There are many aspects of parenting that are well-known long before we take that plunge and decide to have Mini-Me's of our own. For example, we all knew well in advance that we must care for our children: we must change poopy diapers, rock our kids to sleep, comfort them when they are upset, and sing them nursery rhymes. Many of us can even imagine life further down the line—teaching our kids to read, pushing the back of a blue racing bike as our kid struggles without training wheels; and we can even envision playing catch with our kids, or shouting encouragement at the sidelines of a soccer field on a windy day.
Most of us enjoy being a parent (most of it anyway), or we wouldn’t have chosen it, still, there are many undesirables attributed to parenting that we may not have imagined, didn’t know or think about at the time, or perhaps just didn’t quite comprehend (poopy diapers and sleepless nights aside). There is a cliché saying that seems to ring pretty true to me, “No one ever told me it would be like this.”
Surely the lack of privacy parents experience is definitely a less-than-desirable side effect of child rearing that we did not anticipate, did not expect to be so severe, or simply ignored the warnings from more experienced parents. After all, our children certainly won’t be like theirs, right? Our children will sleep in their own beds all night. Our children will play nicely on the carpet and do everything we tell them to. Our children wouldn’t even think of opening the bathroom door without knocking, especially when we are trying to drop a deuce. I mean, they wouldn’t dare…would they?
They would. Sadly. I have personally experienced the following 15 moments when we parents have no privacy, and I’m pretty sure you have too. If not, you might want to check your child for tentacles, because it clearly isn't a human child.
15 When Privates' Aren't So Private Anymore
If you gave birth the 'natural' way, chances are your baby just took your lady bits and made his mark on them, forever. He may as well have stuck a flag on them, and named them after himself, because they will never be the same again.
As if that weren't bad enough, about thirty seconds after giving birth, your newborn baby is thrust onto your chest to 'latch' onto your nipple. That's my boob for goodness's sake! It's my private part and I don't have to let anyone touch me there if I don't want to, so there! Wrong, mama. That boob now belongs to your baby, and you won't be getting it back for a while yet. Don't worry though, you'll get used to it. Pretty soon you'll be popping those balloons out like a clown at a birthday party. You will have no shame left. They aren't privates anymore.
14 That Time You Tried Going To The Bathroom Alone
I can certainly relate to this picture. This poor mom is breastfeeding her child at the same time she's relieving her bowels. I'm pretty sure I have even mediated my kids' arguments from this exact position. Parents often go to the John hoping to escape from their children for a few minutes, only to see the tiny hand under the door crack like something out of a Chucky movie. There is nowhere to run, they will find you!
Please tell me that most parents experience this utter lack of privacy, and it's not just me. Even if I try locking the door, I have learned that my child screaming at me from the hall outside works as well as Imodium A-D at stopping me up. I'm pretty sure you need to be relaxed to relieve your bowels, and the high-pitched screams get my anal muscles clenching, and that turtle head refuses to come out.
13 When Bathing Is No Longer A Solitary Endeavor
Since I had my first kid, I rarely get to shower/bathe without one of them in the room. Try as I might, those kids can't be without me for thirty minutes, even when I am at my most vulnerable state, and this is one of the only times during the day when I really want to be alone.
Kids don't understand embarrassment or privacy, and my son has been known to bring his toys to my bubble bath and happily play pirate ship when I'm trying to read a book and relax in peace. He certainly doesn’t comprehend why his mama would want a few minutes to groom, without the sound of his impersonations of cannon ball explosions or pirates walking the plank right into my bath water.
At first I tried to explain the concept of boundaries to my toddler son, but like I do in all aspects of parenting in which I am failing miserably, I inevitably just cave. Now, I can't take a bath without that damn boat. It's soothing to me now.
12 When Dressing And Undressing With Tiny Spectators
There was a mom who got a lot of flack on the Internet for posing for a dressing room selfie wearing a bikini with her young son present. While that is surely a parenting fail, there is something in this picture that I can totally relate to. How many parents have to drag their kids to the store when they go shopping? They can't very well leave their kids unsupervised in the store while they try on clothes, can they? At least the mom had her son's head turned to the wall.
