s the thought that leads to the feeling? I might not know.  You might not know either.  But just put in the first thing that you think.  It’s not about getting it “right”.  There’s no “right” in the model because you can do 100+ models for just one feeling alone.

T: I shouldn’t have to ask my husband to help me with this shit.

What’s the circumstance that leads to that thought?  What factual thing is happening that makes me have the thought:

C: I’m doing the household chores alone

And then we work down from the F line.

ACTION. What action occurs because of my feeling of anger?

A: Suffer in silence aka “sit in my dirty diaper”.

RESULT. And the result of that action is?

R: The work gets done but I resent my household.


So, in summary, the model looks like this:

C: I’m doing the household chores alone.
T: I shouldn’t have to ask my husband to help me with this shit.
F: Angry
A: Suffer in silence aka “sit in my dirty diaper”.
R: The work gets done but I resent the rest of the house.


The reality is that those showers, on the rare occasion that I’m actually ALONE, are the only time I get to think about nothing. Those are the times I can dream about my goals and not be “on”. I don’t have to be a mom, a wife, a coworker, a public servant or a pet owner. For that 20,30, sometimes longer minutes, I don’t have to worry about anyone else because I’m naked. And I’m wet. And there’s nothing I can do about those worries when I’m naked and I’m wet. And I’m vulnerable to just be with me.

So is showering self care? You’re damn right it is.

And I’ll tell you how it goes (when I’m not interrupted).

It’s a small luxury, the hot hot shower. A bit of ecstasy so tiny, but I know that the small things are hard to come by right now.

It goes on for about 20 minutes like that. If it’s a hair washing day then I’ll drop the temp to shampoo and condition. I’ll scrub up with soap after and usually brush my teeth in there too.

By the time I get out I look like an overripe tomato. Red, wrinkly, round.

The time I’ve had has allowed my brain time to process the day, to wind down so I’m not thinking of all the things while I try to get to sleep.

I’ll put my hair up in a wrap to maintain the curls and then head to bed with PJs on. At this point I’m pretty exhausted from the day, mentally, and my body is ready to go down. I can only hope that at this point my Future Self is not an idiot and doesn’t decide to get on social media for a “quick minute”, losing all that sleep momentum.

That’s my mom self care.  Every day.

I hope that whatever self care quickie you get today gives you some relief to get a good rest and kick ass tomorrow.

Have a terrific week, my Screen Savers.

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