Blogger Nicole Snyder just got very real about showering during new motherhood. And I’m raising a high-five in solidarity, because I (and most other moms) have certainly been there.
Last Friday, the mom shared an adorable Instagram photo of her 1-month-old daughter, Ruby laying on the floor of her bathroom. After waking up at 5 am with three energetic kids, this mommy was desperately in need of some alone time.
“I went downstairs, drank my coffee and started my daily grind of parenting and keeping small people alive. But I also desperately needed a shower; physically and mentally,” she writes.
Since her hubby, Jason was staying home from work, Snyder knew she could grab a precious moment to sneak away. “I left the hubs with the boys, got the baby back to sleep and went to take a long shower,” she continues.
A few minutes had passed when Jason peeked in to ask when his wife would be out of the bathroom. But instead of responding, Snyder continued her shower in glorious silence — because she is a mom BOSS.
“I was taking this time for myself. I couldn’t fill anyone else’s cup and be the mom/wife they need unless I’m okay. It wasn’t selfish to shave my legs and actually wash and repeat with my shampoo. It was necessary,” she explains.
When she finally got out, baby Ruby was awake and fussing. But instead of sacrificing the rest of her grooming time, Snyder laid her daughter down on the floor and finished up.
“Did my R+F routine. Combed my hair. Got dressed. THEN I hugged and snuggled and kissed on her. I felt human again. Recharged. And she was fine,” she writes.
She ends on a note that will encourage any parent to take self-care seriously:
“If you’ve made it to the end of this post, and any of what I’ve said hits home with you, fill your cup. If it’s saying no to something, taking a shower or aimlessly walking around Target alone; do what you need to do to be the best you!”
I couldn’t agree more with Snyder’s words. And apparently, I’m not the only one. On Monday, fellow mom and blogger, January Harshe shared the photo on her Take Back Postpartum Instagram where it received 1.4K likes.
Snyder was thrilled to see Harshe spreading her message, telling Babble, “Her body positive message, combined with all things birth and postpartum, is truly amazing. So the fact that she shared it for all these other mothers to see made my day!”
Beyond the cool shout-out, Snyder feels grateful knowing how deeply her experience has resonated with so many other moms like her.
“There are parents out there, myself included, that are in the trenches of raising tiny humans and are unintentionally isolated. But when they can scroll and see others at the same stage of life, coping and coming out on the other side, it’s pretty remarkable,” Snyder says. “When all these moms responded with their ‘I needed this,’ and ‘Yes!’ as well as some very personal comments, my heart was so full!”
Snyder touches on a key point at the heart of the self-care battle for many of us. Since our internal “mama bear” instincts dictate caring for everyone around us, we often make sacrifices because it feels like the most natural thing to do. “If instincts didn’t exist, no one would have babies, because it would be easier to not have the pain of birth or the exhaustion of a newborn,” she notes. “So overcoming all of that and saying ‘I come first’ feels unnatural.”
But by ignoring our own needs, we are missing out on maintaining our well-being, which is essential if we want to properly love and care for our kids. And Snyder really describes this in a way us mamas can connect to.
“I remember sitting down with my husband and telling him what I needed to feel human again. I also talked to him about how I felt after a few hours away to clear my mind; I had left the house like a shell of a human and came back three hours later bubbly and smiling! So he now knows when I say just the baby and I need to go to Target, I’m taking a break from the rest of the chaos,” Snyder tells Babble.
Snyder is speaking to a part of me I often forget to listen to. The truth is, my 22-month-old daughter needs a mom who puts her own oxygen mask on first. I am her best example of how to advocate for her own self-care journey when she grows up. Thanks to Nicole Snyder, I will never forget that.