I’m Not A Bad Mom Just Because I Don’t Make Bathtime Fun

by Ashley Austrew
Originally Published: 

I was browsing Pinterest the other day and it came to my attention that there are entire blogs devoted to inventing new and ever more complex ways to make bathtime not about bathing. Like, people put their kids in the tub for fun. As an activity.

I do not understand this.

As a parent, I hate everything to do with bathtime. It represents an endless power struggle, a shit show rigged with tantrum-inducing landmines, a huge mess, and also it’s just really freaking boring sitting there making sure no one kills themselves. You will never, ever find me filling my tub with twee Instagram-able garbage and looking for excuses to put my kids in the tub when they don’t actually need a bath. Yes, that’s the premise behind these blogs: HOURS of extracurricular bathtime fun…because sitting on a hard toilet lid or tile floor while my kid trashes the bathroom and soggies their bottom beyond recognition is definitely how I want to spend my day.

Why can’t a bath just be a bath? I mean, I’m not a total Scrooge. I give my kids bath toys. Some of these things are out of control, though. I’m talking intricate themes and glowing water and baskets of homemade slime suspended from the ceiling. It’s ridiculous. Bathtime can just be for bathing. It’s okay. Your kids don’t need Pinterest-worthy entertainment every second of every day. In fact, they’d probably benefit from being forced to improvise and use their imagination once in a while, rather than having everything hand-cut and tailored to their every whim. In that vein, here are the 5 most ridiculous bathtime activities I WON’T be trying with my kids:

1. The Gardening Bath. This bath was born of a serious dilemma. Someone’s tot wanted to garden, but it was winter time. What’s a mom to do? Why, dye bath water green and then fill it with pots, shovels, artificial flowers, fake leaves, gardening gloves, actual seeds, and specially made “bath dirt,” of course. I would’ve gone with Chia Pet for $500, Alex, but I’m a shitty mom who thinks ruining your house in the name of sensory play is for suckers, so don’t listen to me.

2. Love Themed Sensory Bath. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and nothing says I love you like a bathtub that actually contains the letters L, O, V, and E. Dye that water pink and then dump in a bag of the Dollar Store’s finest foam hearts and fake rose petals. There’s so many opportunities for your baby to eventually shit a polyester flower there’s no way she could ever feel unloved. If your husband also likes to chew on fake roses, you’re in luck! Per the original post: “This bath is something anyone could enjoy and could easily be modified for an adult.”

3. Jello Ocean Bath. Cover your bathtub in blue raspberry Jello and stick a bunch of fish toys in it, then put your kids in swimsuits and stick them in it. Let them go nutso, then wash your tub, all your kid’s toys, your kids, their swimsuits, the towels, the walls, the floor, your clothes, your hair, the dog, the house, the world. NOPE.

4. Lemonade Bath. Make lemonade in the bath because, well, I actually can’t think of a single reason to do this. Lemonade in the kitchen works just fine for us. We usually end up with something we’d actually like to drink and enjoy. But, sure. Why not move kitchen activities out of the kitchen and make it instead in a vat of yellow piss water surrounded by foam cut-outs? It’ll be way more trouble than it’s worth, but it’ll get a ton of Likes on Instagram.

5. Old MacDonald Had A Farm…Bath. I say “…Bath” because this one is seriously reaching. Basically you dye the water red. Because barns. You put some straw hats on your kids (practical bath wear, natch) and then you just throw a plastic barn and animals in there. Yup. You could just let them play with the barn on the living room floor, but why when it could be so much more of a pain in the ass? Remember: your parenting is only as good as your ability to over-complicate things, so make life hard.

Related post: The Bento Box Solution

This post first ran on Mommyish. Read more here.

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