I thought in light of all the heavy traffic the topic of NFP is generating round these parts, a practical hands-on style post might be in order.
You know, for actually living with all the fruit of NFP under one’s roof.
(Painfully obvious disclaimer: NFP does not necessarily equal a house overrun with children. At least, not always. But it can make you more, how can I put this, open to the possibility? Even though it is actually more effective at postponing pregnancy than most forms of contraception. End disclaimer.)
Without further ado: personal hygiene.
Step 1 (Difficulty level: Introductory)
Showering? Bahahahaha ha ha ha …
Sweat pants + top knot = who even neeeeeeeeds to chart? Ain’t nothing going down in this house tonight.
Step 2 (Beginner)
Hand baby to suit-clad husband at 7:49 am. Beg him to delay departure for office for additional 4 minutes. Run to bathroom. Leave door open to hear screams for help. Rub shampoo into partially dry hair and perhaps add conditioner at the same time to streamline the process. Shave one leg using same shampoo/conditioner mix. Eschew toweling off in favor of the painful wet leg denim shuffle. Retrieve baby. Return top knot to upright position.
Step 3 (Intermediate)
Wait until all children are napping. Slam laptop shut. Run to bathroom, leaving door cracked for (in)security purposes. Plan on at least one intruder to peep upon you during your 7 minutes in heaven. Strategically placed loofahs and/or towels hung on exterior of shower door can delay ‘the talk’ for several more years, potentially. Repeat shampoo routine as outlined above, but perhaps separate shampoo and conditioning into 2 steps. Shave both legs. You are amazing.
Step 4 (Advanced)
Tuck infant under arm and run the water. Test it for ideal temperature for sensitive baby skin. You’re about to dispatch two dirty birds with one shiny stone.
Step into shower, taking care to throw a towel down behind you on the bathroom floor. Leave ventilating fan off, because this is a shower + baby humidifying session, you clever minx.
Hold baby firmly in shower spray, gauging baby’s level of discomfort by the terrorized facial expression. (We shower our newborns from day one, so they’re quite comfortable in the spray, all told.) Keep the terror at or below 4. With baby firmly clasped to body with a cross-crotch hold, use other hand to dispense hypoallergenic body wash/baby wash onto baby’s back. Note: you are about to use your child as a loofah. No shame. Drag baby’s soapy body back and forth across your ruined midsection, paying special attention to neck rolls (baby’s) and any other milk-hiding crevices. Finish with a quick shampoo (for hairy babies) if necessary. Coo at baby and enjoy this sensory discovery/water play activity with your oft-neglected third born.
When hot water is in danger of running out, carefully open shower door and place wet baby on the waiting towel. Baby will now be happily encased in a warm bathroom sauna to loosen up all that overnight mucus. Shut shower door and begin frantically shampooing own hair. This is your big chance to shave all the things. Don’t blow it.
Hot water is waning, but you don’t care because you just exfoliated and shaved your pale legs, and your conditioner has been sitting in your hair for the entire recommended 3 minutes. Rinse off, step out, and retrieve baby. If the toddlers are still engrossed with their Curious George episode, you might have time for a quick baby lotion massage.