Mommy’s Magic Door

Photo: Dan Barbus

Ahhh. The blessed bathroom door. Sanctuary and pure bliss. I'm fairly confident this magical door has saved many marriages, derailed some serious fits of temper and stopped many a woman from setting something on fire. I don't think I have ever paid tribute to the bathroom door and seeing how my forehead rests on it on a near daily basis, it's about time.

What is it about this sacred space? The lock? The cold tile floor? The way it muffles all screams, blocks any and all peanut butter from entering? It is without a doubt the ultimate, ultimate Mommy's little helper. Yes, I have been guilty of bringing my wine/chocolate/ipod/phone in there. I have been the one who shuts the door with a loud thud and exhales. I am the one who sits on the floor simultaneously laughing and crying. Nobody had better judge me. I'm a desperate woman.

I love my children. They are little bits of pure joy undiluted and free of corn syrup in my life. And they love me. They love me so much that they want to share and share and share all the glory and wonder of their day with me — all at the same time. And I want to hear it all. Every Mother wants to hear it all. I'm just going to need a teeny tiny break for a moment to recharge before it commences, that's all. No biggie. Hey, after all it's only a bathroom door. It's not like I am running away to Bermuda. With their pink sea-shelly beaches. With their blue cocktails and dreamy breezes and… No.

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The bathroom is definitely better.

Hey, if we don't take our moments away we will be rocking in a corner. But worse than that, far worse than even that is that we will also be teaching our children that it's all about them. Everything. That everyone in their life will be endlessly available, putting aside their basic sanity to be present all the time. Whew. I am exhausted just thinking about it. And what a set up for those little bunnies. I don't think when I was dreaming of having a family that I dreamed of having a family of narcissists.

Hmm… nope.

I did give a hearty go at the "all available, all the time" routine though, pre-bathroom door. And it didn't go well. It came roaring in to bite me on the ass, just before I collapsed.

On the bathroom floor.

As I lay there thinking I didn't have another speck of energy to wipe, sing or carry anybody left in me the clouds by the bathroom window parted and a voice spoke to me.

I like to think it was the Bathroom God voice.

It said, "Lock the door. Now. Sit on the floor and ignore Raffi drilling a hole in your nervous system.

"Breathe."

And you know what? I did. It all turned around for me that day. That day led to even more moments of self care. Daily showers. Walks around the block. Even (gasp) a yoga class out of the house! Those merciful moments given to me that day in the bathroom enabled me to swing open that door with a smile. Everyone learned something that day. My kids learned that Mommy needs a little time for her and that's OK. They learned to start working through the squabble over who's hair elastic it was and not to give themselves a haircut when I was unavailable. It was really a win win.

Bermuda may be an exotic dream but my bathroom door will always be there.

Thank goodness.

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