I take showers.

The nine of us sat in a circle in her family room, most with hands wrapped around a cup of hot coffee, all with the cares of being a young mom written in the lines of our tired faces.  We had met together to pray for our kids, a discipline which I don't practice nearly often enough, though it is some of the only advice that my mom has ever given me about being a mom.  "Mary Rachel, always pray for your children."

Toward the end of the evening, we began to share ideas with each other about how we find time to think intentionally about and pray for our kids.  I suggested praying in the shower, because my shower currently looks like this:

shower notes

Yes, those are science notes.  And a Bible verse.  Somewhere (not pictured) is soap and shampoo and a razor, too. When I stumbled across a waterproof notepad on Pinterest several months ago, I knew that my life was changed forever.  I really love hot showers, and I really love not wasting time.  For $8.12, I could do both simultaneously. Depending on the day, I might study for an exam, memorize Scripture, or pray while washing my hair.  But, if we're being honest, I suppose that I mostly review chemistry and microbiology.

Anyway, my suggestion to pray in the shower was almost immediately met with, "I can't remember the last time I took a shower," and, "It must be nice to be able to bathe for that long."

I get it.  I really do.  It is hard to find time to do anything for yourself as a mom.  More often than not, my few moments of quiet bliss under the running water are interrupted by the toddler pushing open the bathroom door to come and play in the toilet or by the preschooler barging in with the announcement, "Mom, I have to POOP!"  

Good morning, Piper and Caroline.  [End shower now.]

I don't really care when people take showers, unless I can smell them from across the room.  If you can go a week without showering and no one notices, rock on. That's impressive and I'm slightly jealous.  

But y'all, motherhood is NOT a competition to see who has the least amount of time to themselves, who is the most tired, or whose kids require the most attention, as if those things are the standard by which one's abilities as a mom are judged.  

We're all on the same team here!  

When I was a teacher, some of my coworkers would constantly compare who stayed up at the school to work latest the previous night, displaying the assumption that staying later automatically equates to better teaching.  

It doesn't matter.  

Nobody gets extra points for dirty hair in the case of moms or late nights in the case of teachers.  The opposite is true, as well.  I'm certainly not earning any bonus points for bathing. 

It just doesn't matter.

I am a mom of littles, and I take showers.