I’m curious. Other mothers out there, how often do you wash the big three: your laundry, your hair, your kids? If you are like me, you’ve got some theory or system. If you are also like me, the answer is “less often now than I used to.”
When I don’t have a newborn, my laundry routine follows a weekly routine. Start Sunday, finish Monday. Fold and put away clothes Tuesday or Wednesday. I remember this orderly system has to change when a newborn baby arrives as everyone’s clothes start getting dirtier faster, plus there are burp cloths, soiled blankets, peed on sheets and breastmilk on everything!!
But let’s spend some time on: HAIR
In my college days, I used to positively marvel at a dorm friend who washed her hair every four days or so. I, who had always washed my hair daily, just couldn’t wrap my mind around this approach to hygiene. This was an equally active friend who exercised, ran, etc. (To her credit, she always looked clean and beautiful to me!)
I’d also sit gape-mouthed as my sisters would detail their approaches to hair washing. Day one: wash and wear down. Day two: wear down again, maybe curl. Day three: hair up. And, finally, on day four, wash and repeat.
It was a BIG thing for me to move from daily hair washes to an every other day approach. I did this about a week after my first child was born. Coincidence? Not hardly. I wasn’t really leaving the house, so it seemed silly to put effort into blow drying my hair. Looking back though, this meant I washed my hair both mornings I was in the hospital after his birth. Really? And also the morning of his labor/birth, because, you know, one could obviously tell at 8:38 that night when he was born. See photo evidence.
I stayed consistent with the every other day approach until this, my third, pregnancy. I had gotten a new haircut which required me to actually use a round brush when I blow dried my hair, and combined with intense morning sickness, I couldn’t summon the energy for this feat except every three days. Surprisingly, my hair looked no different! After a month or so of every-third-day washes, I started waking up on day four and, after a glance in the mirror, it seemed pointless to wash my hair quite yet. It looked fine (at least to my possibly low standards), and I could save myself a good five minutes in the shower and ten minutes post shower…
I now find myself washing my hair about every fourth day. And all I can say is “why didn’t I start doing this sooner?!”
I should probably be taking a lesson from my experience with my own hair, but frankly, I just love a clean child! Until recently, our system was to give the kids a full bath every other night, including washing their hair. On in between nights, we did a quick sponge bath of key parts. I can complete this in less than the time it takes to sing Mary Had a Little Lamb. I know this because I frequently use this song as a distraction technique.
I said this was our routine until recently. Actually, the idea of writing on this topic got me asking myself: “Why if washing my hair every fourth day works so well, am I so finicky about my kids?” Well, we are now washing their hair every third night, and as you might guess, you cannot tell the difference!
Moms out there, give yourself a break whenever you can! Take our poll to see where your hygiene standards fall amongst your fellow moms!