Confession time: sometimes this mom seriously needs a break. With five kids, however, it's ridiculously hard to find some alone time. So when I'm close to losing my sh*t I go to the one place where I can find some peace, quiet, and snacks: the bathroom. Yep, the bathroom, and I know I'm not alone because there are things every mom is really doing when she's alone in the bathroom. For real.
Now, before you say, "Gross, how can you hang out in the bathroom?" remember the undeniable fact that, if you have children, every every room of your house is gross. In fact, I clean my bathroom pretty regularly, so it's quite possibly the cleanest room in my house. Plus, it's the only room in the house where I can eat chocolate without having to share it with my kids.
Another bonus to bathroom alone time is that my kids have been somewhat conditioned to respect people's privacy when they are in there. Now, I'm not saying that they don't occasionally burst through the door like the Kool-Aid man, or knock incessantly, while repeating, "Mom, are you in there?" But, generally, at least for a few minutes, I can enjoy my sanctuary. While I'm there I can play on my phone, check in with my friends on Facebook, eat something without having to share, or drink an entire cup of coffee before it gets cold (think about that for a moment). Mostly, I just enjoy moments of alone time to put on makeup, do my hair, and escape the constant chatter.
So for a little self-care, and to manage my mental health, I escape to the bathroom. I highly recommend you give it a try, and do some of the following things while you're in there:
She Drinks A Hot Up Of Coffee
In every other room of my house, me drinking coffee looks something like this: I poor a cup of coffee, set it down, get busy helping a kid get dressed, changing a diaper, or finding somebody's damn shoes, and forget where I set my coffee down. Rinse and repeat.
In the bathroom, however, I get to drink an entire cup of coffee while it's still hot. You guys, sometimes it's actually too hot. It's so magical.
She Puts On Makeup
I love makeup, but any attempts to try a new lipstick or wing out my eye-liner when in front of my kids ends with make-overs for everyone, which is fun but not always what I need. In the bathroom, I can play with makeup by myself. It makes me happy, even if I don't plan to leave the house.
She Poops Alone
Yes, I occasionally use the bathroom for one of its intended purposes. Of course, when I'm in there I bring my phone so I can multitask.
She Plays On Their Phone
My biggest "first world problem" is forgetting my freaking phone when I go into the bathroom for some alone time. Sometimes, I will even sneak back out of the bathroom like a ninja, risking detection by my tiny captors (err children) to retrieve it. The struggle is real.
She Obsesses About Her Body
As an eating disorder survivor who just had a baby, I have a hate/hate relationship with mirrors. I also am pretty sure that I can spot flaws that no one else will ever notice. So, when I'm alone in the bathroom I have a tendency to obsess over my reflection.
I can only assume I'm not alone, either. The unrealistic expectations society places on all women, and especially women recovering from childbirth, coupled with other variables is why an estimated 20 million women (and 10 million men) will suffer from an eating disorder at least one time in their lives, according to the NationalEatingDisorders.org.
She Eats Alone
My meals are generally eaten standing in front of the fridge or with children repeatedly asking for bites. (Why does food on my plate always seem more interesting?) So, eating in the bathroom means not having to share and actually getting to sit for a change.
She Takes A Freaking Shower
Yep, sometimes I'm lucky enough to have time for a shower while I'm hiding in the bathroom. Usually that only happens before the kids wake up for the day, though.
She Looks At Cat GIFs On The Internet
Who doesn't like funny cat GIFs? When I need a break and a laugh, cat GIFs are my happy place.
She Takes A Selfie
I used to hate selfies, but now I'm a big fan. I take one a day to aid in the long process of self-acceptance and self-love.
She Hangs Out With Her Mom Friends
I connect with most of my mom friends on social media. I am so grateful for the village of amazing people that are helping me to raise my kids. I hope they don't mind when they learn that we're often chatting while I'm in the bathroom (although, I have a feeling they're doing the same).
I am a crier. I don't just cry when I'm sad, but also when I'm overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, stressed, and even when I'm happy. So yes, when I'm going to lose my sh*t I go in the bathroom to cry in peace. Plus, here's already tissues there and I can fix my mascara afterwards.
She Calms Down
When I freak out or have an anxiety attack, I can go into my safe haven to calm myself so I can face the world with a bit more composure and grace. If I can't find calm, at least I can find some chocolate and eat it in peace without having to share.