I Just Want to Poop by Myself


why do kids love watching moms poop

I am a woman, and so I have a terrible relationship with my digestive system.

I think it’s hilarious when a doctor asks on a routine visit if I have any stomach problems. I have a vagina, so, yes, of course I do. Pretty sure that checkmark can auto-populate as soon as you select female on the form.

In my twenties, my stomach hated me. Those were the really healthy years when I measured my self-worth with how many times I went to the bathroom, but I refused to properly nourish myself in order to take that next step.

Sometimes my poop would respond by being stubborn like, We can sit here forever, I have nothing left to give. When that didn’t work, it was like, Okay, if you wanna keep changing your mind every day about what is normal to eat, I am going to show up whenever I want to and not even knock.

It was a rough time for us.

At least in those days, we had the time to spend together, alone, to find a truce over a cup of coffee, a good trashy magazine, sometimes a cigarette.

In my early thirties, I suffered from dietary schizophrenia. I was wiser, understood living a long life has something to do with proper nutrition, but I also had years of bad habits that maintained some allure, like some weird bond you can’t break because it was so formative. I bounced from healthy, to unhealthy, to healthy, and back.

Then just before children, I think I finally reached a good place and stayed there. In some ways, the damage was done, but I finally stopped saying, What the hell is wrong with my stomach? and started to realize, Hmmmm, maybe it’s not my poop; maybe it’s me.

Since having kids, I don’t spend a whole lot of time alone. I am mostly fine with this, the only exception being when I have to sit down on the toilet to poop. In an ideal world, this would be once a day for about five minutes.

Dare to dream.

“Just lock the door,” my husband always says, when he comes to help shoo my audience.

“I did lock the door,” I say, as I shut and lock it again and remind him that our kids can pick a lock before they can even tie their shoes.

Even when I manage to block their re-entry, there is no soundproofing their enthusiastic squeals coming through the door that are totally my fault…

“Mama! Is it a SNAKE or BABY HEDGEHOGS?!”

They never bother my husband. It’s like mama going to the bathroom sets off some instinctual response in them. For a moment they may not have immediate access to me and they jump into survival mode.

When the giggles fail, the guilt seeps through the tiny crack of space beneath the door.

“We just want to keep you company,” they bemoan.

As I write this, I am at café. There is a young couple in front of me. He just got served an adult-sized plate piled with French toast, covered with nuts and fruit and a side of fried potatoes. In front of her is a toddler-sized serving of scrambled eggs, with parsley on the side.

And I think – God, women are weird. What is wrong with us?… I wonder if she gets to poop by herself.

I wish I could sit my kids down and suction cup all the enthusiasm for my poop right out of them. I’d bottle it up like fireflies to have on hand when I’m 80 and actually need someone to wipe my a$$. Pretty sure the light will go out by then.

And then I will finally be all alone, in the dark, with my poop.


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Amy is a technologist by trade and a writer by nature. Wife to a dashing web designer, mother to a beautiful, thoughtful daughter, adorable, slightly less civilized son, and a Yorkshire Terrier who came first and is still waiting for the non- furry babies to leave. As a work-from-home mom, she believes work/life balance is not a concept but a daily (sometimes exhausting) goal. She is always in search of a community that fosters her belief that sameness is boring, money is only a means to see the world and there are no rules we should impose on one another in this life other than Be Kind. She loves her family, lives to travel, and firmly believes that a homemade meal, a handmade cocktail and an episode of the Bachelor (a day late because she doesn’t own a tv) can cure almost anything.


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