Before kids, your bathroom's function was pretty straightforward. It was a place to primp before work, to do your business, and to bathe. Every now and then, maybe when there was a good sale at Anthro, you might have had fun sprucing it up with some gorgeous bath towels and a nice porcelain soap dish.
But after kids? Well, the bathroom becomes so much more than just a washroom (especially if you live in an apartment in NYC where one bathroom is shared among the entire family). It can transcend the limits of its four walls and take you to places beyond your wildest dreams (and sometimes nightmares). Here is a list of 5 different places that your bathroom transforms into after you have kids.
The trenches of war
You're crying it out for the first time, and you can't stand to hear your baby's wails of despair coming from her room. Your other half has already had to make a human fortress at the baby's doorway (which you had asked him to do beforehand) to block you from going in. So you run into the bathroom and turn on all the faucets and the shower, and wedge yourself into the crevice between the toilet and the sink as you rock back and forth with your hands over your ears. The bathroom begins to get steamy, and, between breaks to wipe off condensation from the baby monitor, you do your best to try and pretend that you are in a magical and misty rainforest -- not in the depths of gut-wrenching sleep training.
A day spa
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom coming home to the bedtime grind, nothing is as rewarding and lovely as an unhurried shower after the little is in bed -- or if you're really feeling wild, a bath. Because here's how the night went down: You lovingly prepared three different meals for your child that ultimately all got rejected and finally, after a screaming match in which you said he will absolutely not be getting dessert tonight, you ended up crying into the freezer door as you reached for the ice cream because you just couldn't take it anymore. So now, spending 20 uninterrupted minutes with the door closed while soaking your tired body in hot water feels like the ultimate luxury spa. Add a couple trashy magazines or the Savage Lovecast podcast, and you're in heaven. Calgon take me away!
A lovers' getaway
Don't even try to close the bedroom door for a few stolen minutes with your honey. The kids will immediately stop watching Daniel Tiger to inquire why you've all of a sudden shut them out of the fun. If you close the BATHROOM door, however, it is a whole other story. Children vaguely understand the concept of privacy and don't always question why when Mommy says she's on the potty and just needs a few minutes, Daddy might also be in the bathroom with her. It is ok. Kids are smart, but not always THAT smart. God bless. Sometimes you can even get away with telling them you guys are taking a shower (and they won't even question why the shower isn't on). Just try to not do this move when the in-laws are on their way over. Some of us might have once had a horrifying scenario in which we emerged from the bathroom completely dressed and with dry hair to find in-laws in our apartment, who informed us that when they asked our son where his parents were, his answer was, “oh they're just taking a shower!"
A room of one's own
Men have been disappearing into bathrooms for 40-minute periods to escape their wives, in-laws and children since the dawn of time. It is high time women get hip to this little trick, too. 'Cus sometimes you need to get away from it all and away from all of THEM, maybe you front like you are having some tummy troubles so you quietly exit to the bathroom and lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling for ten minutes. Or maybe you just want five minutes to see what the rest of the world is pretending to be up to on Facebook or Instagram while all you've done is clean the kitchen for the fifth time today, and it is not even lunch yet. No one has to know.
A Community Room. Who knew so much could happen at once in such a small room? You've got one kid going number two on the potty while watching his iPad, another is singing and dancing to This Little Light of Mine in the tub, your husband is trying to shave, and you are doing a hand wash of all your delicates while simultaneously playing keep away with a rope toy with your dog. And it is all happening in a space hardly bigger than a toddler bed. Your bathroom might, possibly, work as hard as you do.
What's the craziest thing you've done in your bathroom since becoming a parent?
Main image: Bathroom Scene, Lisbeth by Carl Larsson.