I have attempted to get dressed privately many times only to have my kids burst into my room or my closet, ready to tell me a full-length story. All pleas for them to vacate the premises and let me dress in peace fall on deaf ears. What's the big deal? I've seen you naked before, Mom. Like ten minutes ago, when I was playing pirate ship in your bath, remember?
11 That Time You Tried To Get Busy. Wait, What Time? I've Got Kids!
There is barely enough time or energy to attempt to have sex with your spouse when you have kids, but I think those attempts get even less frequent if you've ever had a kid burst in on you when you are attempting to make whoopee. This is a very real fear for many parents, as they don’t want to scar their children forever with the sight of their parents getting it on.
Stories of parents who have been 'caught' and needed to come up with explanations for their actions abound. Some parents say, “We were just tickling each other.” Other parents might say, “We were playing a game.” I'm pretty sure my husband and I even practiced what we would say if we ever got caught in the act. If you are on the spot and forget, you can always use the old standby, "We were wrestling." Whatever you say, don't say you were 'playing doctor'.
10 Talking About 'Adult' Subjects With Your Friends
I swear, my kids don't hear a word that comes out of my mouth, except when I'm talking about something that is not meant for their innocent little ears. They didn't hear me the five times I told them to go take a bath, or clean their room, or brush their teeth, or change their clothes, but the moment I mutter some inappropriate four letter word under my breath, they can hear it over the vacuum cleaner, across the house, with earphones on.
Every time I am discussing an adult subject with my husband or my friends, like who cheated on who, or which of my family members is mad at the other, my eight year old daughter will appear at my elbow like a magician. "Where did you come from, little girl?" I ask her.
"Um, Mommy? What is a d-bag, and why were you calling uncle Bob that?"
9 Any Time I Sit Down To Watch A Scary Movie
I loved when my kids were little, because I could watch whatever the fuck I wanted without them understanding a thing. Now, whenever I sit down to watch something that doesn't have a cartoon character with a British accent, my kids enter the room and suddenly want to 'cuddle' with me. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I'm watching something inappropriate for them, and they are dying to know what it is.
Every once in a while, just to mess with them (that's how I get my kicks), I will let them watch a few minutes of a scary movie, just to really scare the crap out of them, giving myself a month of peaceful, movie-watching bliss. After that, anytime they walk into the room to 'cuddle' I tell them I'm watching something 'scary'. They walk right back out again, not knowing I was watching Sleepless in Seattle.
8 Every Time I Try To Talk On The Phone
What is it about answering your phone that gets your kid so jealous? My kids can be playing by themselves for an hour, but the second I start talking to my boss on the phone, is the exact moment they need me most: Mom. Mom. Mommy. Momma. Mamma! Oh, Family Guy. You have nailed this moment so perfectly.
I try walking around the house with the phone, I try hiding in the bathroom, I try whispered pleas of, “I’ll be with you in a minute, sweetie,” or, “I just need five minutes to talk on the phone, and then I will build a tower with you.” Those pleas never work and my toddler will just keep begging for attention.
There is really nothing I love better than multi-tasking an important phone conversation, with pacifying a toddler pulling at my clothes and doing a million other things to get my attention. Really helps sharpen my brain-power.
7 That Moment Your Kids Catch You Sneaking Candy
Chocolate? What Chocolate? I'm sure I don't know what you mean. Wait. That was your Halloween candy? I thought we shared in this family. Go to your room. Why? Because you are not sharing, and that’s not nice.
There is nothing like turning around your own indiscretions and putting them on your children. Come on! That's not mean; it's character building! Your kids needed something to talk about in therapy anyways, and their mom stealing their candy makes for a great story. Besides, you are trying to be a good mom and take one for the team. Anyone who knows you knows you are just trying to get rid of the candy so your kids will be healthier. And that’s the truth!
That tell-tell sound of the candy wrapper is to my children, what the sound of kibble-n-bits being poured into a bowl is to my dog. They just know.
6 When Attempting To Cook A Meal
Sure. You can come hug me and get all up in my grill, right next to this burning hot stove, and that boiling pot of water, and this super sharp butcher knife—no problem. Nope, I'm not busy at all, and it’s not a bit dangerous for you in here. I'm not trying to sustain life and nourish your growing body by feeding you, or anything.
