Batman has the Bat Cave; Superman has his Fortress of Solitude; Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I imagine, escapes stress and hatches her brilliant feminist schemes from some sort of bucolic egalitarian paradise she enters via a magic mirror (or something). For new moms seeking refuge from the trials and tribulations of parenthood, they have the bathroom. Yes, welcome to parenthood, new mom hiding in the bathroom. Welcome, indeed. Especially if you are currently (and not improbably) a new mom reading this from the bathroom. Don't worry. There are no hidden cameras in your lavatory that enable me to see you, it's just that we've all been there. We feel you, girl.
Here are a couple things you should know, friend: escaping into the solace of your washroom may be new to you, but it's not a phase. Now that you're a mom, you'll be doing this kind of thing a lot. For years. For-maybe-freakin'-ever. In fact, you may even do on a more frequent and necessary basis, once your children are toddlers and try to follow you places. As annoying as it may be, initially, to have the place where you, um, "expel," be your place of refuge, eventually and quickly you grow accustomed to the routine. Suddenly you no longer wonder why your partner has spent years and years engaging in 30 minute poop sessions. It's just so calm and quiet in there, so it all makes sense.
So, for those of you who don't know or are yet to become a new mom and are mildly concerned about all the time we spend in there, here are 15 things every new mom is doing when she is hiding in the bathroom. I promise, she's okay and, honestly, you should just leave her alone and give her some much-deserved space.
Rest In Relative Silence For 3 Freakin' Minutes
Just as monks of medieval Ireland cloistered themselves away in beehive huts by the sea, mothers have hidden themselves away in latrines for centuries to escape the maddening roar of their infant's wailing and the constant pull of the outside world.
Because sometimes it's just too much. There's so much to cry about in the early days, both good and bad. Sometimes we just want to be alone to do it and the bathroom is the only place we can be assured of such solitude.
When else are you going to get the chance, right? I always thought having a newborn would be excellent reading time. Maybe it is, if you have a baby that will sleep somewhere other than in your arms. It's difficult to hold open a book and keep a baby secure at the same time (I was surprised to learn). So, a lot of the literary endeavors of bookish moms must be undertaken in the powder room.
Poop In Front Of An Audience
Because just because you're hiding doesn't mean that your child (or children) didn't somehow manage to sneak in with you, and they seem positively fascinated by your bowel movements.
I know. I know. It's "gross" to bring food into the bathroom, but damnit a woman needs to eat! Sometimes, this is the only time we really have a chance to nosh on anything and we need to seize that opportunity. I'm not proud of scarfing down granola bars while peeing, but it's better than passing out in a fit of hypoglycemia.
Despite laws against making women pump in the bathroom at work, unfortunately, many companies provide no alternative options for new mothers, leaving breastfeeding moms with no choice. Seriously, everyone, write to your representatives because this is crap.
Watch TV On Their Phones
God bless you, Netflix app. We weary mothers of the world can never thank you enough for your ability to bring us Orange Is The New Black in the comfort of our potty. OMG! It's almost like when Blanca hid her cell phone in the bathroom to be able to talk to her boyfriend, Diablo. I mean, not really, but kind of.
All Facebook All The Time
I swear you guys, it was my one connection to the social landscape for months, months after my kid was born. Mark Zuckerberg, I offer you my blessings right after I'm done blessing Netflix.
Make Phone Calls
Again, bathrooms are the perfect combination of solitude (usually) and silence to accommodate the necessary phone calls a new mom must make in a day. To her partner; to her daycare provider; to her pediatrician; to her own doctor for some lingering postpartum issue that she doesn't want to regale her children and/or co-workers with. There's a lot of people she has to keep in touch with, more than usual probably, and she must do this with less time and fewer location options than she may be used to.
Look Up All The Questions They've Had About Their Baby Throughout The Day
It seems that before you have time to look up the answer to one distressing infant question ("Why does my baby's poop smell like bread?") another curveball is thrown at you ("My newborn son is lactating"). Bathroom time gives you a chance to cram all your questions in at once.
Text Friends They Haven't Seen In Months
Because after seeing how all of them are doing on Facebook, you've decided to take some of your precious bathroom time to shoot them a line to let them know that you haven't forgotten about them and you haven't fallen of the face of the earth.
Whether we're talking Candy Crush on your phone or whippin' out the ol' Nintendo DS for some one on one time with your girl Zelda, there is little more satisfying than zoning out in the Zen world of gaming to take the edge off. You may not be able to pinpoint why your child cried for an hour straight this afternoon, but damnit you can get three blue candies in a row.
Look At Pictures Of Their Baby
Even if you're a stay-at-home-mom, but especially if you're a working mom. I would seriously double my bathroom time just to look at the 200 pictures I'd taken of my child the day before. I regret nothing: it was time well spent. That boy was gorgeous and adorable.
Confer With Their Mom Board
Or as I like to call them, "my mom coven." These ladies are almost certainly, at least at some point, posting their concerns, questions, funny stories, and vents from their potties, too. It's like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Toilet, really: a collection of moms from around the country, or even around the world, gathering in their individual cells to form a community, from their bathrooms. The location, certainly, is one born of necessity, but hey; if it gives us time to figure out this whole mom thing with a bunch of other sassy broads, we'll take it.