Thursday, September 15, 2016

Damp Vacations in the Bathroom

I grew up in New Jersey, which is a rich and varied place…at least when thinking about houses. As a child, I was dragged into many homes by my parents or by my mother who had become a real estate agent. At each new place there was the guarantee of “the tour”. You walk in, look around, take off your coat (or shoes depending on the residents), and then your host says, “Let me show you around the place” or “How about the Grand Tour?” like it’s a goddamn palace and not a bi-level in central New Jersey.

Some tours were more thorough than others, those are the ones in which you find yourself in the basement or the backyard staring at an ancient outhouse that came with the place and adds “so much character”. After several of these tours, I noticed each house had one special room that the lady of the house and my mother would take a particular interest in: the bathroom.

Serenity Now!
Image via Pixabay

It seemed like each bathroom was lovingly designed with a level of care that was ludicrous to me as a child, like straight up crazy. One mom showed off her “vineyard-themed” bathroom with little candles in wine glasses and merlot colored towels. Another had a “seashore spa” thing going on, complete with seashell soap in a basket that you were not allowed to actually use (it was decorative soap apparently). I didn’t understand the obsession with this room. There was so much thought and effort put into a place that you use to take a crap, brush your teeth, and bathe.

Growing up, I learned to take super fast showers; I did not see the point in just standing around doing nothing. My father is a known power-showerer, he was always in and out in record times. I agreed with my dad, it was boring and I had shit to do. If I needed to shave that would tack on a few more minutes, but overall I had the whole thing down to a science. When I first moved in with my husband, even he commented on my showers, “Were you in the military or something? How did you get clean so fast?” The suggestion that I was the weird one was ridiculous to me, I couldn't understand what took him so long in there.

And then…I became a mom and, to add to that, I then became a homeowner. Suddenly, this all made so much sense. I don’t even get to pee alone, but the one time my husband will 100% wrangle our child away from me is when I’m in the shower. I think it's because if he doesn't she'll run in, rip the shower curtain open, and get water all over the floor all while I scream bloody murder for him to "come get this child" and "aren't you even watching her?" (Do you even dad, bro?).

Showering has morphed into an insanely long process:
  1. Play around on my phone
  2. Contemplate my life
  3. Turn on the water
  4. Stand in the water
  5. Go through the motions of showering with frequent breaks to repeat Steps 2 and 4

Showering has become a series of damp little vacations for me. My newfound extended time was an absolute revelation. Growing up, all of those moms were creating as nice a space as possible in which to hide from their families. So, of course my mother would fuss over her friend’s recently redecorated bathrooms because she understood what this room meant for them: a few seconds alone where their mind can clear, no one physically touching them, and some fucking space to breathe. If you’re going to hide in a tiny room, you may as well make it your own. I totally get it now.

I’m not sure where to buy soap that no one is allowed to touch, but I am considering new hand towels and a rug to tie the whole room together. It will also give me something comfy to sit on while I text from the bathroom, with the door locked and the water running.

I'd love to know if you have a bathroom oasis or if you also hide to get your Texting/Facebook/CandyCrush done. If you have other creative ways of getting alone time, please tell me your secrets!

#bathrooms #moms #texting #alonetime


  1. Wow! Can I relate to this one! There are a lot of things we don't understand about other women until we become mothers, like how you can catch vomit. Prior to mommy-dom the most you would do is hold a friends hair while she puked, but once you become a mom it all changes!

    My place of refuge is my bedroom. Once the door is shut no one is allowed unless they knock and I say come in. If I am quiet they assume I am asleep or dead, but regardless they know not to bother me. Of course my children are 31 and 35 years of age so they aren't around that often, but I remember the good old days.

    1. Yes! So many things make sense to me now that I am mom. Another thing I totally understand now is why my mom dragged around such a huge purse all of the time, the amount of stuff I carry these days is insane. Basically anything we could possibly need as a family unit while out, I have in my bag. I never understood until I had a child. On the plus side, everyone knows that I have everything now, so I'm the go-to person at my job.

      I do think we all need our own space to retreat to from time to time, even if it's just to sort out our thoughts alone. I just didn't know how much valued that time until I had none!

  2. Ha ha! not a Mum but can agree to this. Bathroom is peace from who knocked on the door, is it raining out, and such thoughts. My place is my living room when I am home alone after work till my husband reaches home. I love that I get my time to write, have a bowl of soup and just relax after a long day.

    1. I think we all need that time and space, my husband also uses that time between work and my return to relax. When I come home with our daughter, he is usually reading or writing (or occasionally watching funny videos on his phone).


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