Kids just love to be involved in the hustle and bustle of dinner making. Perhaps the most hectic part of the day is the witching hour, when mom and dad are desperately trying to get dinner on the table, when they are exhausted from a full day of work, and when they absolutely don't want their kids underfoot. But kids simply must insert themselves into every area of their parents' lives, and the kitchen is not to be an exception! There shall be no privacy here!
5 When Listening To Inappropriate Music or Watching Music Videos
Sometimes parents just want to listen to the uncensored version of their favorite rap song. They don't want to listen to the Kid's Pop version. They want to say 'shit' instead of 'stuff', and they want to sing 'lick' instead of 'like'. But, it can be a bit embarrassing when you are screaming some seriously dirty words in the shower at the top of your lungs and your kid walks in.
Even worse, you happen upon a particularly raunchy music video and you are watching it, just for curiosity's sake of course (I mean, how does that dancer get her hips to move like that?), and naturally your daughter walks in, right during a close up on the lead dancer's ass sticking up in the air.
Great. Now what do I do? Don’t address what she saw, change the channel quickly, and pretend I didn't just burn that image onto my impressionable child's retina? Yep.
4 When Attempting To Party Sans Kids
We parents know there is nothing more sought after, and often less attainable, than a night out on the town without the kids. Shoot, I'll even take a night in my backyard with some good friends, a couple of beers, and kids that actually stay in bed when I tell them to. In my opinion, adult night is like the Holy Grail for parents. We will do anything to let loose once in a while.
Sometimes that babysitter isn’t reliable though, or Grandma and Grandpa are on holiday in the Bahamas, and the parents can’t get away from the kids.
Parents often get looked down upon for bringing their kids to bars, but sometimes we just gotta let a little steam off too, you know? Cut us some slack! We need to drink a beer, watch a game, or shoot the shit with some friends. We don't lose our social needs when we have children. It's not like we want those little buggers at the bar with us! We just have no choice, and no privacy...
3 Trying To Get Any Kind Of Work Done
I literally move around the house attempting to avoid my kids so I can get work done. I have even been known to sneak into the garage, so that I can have five minutes of peace. My kids don't like the garage—they think it's creepy. There are Halloween decorations in there that might come to life. Like a good mother, I've told them they won't, but they don't believe me. That's fine with me, though. Freedom!
Still, oftentimes these kids will still find me wherever I might be hiding, and I will have to work with the sound of PJ Masks playing on my son's IPad in my right ear, my daughter singing Let It Go in my left ear, yet I still manage to get work done. It's only work that brings in money to put food on the table and toys in your rooms, but sure, keep bugging me, kids!
2 Remember When You Slept With Only Your Spouse?
I don't remember that either. Was it just a dream? I am dying to get my bed back to myself. My kids creep into my bed almost every night, and it drives me crazy. They absolutely refuse to respect the sacred space that is a husband and wife's shared bed. Sometimes I wonder how I let this happen, and then I remember the first time I caved, and it all comes back to me—like a nightmare.
"That's my spot!" my son yells at my daughter. "Get your stinky feet out of my face," my daughter yells back. The sound of my children’s angelic voices raised in irritation is so pleasant to fall asleep to, soothing really. The tugging of covers is a fun, relaxing game to play...a real bonding experience. And, nothing says well-rested like bags under your eyes or the ache in your back from the awkward sleeping position you've been forced into.
1 When You Were Sick And Your Kids Left You Alone To Rest
Not. Ha! When's the last time your kids gave you privacy to blow your nose and cough your lungs out in peace? They just want to help you feel better! So, the doctor says all you need is rest to get over that cold? That is the least likely thing to happen in a household where kids reign supreme, and you are simply their servant.
Sure, they will bring you some soup in bed, and a couple of sweet cuddles, but most likely they will wake you up ten times during your 'rest' to ask where their Buzz Lightyear is. They will also wake you five more times to ask, "Are you sleeping? Oh, You're awake! Do you feel better now?"
No, kid. I have only been sleeping for 3 minutes and 17 seconds, so no, I don't feel better yet. Could you give me some privacy to be sick in peace? Nope. Mom's don't get sick days, remember?