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By Contributing Mama Karen Palmer Bland

I’m sure that most moms out there would admit (after a glass of wine or half a box) that we all have little “secrets” regarding things we let our kids do. In this case, it’s about things I let my kids NOT do. As in taking baths.

Sometimes I hear friends talk about their daily routine. “And right after dinner, we head to the bath and that’s another 40 minutes….blah, blah, blah.” I always pray that the conversation doesn’t turn to an informal poll about how often we bathe our kids.  (I’d hate to lie to people, but jeez, I don’t want a visit from family services either.)

The family next door has a nanny and every day at 4:30pm when we are outside on the swingset, she announces, “Gotta run, it’s afternoon bath time.” I think to myself… hmmm…. I only say that on Wednesdays. Yes, it’s true – I do not give my kids a bath each day. Or even every other day. (It’s all based on the lunar calendar.  We are big on giving baths only when there is a full moon.)

And in the summer, moms at the mommy water cooler talk about how it’s such a pain because daily baths are necessary after being outside so much. Don’t these women realize that swimming and sprinkler play count as cleansing? People, summer is the time to REDUCE bathing. Don’t you care about wasting so much water and the environmental hazards of all of the shampoo?

Three kids ago, when I had only one kid, a bath was a fun activity to do. My husband would get in the big spa tub with Rory and we’d have a little party in the bathroom. Three kids later, it’s more like washing the dishes. Get ‘em in, get ‘em out.  There is assembly line in our hall with towels and clothing, and it’s anything but fun. It’s about the checklist – get the box checked – get the baths done so that your kid doesn’t become the smelly kid at school.

When I hear the water draining, it’s like sweet music – music that I don’t hear too often.

9 Responses to coming clean

  • Jessie says:

    Oh, it’s so good to hear that my kids aren’t the only ones that don’t get daily baths. We know it’s bath day when I ask them when they had a bath last and they can’t remember. Usually it’s every three days or so, but not always… Especially during the summer.

  • patois says:

    My eldest is now 13 and he’s fastidious: taking a shower each and every morning. The younger two? Every Wednesday sounds about right. (Maybe even a bit too frequent.)

  • Ginny says:

    It IS so glad to know that my kiddos aren’t the only ones lacking in the bath department!
    I really perfer to shower them rather than bathe them IN and OUT!

  • Diane says:

    Thank you for the true confession – I too, with 4, am only occasionally militant about the bath. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone.

  • Amber says:

    I think most parents bathe their kids too often. They probably bathe themselves too often as well.

    I am, by no means, a smelly hippie…lol. I may be smelly…but that’s because I can’t find time to shower every (other) day 😛

    My babe’s skin is far too dry to withstand a nightly bath. I might give it a shot if it calmed her (ya know, those parents that see it as part of their bedtime routine…yeah…doesn’t work here).

    We do a weekly bath just to keep her from getting too cruddy…but that’s about it 🙂

  • alyssa says:

    I have this down pat… I look at the mother and say you bath your children everyday…don’t you know that is bad for the skin? They are so taken aback and because my hubby is a doc they think I know something they don’t. This way all my guilt goes out the window when i am too tired to give my daughter a bath every night or every other night!

  • melanie says:

    oh thank you! my deepest, darkest secret (in regards to parenting that is!) is that i only bathe my kids when i start to notice that they smell. or on saturday night, whichever comes first!

  • Courtney says:

    Its refreshing to hear about other ‘normal’ mums who don’t believe in bathing everyday. Unfortunately hubby doesn’t agree and if he is home early from work then I make sure they get the bath/shower. Usually its every second day and I don’t bother on Sunday evening, we are at Church on Sunday so no chance of getting dirty why bother!

kelcey kintner