Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Bathroom Dilemma

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I have a confession to make.

This confession may shock some of you. It will possibly horrify others. I have no idea. Maybe you won't think it's a big deal. I don't know. It's kind of a big deal here, and I spend way too much time thinking about this.

So here's my confession.

Our house only has one bathroom.

I'll let you take a moment to let that sink in.

One bathroom. 6 bums. You do the math.

Granted, it's a big bathroom. When I post bubble bath pictures of the kids in the jacuzzi, it always creates a small "bathroom envy" riot. When those comments start rolling in, I always whisper to myself, "You have no idea". It is so frustrating at times to only have the one bathroom. I would trade that tub in a heartbeat to be able to have two toilets.

Here's the truth. We bought the house long before we had any kids (or were even thinking of having kids). We (I) LOVED the fabulous bathroom and it really was a dream for young and married with no kids.

We added one kid and it was still the dream (Addison took forever to potty train so it just wasn't an issue). Added two kids and it wasn't bad. It is a huge bathroom with two sinks, a separate shower and bath, and the space was easily shared.

When that third child became potty trained...it was a stretch but not too bad...but then Addison finally decided to join the party and holy fighting over the toilet, batman.

I will spare you the details (I started typing out a specific story and then decided no....just NO...you're welcome), but this has caused me quite a bit of angst. (Especially since the boys have decided to become competitive poopers. Side note and totally unrelated: when I grow up I have decided not to have any kids.)

Not to mention that Addison needs a bit more time than the average 7-year-old and cannot "hold it and wait" (learned this the hard way).

I have been obsessing over this all week, and it just won't let me go. For three reasons.

1. We just had a contractor come over and give us a quote for splitting the one bathroom into two. (I would miss that kidney.)

2. I just posted a bubble bath picture of the kids which generated a lot of new comments about my bathroom. (the issue already fresh on my mind)

3. Morgan is (and has been for a while) ready to start taking her turn on the toilet. (the nerve of that child!!!!) (-;

Now if you will remember correctly (I hope you don't remember this too specifically), when Morgan was a baby, we took a stab at selling our house. Lots of lessons learned...lots of prep work done....it just wasn't to be at that time for a million reasons.

Now we are at the point where we are thinking of trying this again because in addition to the toilet needs...there are also space needs (I run my music teaching studio out of the house). BUT this is possibly a year(ish) out and that's why we had the contractor come by. However because of the price of doing this, it would tie us to this house for a lot longer than perhaps would work for us. The bathroom situation would be solved...but not the space problem...and we couldn't move in such a short time frame without losing 90% of the money we just put into a fresh new bathroom.

Long story short, this has left me stewing all week about our bathroom situation.

It is ridiculous. It is impossible. And I'm not sure where I went wrong that left me in this tangled situation? We lose if we put in the new bathroom. We lose if we don't. (Adulthood is fun.)

This super mature pity party led me to a seasonally-themed thought that made me quite uncomfortable.

Contentment.

Can I be content with one bathroom? Even though we are working on changing this situation, this is where God has us right now...today. This has been my inner dialogue pretty much all week:

Well, I don't have to be content because it's not working for what our family needs.
Isn't it? 

Everyone else has two bathrooms plus.
Do they? And why does this matter?

Pinterest says---
Pinterest lies

The pictures on Instagram--
Don't care.

I NEED this RIGHT NOW...
Do you? Do you really? Have you ever gone without?

Well...no....but...
Has God ever failed to supply for every one of your needs?

No...but...
Is God a good God?

Of course...but...
No buts. This is where he has you today. Not forever. But for today. Can you be content with that?

Well I....
No excuses. Can you? Can you find contentment right where he has placed you?

BUT I HAVE FOUR KIDS AND I NEED TWO TOILETS!
How many people would love to have just one? How many people would give anything for running water? You have two sinks...a shower...a bathtub that the kids love. Stop it. You are being ungrateful.

