Opinion & Debate

Published on February 26th, 2015 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Mums are too busy to wash…

Being a mum is so demanding that it prevents you from washing.

No, really. It says so in the Mail this morning. In a piece about women’s bathing habits (or lack of them) one mum blames the demands of parenthood for the fact she can only commit to one shower a week. Others cite saving money and their eczema as reasons not to be at one with a bar of soap and a hot, steamy bathroom.


But back to the busy mum excuse. I have actually heard people say this before – new mums claiming their baby was so demanding they couldn’t even have a five minute bath. Mothers of toddlers running a wet wipe over their armpits in lieu of a good scrub in the shower because their relentless mummy-schedule had no window for proper washes. Mums of teens claiming they could never get in the bathroom because it was hogged by adolescents squeezing their spots and taking duck-face selfies in the mirror.

Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

A convo this morning with my pal who at one point had newborn twins and a toddler backed up my own thoughts: that this comes down to pure and simple idleness. She, like me, (and to be fair, most of our social circle) still managed to bathe despite having the demands of motherhood thrust upon her (and in her case, with three pre-schoolers to fit soaping her nether regions and underarms around).

Like me she did it when the babies were asleep. Or when they were in their bouncy chairs on the bathroom floor. Or in their playpens. Or when their granny was visiting or a friend had taken them out for a walk. Because, you know, when you have kids they just have to fit into your life otherwise, as well as not washing, you’d give up on eating and pooing and weeing on the basis there was just not time, too.

As you can probably tell, it really, really gets my goat when parents pull the busy card. We’re all busy. Nurses and doctors are busy. They probably still manage to work a quick shower into their schedule though. Katie Price seems really busy what with always being on the telly, marrying blokes and having having endless kids. But I bet a pound to a penny she still manages a quick hose down every day.

So please, if you are too slovenly and don’t have enough pride in yourself to attend to what is pretty basic personal hygiene on a daily basis, at least admit it’s because you can’t be arsed rather than you are too busy as a mother. Or maybe, try being a single parent and discovering what you are ‘too busy’ to do – oddly, from my own experience and those of other lone parents I speak to, there’s not a lot we can’t fit into our schedules – because when there is no one else around to hear about how ‘tired’ and ‘busy’ you are and to hand chores and childcare over to, you tend to just get on with it.

And that includes your daily wash.

About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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