The Universal Truth of Motherhood

by Sarah Cottrell
Originally Published: 

This morning I did it. I lost my cool and whisper-screamed, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH EVERYONE IN THIS DAMN HOUSE?!

I didn’t mean to do it. In fact, right after my blast of sour accusation I immediately felt the weight of guilt sucker punching my muffin top. The worst part of all was that my peaceful sanctuary was ruined.

Rewind 15 minutes.

The kids were running laps around the downstairs. The aroma of burnt toast was wafting through the air. The coffee maker had just made a congratulatory ding! And my husband and I were fumbling around each other in the kitchen trying to reach the half and half, coffee cups, and spoons without knocking each other out of the way.

Before anyone else could, I firmly announced that I was going to the bathroom. I made sure to use my Mom Voice combined with the I-Just-Woke-Up-Don’t-Mess-With-Me Glare to ensure that everyone in the house firmly understood that I was not to be interrupted. Then I turned on one heel and high-tailed it to the other end of the house.

I shut the bathroom door behind me, took a giant sip of hot coffee, and exhaled a sigh of absolute relief. I was alone. It was quiet. Just beyond the door was total morning chaos but I was in this marvelous little universe called The Bathroom where civilized folks know not to just waltz in.

But this is not a civilized house.

I was peeling off my yoga pants and sweaty tee shirt and searching through the linen closet for my favorite towel. Out of habit, I was slurping down my coffee like a feral Mom beast because coffee enjoyed while still hot is better than gold bullion.

Not two minutes into my mini-vacay at Mommy Shangri La I saw them. Tiny fingers were stretching out in sheer panic under the door. Small shrieking voices belted out interrogation questions while I tried to make myself as quiet as possible. Maybe if they can’t hear me then I’m not really here?

Mommy? Are you peeing?

Are you poooooping?! (laughter)



MOOOMMMMMM! What are you doing in there?!?!

I’m hiding from you lot, that’s what. I’m searching for peace and quiet while I have a morning moment alone in the loo. I’m asking the universe why moms can’t catch a freaking break when it comes to basic hygiene matters.

It occurred to me that my poor misguided family must think that some serious mommy hijinks are taking place in the family bathroom. This is what my family must think is happening anytime I am alone in there:

I am being kidnapped.

My secret decoder ring is giving me my next orders.

A dinosaur is eating me.

I am eating all the chocolate in the world. And not sharing.

I fell in the toilet.

My back gave out and I am caught in the supine position on the floor.

I forgot where I was.

I am plotting the world’s worst timeouts ever.

I’m hiding the DVD remote.

I am making my get-away.

Santa and the Tooth Fairy are asking me for status updates.

I’m on the phone and therefore – by the laws of nature – must be interrupted.

I am contacting the Mother Ship.

My feet are turning into flippers, so I can swim in the bathtub.

I’m checking their toothbrushes to see if they actually brushed.

I’m plotting revenge on everyone in the house.

I am flushing race cars down the toilet.

The shower just turned into a giant squirt gun.

An octopus is teaching me French.

I am hiding all the things.

So, I’m sitting there reading a book, sipping some coffee, and taking care of business. In my head, I am already projecting into my immediate future that includes washing my hair with girly scented shampoo…when suddenly the door swings open.

My husband waltzes in and says, “Hey, Honey, haveyouseenmy blankety-blank-blank?!” At least, that was what I heard right before two small children came barreling through the door.

Small Child wanted a hug. And to pull my hair. And chew on my slipper.

Loud Child wanted to ask me 10,000 questions about why I was peeing sitting down, and why was I drinking something in the bathroom, and why was my hair pulled back and did I know that it made me look like a bear?

And that was when I realized that this was the very last time I would ever go to bathroom alone. I waved my Mommy Freak Flag and surrendered to the universal truth that moms just can’t get bathroom time alone.

Related post: When A Mother Takes a Bath

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