Ungrateful? But...

Because isn't that so true of the lack of contentment? It really goes back to gratitude for what we have? Not what we think we should have or what we think we deserve or what we think would work better for us.

Right here. Right now. Walking into the one bathroom that clearly has been written into today's plan for my life....and being grateful.

Can I do this?

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. I Tim 6:6-7

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:10

Not that I speak in respect to want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Phil. 4:11

I went to look up verses on contentment, and I found a lot of verses on Paul being beaten and shipwrecked and flogged and persecuted....and content. The more I read, the more I realized...having "only" one bathroom is not a problem.

Not even a little bit.

Remembering this, I look around my bathroom and see not a lack. Healthy and free to live my life, surrounded by healthy, vibrant children...I see a room that serves us well. I see the running water that liberally flows whenever I turn a knob. And as hot as I want it...as often as I want it. The toilet...the most unglamorous job that ever was...that works so well (as long as we keep children from stuffing wipes down it). The shower that has ended a thousand of my days. The tub that keeps my children clean. Even a nice wide open floor for all the dirty laundry that gets tossed there.

As I remember to look at what IS and not what I think SHOULD be...I am grateful.

And this gratitude is the soap that I pour into the kids' bath that quickly bubbles up into large, frothy bubbles of contentment.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. Being thankful takes so many shapes and sizes. For me this year....it is about the bathroom dilemma. But really...it's always something. I am thankful for lessons learned along the way, and for what IS. This year I am thankful for...one bathroom. So grateful.

May your day be perfectly imperfect....stuffed with gratitude...slathered with contentment....shared with those that you love.

Thanks for traveling this crazy thing called life with us.

xo, Deanna

20 comments:

  1. We have 4 bathrooms / 2 bums

    Sorry :)

    [empty nesters]

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    1. LOL now I know where to ship some of the extra bums kicking around here (-;

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    2. Not helpful but years & years ago families of 6,7,8+ lived with one bathroom and an insufficient one at that..one sink, small bath/ shower combo...just sayin' we have a kid who has "issues" & spends forrrrrrrver on the pot so I am thankful for a second toilet😁

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    3. Yup! Such a great historical perspective. And same with Addison....which is part of the reason why this is such an issue refusing to leave me alone. Oh well...one day at a time over here. Thankful for what is!

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  2. If it helps any, I grew up the oldest of 5 kids (plus 2 parents) with only one bathroom. I mostly remember waking up extra early so I could shower with hot water and then going back to bed as a teen. When I was 16 my parents finally added on to the house, creating a master bedroom and bathroom (for just them, the nerve). So it is doable... don’t let that be what breaks you.

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    1. Definitely not breaking me! Using it as an opportunity to focus on being content with exactly has been provided for me. It's all about perspective sometimes and writing it out is so helpful for me.

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  3. I feel your pain, we too only have 1 bathroom and usually there is only 2 bums but when we have our family down (6 adult kids) and 7 grandchildren it is a mess!!!!! Thank goodness we live in the country and we can always pee outside!!!!

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    1. LOL I will admit to sending the boys outside when it's not freezing outside! Shhh don't tell the neighbors. (-;

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  4. Honestly I so can feel you. When I was growing up we had 1 1/2 baths for 6 people. And having 3 older sisters I never got in the bathroom before having to wait a long time. But we survived. I can also honestly say that this post has come right at the moment when I am doing a study about Paul and the Philippians. Isn't it funny how God puts things in place to make His Point. I highly recommend Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado it would so go along with what you are going through.

