Going To The Bathroom or Why Bothering People Is A Good Thing

On my flight back from Denver to Atlanta on Tuesday morning, I found myself settled happily  in the window seat. Until, I needed to go to the bathroom. Doing so means inconveniencing Aisle Typist and Middle Seat Business Person and, as I glanced up considering my exit, a drink cart and two flight attendant three rows up, advancing quickly. I think. As a mom, there have likely been moments when you have desperately needed to pee but cannot quite get to the bathroom. But my child isn't with me on this trip. I consider for another moment and get up. "Excuse me," I say to MSB. "How are you going to get back?" MSB asks. "I don't know," I reply and keep moving.

I walk down the aisle and happily slide into the bathroom. A quick peepee and I'm on my way. As I get closer, the flight attendent sees me coming and backs up a few rows. "Thank you," I say to her. "You're welcome," she says with a really nice smile. AT and MSB clumsily move out to allow me back to my window. MSB remains standing and after a brief hesitation, heads in the direction from which that I just came.

As I type this, I'm smiling. There wasn't any bravery or real risk taking in deciding to head to the bathroom on a very full plane but I'm still secretly thrilled that I did it. I wasn't going to! I figured, I could wait. I always wait to pee. In the middle of a conversation, carrying a toddler, no public bathroom, said toddler blocking the toilet, whatever. I always wait. But I didn't this time. And I felt worlds better, happy even. Two days later, I remember the good glow and that MSB decided to risk it.

We worry too much about bothering other people. I know I do. You likely do too. But we need to put that worry aside, especially when it comes to our own needs...even ones as "basic" as getting up to use the bathroom. When we do put that worry aside, we get a double header of goodness back at us: our right to feel loved, satisfied and successful are immediately affirmed AND people around us throw us a little more respect. They may not say anything but we don't need them to, do we? Putting aside this worry is especially important for moms. You may have littles at home (or bigs!) but your needs are still important. You still count.

So, go to the bathroom more often! Tell that toddler you have the right to potty too! Go for coffee with a friend! Hire a babysitter so you and partner can get out more (working on this one myself)! Whatever it is, do it. Take a step toward your own needs. And lower those bother-sensing antennae.

Did you do it? What was it? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

Posted on February 26, 2015 and filed under Culture & Society, Mothering, Self-care.