The Valium Chronicles: What Happened to Privacy or Personal Space?

Stay out of my bathroom source:

Twice on Twitter the conversation has turned to the toilet and privacy. More specifically the last time any of the moms went to the bathroom by ourselves without interruption.  The general consensus was that once you have kids, you never ever ever go to the toilet without company.  I’ve breastfed on the toilet, snuggled on the toilet, signed permission forms on the toilet, had serious conversations on the toilet, and grounded a teen on the toilet.

From my vast experience of 17 years as a mom, I’ve determined that when I became a mother, I gave up any possession of my body, personal space,  food, or belongings.  It started during preconception, when discussions of ovulation, cervical mucus,and the condition of my uterus became fair game. The loss of privacy or personal space steamrolled from there.

At the hospital:  I gave birth to my first child in a teaching hospital.  After the 10th student came in just ‘to have a look’, I declared my ‘lady parts’ off limits. I believe my exact words were, ‘If one more person tries to look at my vagina I’m going to stick a giant needle in their back all the while telling them to hold still while they’re having a contraction.  Then I’m going to f*^%en kill them.’  Once I had my girl, about 300 different nurses felt the need to manhandle my breasts and nipples in an effort to teach me to breast feed.

 Toddlers:  There’s nothing like a screaming tantrum in a store to bring out the ‘best of’ childrearing from  bystanders.  I’ve had folks tell me, in extreme detail, how I should handle my children’s tantrums, how their diet is affecting their behaviour, or even worse, glare at me and tsk tsk. Have they never heard of the expression MYOB?  Also seemingly free game to toddlers is your meals.  Nothing you’ve prepared for your child to eat can look as appetizing as what’s on your plate.  While its endearing for your wee one to scramble onto your lap during dinner, THAT’S MY FORK, KID!  My third child also had a particularly appropriate habit of sticking his hand down my shirt to cop a feel at the most inopportune moments, such as anytime we were in public.

Kids:  I knew my son was growing up when I took him into a family washroom at Zellers and while I was hovering over the toilet to avoid germs, I looked at him and he was crouched down and peering up to see exactly where the pee came from.  That was a special moment in our relationship which I’m sure I’ll hear about more in a therapy session one day.

Tweens and Teens:  It was a lovely day the first time my son (now 15) walked into my room while I was changing, exclaimed ‘Ewwww! Disgusting!’ and ran out.  I screamed after him, ‘Its MY room!  If you don’t want to see my boobies, which breastfed you, then knock before you enter.’  Also a potential topic for therapy, it took him two years before he started barging into my bathroom again.

Apparently I don’t actually own any of belongings such as clothing, makeup, shoes, or beauty accessories. Since my daughter started wearing the same size tops and shoes as me, it seems to be a situation of ‘mi casa es su casa’.  If I want to use anything that belongs to me, all I have to do is go into her room. The exception is if was actually purchased for her. Then, its hers.  And I’m not to touch it.   By the way, its heartwarming to see her friends walking out of the house wearing my clothing. I KNEW that’s why I bought those items! (I’m being facetious, in case you were wondering)

Don't touch my clothes! source:

The final straw was this evening. I was undressing to take a shower and my daughter followed me into the bathroom chattering away about something that was extremely important to her.  I calmly said, ‘Please leave, I’m naked and I want to take a shower.’ Her answer, ‘Who cares?  I came out of you.’


Where have you seen your boundaries blur since you’ve had children?