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  5. I grew up in a house with one small bathroom, six kids and two adults! Go figure my parents but a second potty in after 2 of us we’re off to college! It was a lot of sharing, hurrying up and showering to get us all out the door and somehow we survived— it wasn’t pretty but we managed! Did I mention my parents gave up the master bedroom for the 4 boys to share a room! Now as adults we giggle and reminisce about our younger years of “sharing” and making do. Thankfully we all turned out all right and we all have homes with at least 2 potty’s for half as many bums! Good luck with house hunting... maybe plant a tree and watch it “grow” in the spring? I hear it’s a good fertilizer... ��

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    1. LOL to planting a tree. The sharing part and learning to take turns in the one bathroom is a very healthy thing. You bring up a legit point! (-;

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  6. Yes! I needed this. We have 6 people in our house (2 adults and 4 kids) and only 1 large bathroom. It's all about being content. While I would love to have more space, and another bathroom, we are a happy and healthy family. :)

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  7. Total stream of consciousness (and not directly at you, but rather the circumstances you've outlined here which we all find ourselves in the midst of).....

    We were a household of 6 when I was growing up, and we only had one bathroom (and one toilet). Nobody thought a single thing of it. In fact, I can't remember a single conversation all the way up through my teen years where anybody talked about my bathroom or compared bathrooms, except maybe from a picture somebody saw in a magazine and wished they had more counter space. Back then, we didn't have the constant barrage of comparisons we now have thanks to social media being - literally - available (and utilized by some) every single moment of our lives. Not only do we feel a need to compare, but we also feel a need to measure up, to present our lives and have people comment that we're 'worthy' and that what we have is not only adequate but envious. This is an overarching issue that - if we allow it - could dictate our desires and our decisions for the rest of our lives. (this scares the crap out of me)

    I think, and any thinking person has to think and know that there is a distinction between *needing* a new bathroom because what you have truly isn't adequate for your needs (it sounds like this is the case for you), and feeling that you need something because everybody else on FB, IG and Pinterest has 2+ bathrooms and 'what will people think' if they find out you only have one (just an example, again not directed at you). You are very right to point out that many would die for one bathroom with adequate water, electricity, privacy and overall safety. We all have so much already and yet, I'm afraid this constant comparison game has caused us to feel that what we have less than ever. And I have learned through my own experiences online - and my own personality - that what I have will never ever ever be good enough. This is why I limit myself hard on social media. Otherwise the jealousy eats me alive.

    Side note: I have always been one to worry what somebody is going to think of my house when coming over. I'm happy to say that finally (it only took me into my early 40's) to realize that I've been looking at it wrong all along....if I need to worry what somebody is going to think of my house, do I really want them coming over in the first place? Total mindshift = so much more freedom.

    {sorry for the novel! --- and I sincerely hope I didn't say anything here that is personally offensive to you because I did not intend it that way.} ♥

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    1. Oh goodness not offensive at all! I completely agree with you 100%! In fact, this was the original direction I was going to take my post, but then decided to keep it more focused in on the one specific thing that I am learning instead of an overall "social media" slant. This is a huge issue in today's society, and I am not innocent here. Letting the picture and inspiration posts dictate where we "think we should be" is dangerous and grounds for so much discontent. And I agree with your distinction that sometimes there is a "need" and sometimes an "imagined need because of social media". So many awesome points here, and I agree with you 100%. It's tough to share every single angle of something like this in one post, so I appreciate you bringing all of this up. Such an important issue!

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  8. A blessedly happy Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family! (We were three teenagers with one bathroom and it wasn't an issue!)

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  9. Since your bathroom is large, maybe you can add a toilet - two toilets in one room. Not ideal for adults but could help with the kids. Also, my friends have a bathroom with a regular toilet and a urinal. Maybe that would be easier to add.

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  10. Holy moly. All I can say is YOU NEED TWO TOILETS. I can't believe you've made it this long!!!!!!!!!!! DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET TWO TOILETS. We have three toilets for 4 people and I can't imagine the extra potty training accidents we would have had with only one!!!!

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  11. Ok, I get this post is about contentment but I'm of a practical nature and can't resist the suggestion of a potty (you know, a stand alone smallish plastic one for potty training toddlers). I used to carry one around in my car when I was potty training my kids (they would never use a public restroom).

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