Motherhood and the Eternally Open Toilet Door.

by Lori Dwyer on November 11, 2010 · 31 comments


Motherhood has the alarming effect of stripping away most of your dignity, yes? Not to mention any facade of privacy you may have once held dear. It starts early. Very early. Actually, come to think of it, most of your dignity and privacy is stripped away in the few hours before you, technically, become a mother.

Image borrowed from Sodahead. I’ll return it.

Let’s be honest. How may of us have maintained our calm, our composure, and our clothing whilst birthing a child, however it was done…? Hmmm. Not many. That’s what I thought.

Time for one of those random memory flashes from the rusty filing cabinet that is Lori’s brain… a flashback, if you will. It almost needs The Wonder Years soundtrack playing behind it. And… cue music.

The Man and I, attending ante-natal classes. Me, most heavily pregnant, in a room filled with other most heavily pregnant women, and their scared-sh*tless-but-putting-on-a-brave-face husbands and/or birth partners. Discussing the in and outs of boobies, pethidine and blessed gas with a forceful, slightly scary midwife. Unsurprisingly, the subject of nudeness comes up. Nudeness, and legs splayed, and strangers staring at your rapidly enlarging vagina.

Birth is so glamorous, yes?

“That’s what I’m most worried about. Being humiliated”, chimes in one pregnant chick.

“Me too”. That, from me. “*Gulp*”

“Ha!”, says the midwife. “Believe me, when it comes to that point, humiliation will be the last thing on your mind. By then, you will not even care.”

Ha. Really.

Well, as it turns out, yes, really. Three hours into labor, and my sense of dignity and self preservation where gone. They have never really come back.

There’s been boobies flashed, inadvertently,  in early breastfeeding. Six weeks post-natal check ups (“You will just feel a little bit of pressure form both inside and out, OK?”). Being fitted with The Diaphragm of Misadventure. And then, you know, giving birth the second time in the back yard. with my-mother in-laws hand on my hoo-ha.

And that’s just the nudity in front of strangers, or evil relatives. There then there’s the Eternally Open Toilet Door.

You know what I mean, I’m sure you do. If you’re a mother of small children, your house has one of these. The Eternally Open Toilet Door. You both urinate and, if the situation requires, defecate with the door open.

“What?” I hear the childless people call out. “Why?!

The answer is quite simple. There is no point closing the door. Because if you do, it’s quite possible- nay, it’s probable– all hell will break loose between siblings. Or your loungeroom will be absolutely covered in toys in the three seconds it takes you to wee, wipe and flush. Or, you won’t get to wee in peace anyway, because small hands will be banging on the door. And little people will be crying out “Mum, what are you doing?”.

Even our dog gets in on the harassment act.

And so we have the phenomenon known as the Eternally Open Toilet Door. If you’re not going to poo in peace anyway, you may as well have a genial conversation with your almost-three-year old whilst you’re there; concerning the finer points of exactly what you’re doing, when you will use the toilet paper and why the new front loader washing machine is not scary as it looks.

I draw the line at tampon or moon cup insertion though.

That, I think, is going a bit too far. It doesn’t have to be done in peace, I’m OK with a ruckus going on. It doesn’t require a lot of concentration, really, after years of practice. But it does require the door being closed (and preferably locked and soundproofed, but, hey, I’ll take what I can get). And I really don’t want to have to give the Chop a running commentary on tampon/moon cup insertion, just yet. It may just scar him for life.

So… the Eternally Open Toilet Door. Discuss, my lovelies. It’s not just the Purple House that has an Eternally Open Toilet Door.. right? (Please, please tell me it’s not. Because if it is, this post is going to come across as being really, really weird and I may just have to delete it…)

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

free standing toilet paper holder March 2, 2012 at 7:15 am

yes and no – if they are pooping in the downstairs toilet I prefer it closed.


•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• November 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

hilarious …my door is always open for the same reasons.
Once they could talk I had to draw that tampon line too …if they push the unlockable ensuite door open they hear me shrek and go away.


Melbourne Mumma November 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Open door policy here….. time of the month can get a little tricky, though…but my 1yo loves opening and closing those little tampon boxes. Bless.


Tenille November 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Mooncup. Well there you go. Learn something new every day.

We have a reverse toilet door here; closed when no-one is in there, open when they are.


Maxabella November 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I'll do anything in the loo with the little eyes staring except the tampon thing. I've just had too many awkward convos with the five year old girl to bring up the subject again. "You get blood coming out of WHERE?!?! BUT WHHHHHHYYYYYYYY!?!?!" x


Veronica November 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm

My toilet is outside, so normally, I get to use it in peace. But now that summer is here, Amy sits on the step and chats to me.


Jayne November 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

What door?
Are you trying to tell me toilets come with doors ?!!!


Glen November 12, 2010 at 5:32 am

At one of my Ante Natal classes I asked "If we have a girl – can I still by it Scalextric?" i don't know what amused me more – the disgusted look of the feminist mid-wife or the excited nods of the other fathers-to-be around me waiting for the answer!


River November 11, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I had the open door policy too, not wide open, unless the kids pushed it to see where I was and what I was doing, but found that once my kids were used to me going they weren't so interested in stopping what they were doing to follow me. It did help a lot with toilet training, because they wanted to do what I did, so as soon as they made the connection between "that" feeling and pooing, the rest was easy. All of them preferred the big toilet to a "baby" potty too. I bought a kiddie seat so they wouldn't fall in.


Brenda November 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm

All I want is a freaking 5 mins to pooh in peace! Nuff said.


Being Me November 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Erm….. somehow I hit a combo of keys that made my comment publish and now, well, it just looks like a strange statement to make without the rest, which is (OF COURSE) that there is no stopping my 4yo coming in to see what I'm doing even though it should be fairly obvious. Hellooo? Room with a toilet in it? Thought it ought to be a give-away.

Btw, I'm with Jeanette: how is it that they will reach an age where they get their privacy but we're prob never going to get ours back? (at least until they leave home)


Being Me November 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

There's nothing quite like pooing with an audience. Talk about performance pressure.


Jemima- So Mummy November 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

oh yes i remember the days of peacful peeing!
3 years on i still dont have it (except for the times im yelling at my partner to take the child so i can pee in peace)


Amy November 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Oh gosh, the three times I've gone to the bathroom, he's insisted on being with me. ON MY FREAKEN LAP.

Oh privacy, where art thou?


Ebonie’s Mummy November 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I was really worried about pooping whilst pushing my babes out.

I remember screaming out during pushing cody out
'I need to do a pooooo & a weeeeee'
'I am tearing upwards. Near my clit'
Very undignified. But I didn't care.


Anna November 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Not just the purple house. I usually have 3 little ones in the toilet with me who ask all sorts of interesting questions on bodily functions, if he can wee between my legs while Im sitting (eldest son – 4yo) and whether he can help me wipe (middle son – 2 and not yet toilet trained so ah no thanks). Open door policy also applies to showers or baths. They definately dont make showers big enough for one slightly chunky woman and 3 wild toddlers lol Lets not talk about half of Campbelltown seeing my hooha when one of my lovelies did his open-the-door-while-mums-still-peeing-in-public-toilets routine………


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) November 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I'm so glad to hear I'M not alone! And the little slip about your MIL's hand on your hoo-ha…oh, my! Almost lost my coffee over that one. Just had to say, thanks for the laugh!!!


Jacki November 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Lori, you're NOT the only one! I long for the days when I can shut the door, safe in the knowledge that I'm alone.


Glowless November 11, 2010 at 12:31 pm

So much to look forward to. Mine is only just mobile (dragging himself around the floor with a massive grin) so I'll have a closed door for a few more months to come.


Mich November 11, 2010 at 12:24 pm

most of the time i have an open door. and the kids usually barge in without knocking if the door is closed. and if im have a bad day, (i have colitis), the door will be closed.


x0xJ November 11, 2010 at 10:07 am

If my SO is home, i close it, or if, you know, we have guests over. But otherwise i don't, but yes like you, when i have my monthly visit from Aunt Flo, that needs to be done in peace because frankly i don't want to explain periods to my 4 year old for him to tell strangers about, lol.
But yes, i love that as soon as you sneek off to use the toilet your absence is quickly noticed, and you get the children coming in saying "What are you doing mum? Are you going to the toilet? Are you doing a wee or a poo mum? Mum? Mum. Mum are you going to answer me" ARRRGHHHHH!


DaniV November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

*puts hand up* the door is open most of the time unless I can sneak into the toilet in peace. But during 'that' time of month it's always closed… the kids can knock & scream all they want, it's not getting opened!


Katie November 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

Doors firmly closed each and every time.
I don't ask for a lot in life, but when it comes to bathroom stuff, I demand it.**

**not that they're not knocking on the door the entire time ( this goes for child AND husband)

also, your dog looks a tiny bit scary in that photo. I'm sure it is a perfectly lovely dog, but "scares the crap out of you" is what came to mind when I saw the pic.


Amy xxoo November 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

Flynn is only 10.5 months old but I already have the whole open door policy thing going (when DP is not home )….Daddy, however, is happy to pee with the door open but will not even entertain the fact that one day he may have to go #2's with his son in the bathroom…


Mommy Lisa November 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

yes and no – if they are pooping in the downstairs toilet I prefer it closed.


Megan Blandford November 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

Oh, I swore this would never be me. 'I'm not letting my child into the toilet with me,' I declared. Hahahahahahaha! As if it's a matter of 'letting' them – there is no choice when there's a toddler involved. And yes, she insists we talk about what Mummy is doing, which seems oh so wrong, but I just keep reminding myself, this is the path to toilet training. Right?


Langdowns November 11, 2010 at 6:18 am

LOL EmmaK!!
There is no such thing as peaceful toileting unless you train your bowels to work at around 4.00am. I'm not sure why we even have doors to be honest … it's a false sense of security … all an illusion …


EmmaK November 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

Oh I'm fine with tampon insertion if they're in the loo with me – but I have girls. Not sure if I'd be so laissez faire if I had boys. Also my daughter stuck my panty pads on the soles of her feet the other day and was skating around 'cleaning the floor' so it makes sense to introduce them to sanitary products at a early age


MotorbikesLady November 11, 2010 at 6:08 am

When I had my oldest daughter it was just her & me, yes gasp I was a single parent, so the question of closing the loo door or leaving it open never really come up.

I would leave the loo door open if it was just her & me but if I had vistors I would make sure the loo door was closed & locked.

(((( Hugs ))))


Eva Gallant November 11, 2010 at 8:55 am

Too much truth, girl! Too much truth! lol


Jeanette November 11, 2010 at 7:40 am

it's open door season @ the Frumpy House…. but, when girlies get older i'm "pretty" sure they are going to insist on some privacy. me? i'll probably never have the alone time i once had. ahhh, the good ole days


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