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.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

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

My Child with Special Needs Made His Own Way in His Own Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding child's hand walking across street

I want to tell you the story of a little boy who came to live with me when he was three years old. Some of you may find this story familiar in your own life. Your little boy or girl may have grown inside you and shares your DNA or maybe they came into your life much older than three. This little boy, this special child, my precious gift has special needs. Just five short years ago, he was a bit mean and angry, he said few understandable words, and there was a lot about this world he didn’t understand. Unless...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter as You Grow into Yourself

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Girl in hat and dress-up clothes, color photo

My daughter, I watched you stand in front of the mirror, turning your body left and right. Your skirt was too big and your top on backward. Your bright blue eyeshadow reached your eyebrows and bold red blush went up to your ears. You didn’t care. I watched you marvel at your body, feeling completely at ease in your skin. You turned and admired yourself with pride. You don’t see imperfections. You don’t see things you are lacking. You see goodness. You see strength. RELATED: Daughter, When You Look in the Mirror, This is What I Hope You See I’m...

Keep Reading

Organized Sports Aren’t Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young girl with Alpaca, color photo

Today I watched my little girl walk an alpaca. His name is Captain. Captain is her favorite. He’s my favorite too. I met his owner on Instagram of all places. She thought I was in college; I thought she was a middle-aged woman. Turns out, she is in high school, and I am a middle-aged woman. This random meeting led to a blessing. We call it “llama lessons.” We take llama lessons every other week. It’s an hour away on the cutest hobby farm. Our “teacher” is Flora, who boards her llamas at the alpaca farm. She wants to teach...

Keep Reading

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading