Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I long ago decided (long ago, like, two years ago) that if you are old enough to speak to me during naptime, you are old enough to wipe-your-own-butt during naptime.

My five-month-old is therefore the only one currently granted immunity from our household policy.

My day often starts by 5am. It doesn't end until 8pm. That means that there are 15 hours of someone needing me.

I am not complaining. I am merely giving facts. I love being a stay-at-home mom and would not go back to work if you paid me. (Ha ha! Get it!?)

With four kids five and under, there is seldom more than a five-minute period that someone doesn't need something.

"Mom, can you: fix my broken lego man? make me a waffle? get me something to drink? turn my pants right side in? print me a picture to color? read this book? play this game? cut up this apple? stir my yogurt? hug me? do this puzzle with me? stop brother from being Mr. Bossy pants?"

You get the idea.

And those are the things that the speaking children ask me. I have a baby who makes her requests known in a much less dignified manners -- screaming or crying or leg kicking or just stinking things up so badly that I have no choice but to get involved.

Never mind the things that no one asks me to do but must be done in order to keep the house running: Most days I feel like a laundry-doing, dishes-watching, toy-pick-upping, sheet-changing, bath-giving, diaper-changing machine.

So do you blame me for putting out just one major ground rule for my children?

Only Unwavering Rule: Between the hours of 1 and 3pm, when everyone in the house (if baby complies) is sleeping or reading quietly in their beds, no human being (or four-legged spotted friend) may require anything of Mommy unless it is in an emergency nature.

This means that if you need water, you can get a cup and get the water out of the bathroom sink.

This means that if you don't have the book or stuffed animal you so desperately require, by all means, get up and acquire it yourself.

And this especially means that if you don't get your poop done before nap, during nap, you have to wipe your own butt.

Prior to naps, I give a fifteen minute warning. "It's going to be nap time soon. If anyone needs to go poopy, do it now."

Poops done before naps, get Mommy's help. Should they choose to wait until the middle of nap time, there is no problem with that at all. But I am going to remain in the horizontal position on the living room couch. I am not getting up for anything. Including butt wiping.

I am proud of this rule. It drops my "on" time from 15 hours-a-day to 13-hours-a-day, and I think it makes me a better Mom.

I call it my "Wipe-your-own-butt-time" and I encourage you to institute it in your own home as soon as possible!

Follow-up articles:


Mermaid said...

Brilliant. Glad I'm not the only one who makes 4 year olds or older still do nap/quiet/alone time!

Anonymous said...

I think the "wipe-your-own-butt" rule is awesome! I may have to institute that myself. I have three kiddos, 19 mo, 2 1/2, and 4, so that would be a huge help for me. I can't imagine doing something just for "me" for the 2 hr nap/quiet time though. That's usually when I do the things I don't want them messing up, like mopping, cleaning the bathroom, etc. I really enjoy your blog!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Anonymous, I have to make myself do nothing! I am always tempted to try to get chores done. If I can't sleep, I make myself write or read! No chores!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of Mom's that "quit" work at 8 after bedtimes. I'm just not sure how realistic that is for us. I'd love to do it. :-(

TAV said...

Love this!!