Moms, I’m going to be honest with you. There are some days when my dear, sweet, lovely children have driven me to the point of my head imploding. When they have whined the 1,237th “Mommy!” and have managed to have about 35 mini-tragedies in nine minutes (“He took my Polly Pocket and tried to flush her down the toilet!” “She ripped all the wheels off my favorite hot wheels and is now trying to eat them!”). We all have those days.
But fear not.
There is one place a mom can go to get away from it all:
My sanctuary. My domain. My sweet escape.
The kids and hubby may think I’m in there taking a shower or plucking my brows. But what I’m really doing is trying to hang onto that last shred of sanity I have left.
After many years of attempting this escape, there are a few things I’ve learned.
First and foremost rule: Lock the door. This is extremely important. Do this the split second you rush in there. But here’s the key: try to do this quietly. Because if little ears have any inkling you are in there, the jig is up.
If they do notice you are in the bathroom (correction: when they notice) you must take evasive action as quickly as possible. Turn on the fan. This will help drown out the inevitable knocking and pleading outside the door (mostly from my husband who has spent a grand total of 5 minutes dealing with the kids on his own).
Okay, now the door is locked. You’ve made it. You’re safe. You are officially in a room that is separate from your loved ones. It’s an exhilarating feeling, I know. You are alone and no one can come in (barring using a screwdriver to take the hinges off the door, which my son once informed me he was going to attempt).
You are now leaning against the door, breathing huge sighs, trying to regain your composure. For a brief second you may even remember the “old you”, the one who had two seconds to form a complete thought…remember her? No, me neither. Sadly, this feeling is fleeting. So what do you do now with this glorious alone time?
Any mom knows that you need a bathroom survival kit. You need supplies that will enable you to spend as much time in there as humanly possible. Spending it actually doing bathroom type things is not an option. You have to clear your head. Keep it together. Your very soul is on the line here, woman!
Find a place to rest. Naturally the toilet is a good spot. Close the lid ever so quietly and plunk your tired butt down for a second. Go ahead, Mom. It’s okay. You deserve it. Sit there and breathe. Close your eyes and utter “Serenity Now” over and over until you actually believe it. It worked for Kramer.
Next, grab something to read. I like to have plenty of guilty pleasure trashy magazines on hand. I keep a stack of Good Housekeeping, People, Ladies’ Home Journal, maybe even the occasional Cosmo. For those rare times that I manage to slip into my sanctuary unnoticed, I try to have my favorite book on hand. Or maybe even stash your iPad under the towels. Think of all the things you can accomplish surfing the net sitting on your cozy fuzzy pink toilet seat.
If kids/hubby are inexplicably fascinated with your bathroom excursion and are suddenly outside the door acting like Armageddon is just around the corner, you might need to actually turn the shower on for a minute and run a little water. This might buy you another few minutes.
If they persist and the whining grows louder, I occasionally have to resort to yelling out: “I’m BUSY!!!!” I am usually surprised at how irritated I sound when I yell out these words. It comes out as a growl most times, but I try not to let on that my loved ones are slowly stripping away layers of my sanity.
After my growl, there is always a moment of stunned silence behind the door. So I’ll add a meek and sweet comment like “just a second, okay? I’ll be right out!” to lighten the mood. We don’t want our family thinking Mom is thisclose to cracking now do we? Keep the illusion alive.
And then I sit there in silence at least another five minutes, flipping through my People, reading about Angelina Jolie and her kids. That woman has it so easy.
I bet she has at least five or six bathrooms to hide in.