If you’re anything like me, you get to the end of the day and there’s still a lot of boxes without check marks on the to-do list. Okay, I kid. If you’re breathing, you probably find that. Two decades ago, multi-tasking was made chic but now uni-tasking – doing one thing at a time, until your task is completed – is de rigueur. Of course, this means that now you can get to the end of the day and still have boxes unchecked, but at least they’re not half-attempted works in progress.
And then comes bath time. Any mom with a child under the age of six knows the rules: never leave them unattended in the bathtub (I do, but I live in an apartment measuring less than 400 square feet. The tub is literally less than 100 feet me all the time). Assuming that you’re the rule-follower that I should be, while they’re splashing, guaranteeing that the floor will get a thorough mopping tonight, what do you do? A) watch them and see the minutes of potential productivity slip past; b) Picture the movie and bottle of wine awaiting bedtime; or C) play in the water, too?
Forget that noise. You’ve got 20 minutes. Use them.
1. Bust out the cleaners: The bane of all OCD moms’ existences: the cleaners that cannot be used while a child is underfoot. Often bathroom worthy, where the real bacteria and creative stain placement occurs, these powerhouses aren’t always green and definitely aren’t for kiddo skin to come in contact with. But wait! You have mini-you trapped in a bathtub with toys as far as the eye can see. It’s bleach time, lady.
2. This little piggy needs some TLC: You can always tell a time-starved mom from the state of her toes. When was the last time you got a professional pedicure? How about gave yourself a professional quality one for a fraction of the price? Four easy steps, my friends: soak, exfoliate, trim and polish.
- Soak – A 10-minute foot bath with some oatmeal and milk tossed in softens and moisturizes
- Exfoliate – Use a commercial scrub, or make your own with a paste of brown sugar, water and honey (substitute coffee grounds for brown sugar to tighten up the area).
- Trim – Cut your nails straight across and leave your cuticles alone, unless you absolutely must push them back gently with a cotton swab
- Polish – Make sure your nails are dry and greaseless before you put on a coat (or three) of your favourite shade.
3. Clear your inbox: You know you do it – let the emails pile up, only responding to the really important ones, until one day, you feel like the biggest jerk for not forwarding the good luck chain email to your best girlfriend that could totally use it. Bring your laptop into the bathroom, making sure you keep it far away from all water sources, perch on the potty and get some long-awaited correspondence dealt with.
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar shouldn’t live above your eyes: Not only are eyes said to be the windows of the soul, but people use them to decipher your mood (even your baby does, from very early on). If your unibrow is clouding judgement, people are apt to become confused about your feelings. Just ask yourself if you always thought Bert was having a bad day on Sesame Street. Tweeze those puppies into submission, taking care to follow their nature shape, not leaving them too thin, arched or arcing upward.
5. You don’t have to admit it’s Martha Stewart: Sure, you read Psychology Today for the stimulating articles. I see you hiding that celeb magazine inside of it. Que sera, baby, because you have time to find out who looked best in which dress, who John Mayer’s dating now and whether light therapy can have a positive effect on Seasonal Affective Disorder. Consider it downtime and research for your own kind of water cooler talk.