Would you go to the toilet in front of your kids? I mean, do we always have a choice about that? I remember doing the business with my 2-year-old daughter actually clinging to my leg like a steel clamp. I couldn’t leave her on her own — my house would have been destroyed before I’d even flushed — and there was nobody else to watch her, so off to the bathroom we went.
It’s not a matter I’ve ever given much thought to, apart from frequently wishing I could carry out certain acts in private, but hey… motherhood. But it recently became a talking point after Australian blogger Annie Nolan posted a picture on Instagram of herself peeing with her 3-year-old daughter strapped to her back.
“When you need to wee but you just spent 15 mins securely strapping a child to your back,” the 27-year-old mother of three captioned the snap.
As with so many parenting decisions, the internet was divided in its response to Nolan’s picture. Many found it hilarious; others were quick to share their own tales of bathroom disturbances. And then, of course, there were the holier-than-thou parenting police who declared it a most inappropriate thing to do.
My first thought when I saw Nolan’s picture was, “Wow, she’s strong!” My second thought was, “I’m glad I’m not the only one.” Just last week, I was shopping with my two kids and needed to use the bathroom. It was busy, they were grouchy, and I decided the easiest thing to do was take them both into the stall with me — me, my 8-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get the hell out of the supermarket in one piece.
I don’t take my kids into the bathroom with me at home. But I don’t always shut the door, and if they happened to wander in to ask me something, I certainly wouldn’t freak out or start panicking about how the sight of me on the toilet with my knickers around my ankles will scar them for life. I don’t want them to have hang-ups about their bodies or feel embarrassed about natural bodily functions.
My kids are smart enough to know that while it’s OK to stick their heads into the bathroom while I’m using it, they wouldn’t do that with anyone else. Until recently, my kids still took a bath together. When my son announced that he would prefer to shower on his own, that’s what happened. I think we need to give our kids more credit. What’s wrong with letting them decide what they’re comfortable with and what they’re not?
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