Bathtime with children: fantasy vs reality
When I became a parent for the first time I had this fantasy of how bathtime would be. Like many situations in parenting. I’m sure I also had this fantasy idea about how breastfeeding would be, as well as weaning and so on. We all do it, it’s perfectly natural, especially when we haven’t done it before.
Now occasionally in parenting the reality will live up to the fantasy, but I think those times are few and far between. The bedtime fantasy for example is something I don’t think has EVER happened in eleven years!
The bathtime fantasy
In my head bathtime with children is full of bubbles, the scent of lavender, happy giggles, relaxation, and an overwhelming sense of calm. Everyone enjoys the slow wind down from a busy day as they prepare to sleep calmly all night in their own beds.
Everyone is kind and loving and no one takes up their fair share of space in the tub. Everyone brushes their teeth the first time they are asked and they can’t wait to be wrapped in that fluffy warm towel and get their cosy PJs on.
Soon they are tucked into bed, stories are read, everyone snuggles down, there are kisses and cuddles and calls of “goodnight, I love you” and they all fall asleep surrounded by a calm post-bath scent of lavender.
Sounds nice doesn’t it? Whilst sometimes there might be a few times in the early days of having just one child where all is calm and you even get some baby-massage in there as well, this doesn’t last for long.
The bathtime reality
As babies grow and your family expands, any period of calm during bathtime turns into high octane chaos. At the point you have water dripping through the ceiling you start to think washing is overrated and question your need to have clean children anyway.
Firstly you’ve got to get them all up stairs. Some might want to go as bathtime means wild time and others might not as it’s associated with that evil process that happens daily, commonly know as bedtime.
Once you get them upstairs you’ve still got to actually get them in the bath or shower which can be a 20 minute game of cat and mouse.
Then come the fights. Flights over a toy, who sits by the taps or who has the most space. Who gets their hair washed first, who can hold their breath under water the longest, the list goes on.
For some parents, perhaps it’s a struggle to just get hair washed, or teeth brushed even?
Parents can end up totally drenched through splashing, sweating from wrestling children or perhaps your ears are ringing from the squeals and acoustics in the bathroom?
Hang on for the ride!
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, bathtime just isn’t that tranquil time with your children that you’d like – it’s more like the mad half hour!
Useful products you can use at bathtime with only one hand are essential – mainly because you are likely to be using the other hand to stop one child drowning the other, break up a fight over a squirty fish, or stop someone chinning the tap! We love the big bottles from Childs Farm with the dispensers as they just make life easier.
I’ve said before that bathtime can be bonkers but at least non of the children are afraid of water! Quite the opposite…I’m sure they are all fish really!
If you’ve lost all hope of bathtime ever being that tranquil part of the day you once imagined, embrace the chaos – buy bath crayons, silly toys, mouldable foam and just roll with it!