Remember Feb. 16, 2007, when Britney Spears shaved her head?
The tabloids went wild! Shocking photos emerged of the young singer walking into the salon, taking a trimmer to her own head, and looking wild-eyed as her hair fell to the floor.
The world asked why? In the days and weeks that followed, Britney was accused of insanity and instability. Was this the public descent into madness that the news outlets believed? To be honest, at the time, I was finishing my last year of high school and completely confused by what would drive someone to so publicly “fall to pieces.”
But now, I get it.
Back in 2005 Britney gave birth to her first son, then in 2006 her second. That means by February 16, 2007, the night in question, she was in that world of two under two! The fact that all she did was shave her head on that fateful night maybe should be commended.
This morning while getting ready for work, I got to that “let me shave of head” place, and it was dark, ugly and wild.
The alarm went off at 5 a.m. as it always does during the work week. David took his shower and I stayed in bed waiting in the darkness for my turn and savoring the last moments of quiet. As he stepped back into the bedroom, he saw that Buster had gotten sick on the floor and the descent began.
Forty-five minutes remained in our morning before everyone needed to be dressed and in the car and now we were derailed by the dog. We scrambled to clean up the area and get the dogs outside and fed.
Henry woke up next, angry about who knows what and he stomped around the house displaying his sour mood. Not wanting to get out of his cozy pajamas, he chose to protest in a surprisingly new way: he angry peed on the floor! AH!!! Now we had cleaned up the floor from the dogs and had to clean up the floor from Henry and still get the boys dressed and downstairs in 30 minutes.
In the commotion that ensued, Owen woke up and, also angry about the morning, decided to throw an epic tantrum lunging himself into his dresser. With everyone crying and/or covered in yuck, things felt too overwhelming. By the grace of God, and David staying calm under pressure, we made it downstairs with 10 minutes to spare. I slipped their sneakers on, David gave us kisses and hugs as he headed out the door, and after giving each kiddo a defrosted pancake to maybe bring up their blood sugar levels, we got into the car.
I was amazed that we were on time still, but so sweaty from the morning. Owen asked for his milk after chowing down his pancake and all seemed to have reset. Until Owen decided that he would for the first time ever unscrew this milk cap and dump the entire contents of his cup on his lap, then scream about the discomfort of cold milk and soaking clothes all the way to daycare. It was in that moment that I thought about Britney Spears.
Shaving my head would be so immediate! It would take me out of this moment, it would DO something in a moment when things felt chaotic, unpredictable and paralyzing. I could take my bald head into the cold fall morning, grab my long umbrella and just have my appearance match the internal turmoil.
Britney, I get you! You might have had some underlying postpartum depression and I hope overall you feel good now in your skin, but that moment when you shaved your head probably felt really liberating if you were feeling the chaos that is raising two small children.
You set a new standard in “crazy” for 2007, but I totally get it albeit 10 years later and similarly in the trench of mommyhood. Much love to you, Britney, today and always.
Also, I still love my kids but dang was today crazy!
— Melissa Alkire
Melissa Alkire is a blogger, new mom, teacher and life enthusiast. Coffee is her spirit animal. Mama covered in boys. Wife covered in kisses. Teacher covered under grading. Potter in the making.