Mom Swears Water Is a Cure-All for Fussy Kids After Bathtime Saves the Day
Molly Schultz of Tried & True Mama wants other parents to know that water is a miracle worker.
Figuring out the best ways for contending with a child's meltdown is par for the course when you're a parent. At times, it might feel like there's nothing you can do to soothe your L.O. who is having a full-on tantrum. But Molly Schultz of Tried & True Mama recently took to Love What Matters to share her very own magic bullet: water.
"I recently read a random post on the internet that said something along the lines of 'Water fixes 90% of problems,'" Schultz wrote. "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."
The 28-year-old mom of six shared that she was at gymnastics practice one night with her oldest child while her husband was "home wrangling" the other five kiddos. "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.," Schultz said. "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."
When she came home at 5:45 p.m., she was originally "oblivious to the fact they were still sleeping," and when it came out that they were, indeed, snoozing, Schultz "knew the battle that was about to ensue."
"I prepared my mind for the grumpy little girls I was about to encounter," she wrote. "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?!"
The twins "sat at the table and sobbed, kicked, yelled," Schultz recalled. "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."
In a a moment that all too many parents have faced, Schultz wrote, "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."
It was in that moment, that she remembered the post about water and thought she'd give it a shot. "So I just stood up and said, ‘Screw this, I’m done! Get upstairs! You’re taking a bath!’" Schultz remembered. "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?"
- RELATED: 14 Ways to Tame Your Kid's Tantrums
The blogger observed that water isn't just a fix for kids, writing, "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! ... What I know is that it helps 'solve 90% of my problems' like that post said. It’s actually probably more than that."
Schultz went on to sing the praises of hydrotherapy in all its forms. "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."
Ultimately, Schultz feels she was "so naïve to think only mommies and daddies need a bath to feel better," because "kids have bad days too." She elaborated, "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."
- RELATED: 8 Temper Tantrum Survival Strategies
The bottom line for the Tried and True Mama, "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."
Experts agree with Schultz. Executive coach and career coach Elizabeth Pearson notes, "The mere sound of water has positive effects on our mental health and science suggests that the rhythm of ocean waves coming in and out can affect the rhythm of the neuronal 'waves' in our brain, triggering a more tranquil pattern of thought."
What a beautiful reminder that the most magical bullets of parenting are often the most basic of moves.