Welcome to the Tales of a Kitchen Witch Blog.

JoniRae.com is also the home of the Gentle Parenting Colouring Book and Goddess Dolls, and original artwork by Joni Rae Latham, so remember to check out the Gallery and Shop while you're here.

Ode to the Loo

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



The loo is the one thing I cannot imagine parenting without.  Besides the obvious necessary uses for it, the bathroom is also my refuge.  It is the one place in this house with a lock on the door.  The one place I can take a minute of solitude and regroup before going out to face the hoard of small, sticky fingered, jam covered people waiting outside the door. 
Once during the course of cleaning out the bathroom cupboards I found fourteen paperback books.  I also found my favorite tube of lipstick behind the toilet.  Someone ate it.  I hoped it was the dog, but it could have been any of the short people I live with.
Don’t get me wrong, stay at home mommies have it good.  We get to work in our pajamas.  We can miss a shower and no one cares.  Sometimes there are even naps.  There is also constant access to cable and the internet, if you have them, and best of all? We get to spend all of our time with our little ones.  We can watch them grow and kiss their hurts and just BE with them…
I adore my children, I have a good life and I am happy.  The only sucky thing is that as a stay at home mommy there are no breaks for a cup of coffee or lunch.  There is never time off because “Mommy” is a twenty-four hour a day job.  And sometimes, when I have reached my limit and I am completely touched out, I need a few minutes to cool off.  So I lock myself in the bathroom.  I sit there and try not to hear the tiny fists beating a tattoo on the door…  I check twitter, read a chapter of a book, or sometimes just examine my pores in the mirror. 
It is hard, especially when the chanting “mommy? MOM? Mommy?” starts and OMG I can see tiny fingers reaching under the door for me (no wonder I have a zombie thing).  But taking a few minutes for a time out helps me cool down and I believe helps me parent better. 
Last week someone locked the bathroom door.  It has one of those little holes for punching out the lock, so I never thought about what would happen if it was accidentally locked.  Luckily, no one was inside, because I soon found out you can’t punch the lock out with a pin or stick.  And unfortunately, at the time I was in desperate need of a pee.  There I was, legs crossed as tightly as possible, jiggling up and down and trying not to pee my pants as I tried to unscrew the knob as quickly as I could.  I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but finally with one desperate wrench, I yanked the knob apart and got in there in the knick of time.  I was dreading putting it back together.  I put it off until this afternoon.  To my surprise, it was actually easy to figure out and I swear I heard a chorus of Halleluiah when I shut and locked the door for the first time in days.  

I don’t have any fantastic parenting books, tools or methods for you- no new-fangled devices or theories.  My sanity saver is a good old-fashioned “time out”.  Only…  For me, not the littles.  Give me a book, a cell phone and ten minutes of peace and quiet behind a locked bathroom door and you will find me a better mother at the end of the day.   


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at born.in.japan, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.

18 Responses to Ode to the Loo

  1. Oh, man, this was hilarious! I absolutely LOVE it when I can get a moment in the bathroom alone. (Unfortunately, usually my kid is right on my heels, but sometimes my husband will blessedly distract him!)

  2. For future reference: Straighten out a paperclip and keep it in a safe spot. Use it to unlock that kind of door. Yep, I know from experience. LOL.
    Had to laugh about the little fingers under the door. Although my first thought when my son did that was “Omg, you’ll get your fingers stuck!”

  3. HAHAHA. I am so glad to have discovered your blog! Such a refreshingly comic voice:) My daughter’s still young enough that if I’m at home alone with her, she often comes to the bathroom with me and plays on the floor. But a couple nights ago, I definitely handed the baby to the husband, took a novel into the bathroom with me, and didn’t look up till 2 entire chapters had gone by. Ahhh. So relaxing, that private bathroom/reading time.

  4. I love the image of you trying to get the locked door open with crossed legs!

    My son is still young enough that he comes to the bathroom (and in the tub) with me. SOMEDAY I hope to take a bath by myself again!!!

  5. You’re so funny! I love that you’ve so embrassed being a SAHM and making it work for you… Even if it does require spending a lot of time with a toilet! I couldn’t handle it — I went back to work part-time when my son was 10 months.

  6. Oh this post made me laugh and cry and nod!!

    The loo in the ONLY place where I have half a chance to breathe in solitude -this does not mean ‘quiet’, only solitude!

    Brain space lives in the toilet…nice!!


  7. You have a zombie thing, too? My husband loves zombie movies, and while I can take them or leave them, my twins remind me of nothing as much as cute zombies taking hesitant, shuffling steps toward me– coming after my boobs, though, not brains– and yes, sticking their fingers under the bathroom door when I’m inside.

    Great post, and so so true!

  8. Seriously?
    The toilet is the biggest source of frustration for me as a parent. We’re an open door family so my daughter tends to follow me in there, which means I haven’t had a private toilet moment for almost three years now.
    And when we had an apartment in Brussels last week, it became even more frustrating, as the water thing was on the side and she would pull it while I was on it… sigh

  9. Oh Yes, I’ve locked myself in the bathroom several times in the past few weeks. It is the only place in the house I can be alone.
    We mama’s need solitude throughout the day to be able to mother our children the way we want and know we can.

    I always enjoy coming to your blog. Your so real. I feel like we could be friends in real life.

  10. So I KNOW it makes me a better mommy. Whether I hide in the “loo” or at the local coffee shop or under the covers, I know breaks allow us to find a peace. Or as it were, a piece of our minds lost :)
    Thanks for the great perspective!

Leave a Reply to Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction Cancel reply