When we bought our house, there was my husband, myself, our Kindergartener, and our toddler. Three bedrooms. One—large—bathroom. Now, we’ve added our daughter, a cat, and two large dogs. Suddenly, our house—and especially the singular bathroom—doesn’t feel quite so large, or big enough at all, really.
However, based on what all the other moms (and some dads, too) are saying…I don’t think it’s the one bathroom that’s the issue. It’s just the reality of parenting, where you have one or four bathrooms, one or six kids. I’m not the first to notice.
Now that I’m up to three kids, three pets, and a husband…Well, bathrooms—or bathroom, singular, rather—do not equal privacy in this household. We didn’t even have a door on our bathroom for at least two months after the last one literally came off the hinges.
Bathroom Realities of Motherhood
Eating in the bathroom.
I don’t want the kids to eat anymore cereal. I want cereal. I’m hiding in the little “cove” our toilet sits in, eating a bowl of cereal while the tea I’m boiling on the stove boils over and karma bites me in the butt.
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Everyone’s bladder is on the same schedule.
I’m seven months pregnant and I have to pee. Suddenly, I’m racing a toddler in a diaper and my six year-old to the only toilet in the house because everyone else now has to pee, as well.
The tub doubles as a toilet.
While my kids have never peed in the sink, like some of my friends have at parties, it’s probably just because they’re too short to reach it. The tub, on the other hand, regularly gets peed in (see last point) by kids and adults, alike. My toddler may have finally grown out of pooping in the tub every time she takes a bath.
Can I join you?
I hope you don’t mind the close proximity of toddler hugs or a neglected cat who wants to be pet while you’re trying to poop. Because since you’re sitting still for a few moments, everyone is demanding to take that time to get in some snuggles. Or maybe you’re in the shower and the only way the baby is getting bathed is with you. Even my cat likes to live life on the edge—of the tub—while I’m trying to shower and the dogs try to sneak in and get a lick of the delicious shower water. If I try to shower by myself, I’m “caught” 99% of the time by an already-half-stripped small child demanding to get in the tub for the fifth time today.
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All eyes on you.
Maybe this one time, you actually don’t have a small child trying to sit on your lap or a feline who is taking advantage of the empty space for some quick petting. Well, if they’re not sitting on you, they’re staring at you. I hope you don’t have a shy bladder, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a dog laying at my feet staring up at me or a kid watching me for no particular reason.
My kids always have the most pressing questions when I’m on the toilet or in the shower. If they’re miraculously otherwise occupied, my husband absolutely has to show me the “funniest” YouTube video ever or tell me that same story he told me yesterday.
Sure. Lock the door. I dare you.
Before our door came off the hinges and we replaced it with another, the bathroom door was the only interior door with a working lock. First, I can’t tell you how many times I was locked out of our only bathroom because a kid had messed with the lock and then closed the door when exiting. Second, when you lock the door as the parent, all the previous points still apply except you now have kids and pets on the outside of the door in a state of panic because they can’t reach you. The littlest children are probably crying and hysterical and the older ones can just yell their questions through the door or tattle on each other or narrate exactly how upset the littlest is.
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Basically, the bathroom stops being a place for private, long, hot showers and sexy time with your significant other. It stops being where you spend an uninterrupted hour getting ready—makeup, hair, etc—every day. It’s almost as much a family gathering place as the dining room.
Maybe that’s not your reality. But it is mine. What’s motherhood from the bathroom like at your house?