“I recently read a random post on the internet that said something along the lines of, ‘water fixes 90% of problems.’ I remember taking in the statement as I scrolled past, but then letting that thought wither away a few minutes later. It was one of those, ‘oh yeah, I can see that. That makes sense’ moments and then my brain was on to the next tidbit of information I was seeing on my feed.
However, a few weeks later, I came face to face with how much truth that water statement held.
I was at gymnastics practice one night with my oldest while my husband was home wrangling our other five kids. He managed to commit one of the biggest flagrant fouls of parenting – he let our 4-year-old twins fall asleep at 5 p.m. He let our little Tasmanian devils outsmart him into taking a nap at the worst possible time they could. Every parent knows this is a recipe for disaster. Naps that late in the day never end well.
I came home at 5:45 and was oblivious to the fact they were still sleeping. All I was worried about was serving dinner from the crockpot so everyone could eat. I made everyone’s plates and started naming off the kids to come grab them and take them to the table. I got to the twins’ names and there was no answer. I called them again. Still nothing. My husband turned to me and said, ‘oh yeah, they’re sleeping.’
I knew the battle that was about to ensue. I prepared my mind for the grumpy little girls I was about to encounter. I knew we were about to go to war.
Sure enough…they were beyond upset at the thought of having to wake up to eat dinner. They were furious I would even suggest they get out of their beds to come nourish their bodies. How dare I interrupt their beauty sleep?!
They both sat at the table and sobbed, kicked, yelled… you name it. I mean, just imagine TWO 4-year-old’s feeding off each other’s energy. They know they are a force to be reckoned with when they want to be. They were in it together. And my goodness, they fought hard.
So there we all were, trying to eat dinner and trying to calm them down at the same time. Nothing was working. No bribing was helping. No amount of hugs and extra attention did a dang thing. Even holding them did nothing. They just weren’t snapping out of this mood. I was starting to lose my mind and my own temper.
Somehow in the chaos of that moment, I remembered that post about water. I sat there and thought, ‘Hmmm maybe it could work right now?’
So I just stood up and said, ‘Screw this, I’m done! Get upstairs! You’re taking a bath!’
I put in a ton of bubbles, threw them in the tub, and within a solid 30 seconds, they were laughing! LAUGHING! Their demeanor and attitudes completely flipped in a matter of seconds! They were two happy little clams in that tub. All it took for them to snap out of their big emotions…was water. Water! It’s so ridiculously simple. I sat there and laughed in disbelief with them. It was insane how fast their little temperaments did a 180. How was it this easy?
When you think about it, water even changes my mood.
When I’m sick, I take a bath.
When I was in labor with my kids, I got in the tub or the shower in the hospital.
When I’m feeling depressed or sad, I take a bath.
When I’m crying uncontrollable tears, a shower helps wash them away.
When I’m angry and can’t snap out of it, a shower helps hits it out of me.
When I’m stressed out about something, give me a bubble bath!
Water just makes you feel better. I usually feel like a new person after a long soak in the tub. The warm water surrounding me is so comforting and the whole ambiance is peaceful. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for all of it, but what I know is that it helps ‘solve 90% of my problems’ like that post said. It’s actually probably more than that.
If we take this a step further, how many of us feel so much better after a day on the lake? Or after a long float down a river? How many of us feel refreshed and peaceful after spending the day at the ocean, taking in the salt water smell? Or how many of us jump in the pool while were pregnant to help take the weight off our joints? I don’t think I’ve ever felt better than when I’m spending my time in or near the water. Water improves everything from your emotional state to your physical one. It’s comedically simple.
Thinking back on our summer now, I realize they were happiest when we played in the pool all day or when we were paddle boarding out on the lake. The days I turned on the sprinkler or the slip and slide, they were upbeat, joyful, and amused. They never laughed more than when they were soaking each other with squirt guns. They were more ‘themselves’ when we spent the entire day with the water.
Water helps cure our own attitudes, so how have I not realized how much it cures my own kids’? I’ve been so oblivious to this knowledge. I was so naïve to think only mommies and daddies need a bath to feel better. But kids have bad days, too! Sometimes it’s hard to realize that when you’re knee deep in a tantrum you just want to stop. Sometimes it’s hard to have the patience to try and understand the root of the issue. We all get caught up in the frustrations of parenthood and lose our ability to think straight.
But from now on when my kids are not quite themselves, I’m just throwing them in the bath. Even if they just had one a few hours ago…sometimes you need to double up.
Sometimes you just need water to solve your problems. And it does.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Molly Schultz of Tried and True Mama. You can follow her on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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