Kids Motherhood

I Hate Cleaning My Kids

Written by Stephanie Keller

There was a moment last week when I actually thought “I should totally call CPS (child protective services) on myself!” I was sitting down with my daughter and I took her hand in mine to clip her nails. People! Her nails were long. Like really long! And so much dirt underneath each fingernail. Who does that? Am I really capable of taking care of kids? (insert laugh/cry emoji). I can’t even keep her nails from getting to be Edward Scissor Hand-esque!

But really, aren’t there some aspect of kid’s hygiene that are just painful? I remember YEARS ago, I lived in Brazil and this woman told me she bathed her baby six times a day. Six times. I thought, “Well of course! Babies are dirty!” Then I had a child. That idea was crushed like a spider. Who has the energy to bathe their child six times a day?

Anyway – so what is your least favorite kid’s hygiene task? Nail clipping is one of the worst. They fight you and pull their hand or foot away, but you are still supposed to clip it short enough that you don’t have to endure this torture for as long as possible, but not too short that you gouge out their little skin! What? AHH. I hate it.

Also – when my firstborn was just starting to get teeth, he hated to brush his teeth. We were naïve and so very inexperienced that we just held him down and brushed his teeth for him while he screamed. (Insert another laugh/cry emoji!). Lucky us, he didn’t choke and now our kids love brushing their teeth.

Let’s get back to bathing. Painful! My six-year-old is pretty self sufficient. Thankfully! The three year old – I still have to help, but if it’s quick, she can just wash her body and hop out herself. But the baby? Oh the baby. He’s like wrestling a fat pig in water greased with Crisco. And he likes to splash. Like a lot. It is hilarious. And oh so fun. And oh so tiring. He loves water, so no matter how long he gets to stay in the bath, he is always kicking, screaming, and crying when he gets out. Then I wrestle the fat, greasy little piglet into a diaper and clothes. (another laugh/cry emoji!).

Please tell me the more kids you had, the less they got bathed? I have noticed I just take a little smell test behinds Timothy’s ear… it’s like his bath needs barometer.

Sweet smelling? He’s good!

Normal smelling? He can go another day.

Sour? Let’s start pig wrestling!

And really, don’t even get me started on baby boy penis care. I’ll just end there, but to those of you who only have girls, just count yourself lucky.

And nose mucus dried all over their face? I totally thought I would be better at that. Turns out, I’m not.

One more? Let’s not even address cleaning them up when they are sick. I need a maid. And a nanny! And likely a mask.

Moving on – haircuts. Now, we are weird in my house. We do most hair cutting at home (I even do my own most of the time). So when it was time for Sam (my oldest) to get his first haircut, we did this:

  1. Strap him in his booster seat (we use this instead of a high chair).
  2. Put the seat in the bathtub.
  3. I hold his head straight.
  4. My husband gets the clippers and shears his little noggin.
  5. Sam screams like we are cutting his ears off. (laugh/cry emoji!)

And the most hilarious part is that while he was crying, his mouth was obviously open so it was catching hair. He started brushing the hair off his tongue while crying “tongue, tongue.” Oh my gosh.. are you calling CPS on me yet? Poor kid!

You know, since having kids, I have realized the oldest kid has it rough. I was the youngest and thought it was bad for me. But I think the oldest is the poor little guinea pig the parents just try everything on. By the second and third, hey… “We’ve already made that mistake on your older brother, so maybe you won’t be quite so messed up!”

I apologize for that tangent.  Now we have another method for hair cutting – NETFLIX… or Amazon Prime. Pick your poison. While watching Dinosaur Train, Wild Kratts, or Daniel Tiger, the kids are distracted enough I don’t get too much head bobbing or screaming while they get their hairs cut. Another not favorite of mine!

But at the end of the day, it’s my job to teach them good hygiene. So I will keep wrestling, fighting, and coaxing their little bodies to be clean. And if you feel overwhelmed sometimes by multiple kid’s bodies that need to be taken care of, you are not alone momma. Not alone at all.

About the author

Stephanie Keller

I am wife to Jake — the modern day superman. He truly is my better half. I am mother to Sam, Olivia, and Timothy. I love them fiercely! I like to say they grow up too fast (and some days not fast enough!)
I am a lawyer by education, but now a stay at home mom. I stay sane with my three littles by sewing and blogging. I’m beginning my first year of homeschooling and I’m scared. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey through life!
Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hopeandabreath/