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Me time - Take a bath

Children require a lot of time and attention. The younger they are, the more of your time they need. But not every single minute of every day. Why not set aside one hour of each day for yourself? During this hour, you will not take care of anyone but YOU.

Take me away!
You might remember a commercial from a few years ago where a woman is faced with several catastrophes all at once. The dog has tracked muddy paw prints on the white carpet. The kids have their toys spread out all over the floor. Dinner's burning in the oven. The phone rings. And the woman says, "Calgon, take me away."

In the commercial, the lucky woman is transported to an over-sized tub in the middle of an over-sized room where she is surrounded by complete silence. Oh, if only!

In reality, when you choose to escape to the bathtub, you're likely to find yourself in a cramped room inside a tub that could stand a good scrubbing. You'll also be followed to the bathroom by your children who will pound on the door and ask what you're doing, how long you'll be in there and if they can have cookies for dinner.

It doesn't sound too relaxing if you think of it that way. Still, the contrast of the hot water and the cool bubbles caressing your body is appealing. You just need to pick the best time of day to avoid interruptions and fix up the bathroom the way you like it to fully enjoy the experience.

First, don't try to take a bath when your kids are awake. It's not worth it. The best time is at night, right after you've put the kids in bed or right after they've fallen asleep.

Next, make sure the tub is clean and the room is uncluttered. You don't want to be thinking about cleaning while you're supposed to be relaxing. Beyond tidying up, you should think about what would make your bathtime more pleasant. Try lighting a few scented candles to replace the overhead light. Maybe you should have a bath pillow for your head. Plug in a boombox nearby and listen to some calming music, like music by Enya.

Perhaps you'd like to read in the tub. If you get thirsty, you should bring a drink with you -- iced tea in the summer and hot tea in the winter. Try to anticipate anything you might want or need so you're not kicking yourself later for having either to do without it or to get out of the tub to get it.

Finally, ease yourself into the beckoning water, lay back on your bath pillow and take a few deep breaths. Let the cares of the day go each time you exhale. Enjoy the tranquility of the moment and rejuvenate yourself for the next day. It's an hour well spent.

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