Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living in a 1 Bathroom House in a 2 1/2 Bathroom World

Until I was 6 years old, I lived in a house with only 1 bathroom. My poor father had to share that bathroom with his wife and four daughters, three of whom were teenagers! Then we moved to a house with 2 1/2 baths. That must have been a dream come true for my dad!

Since then, I have always lived in a home that had at least 2 bathrooms. Even our townhouse in Virginia had 2 1/2 baths. That ended nine years ago when we moved into our current home. One bathroom. Three "men". And me.

My typical weekday morning goes like this: I get up and hop in the shower. While I'm in the shower, my husband comes in and uses the bathroom. Our bathroom happens to have a front door and a back door. As dear husband goes out the back door into our bedroom, my youngest son knocks on the front door so that he can come in to use the bathroom. I'm still in the shower. No one can flush the toilet while I'm showering because I'll either be scalded or frozen to death.

I finally exit the shower and get dressed. By this time, my oldest son is knocking on the front door so that he can come in and take a shower. While he's getting undressed, I'm at the sink with my back to him to ensure his privacy. As he gets in the shower, I open the back door so that the mirror doesn't fog up while I'm trying to do my make-up. (No fan in our bathroom.) As I'm drying my hair, my younger son comes back in to brush his teeth. I step away from the sink & mirror to let him brush, all the while still drying my hair. He leaves. I'm done drying my hair and my older son is done with his shower. Again, I keep my back to him as he dries off and gets dressed, and I work on fixing my hair just right. Then I have to step out of the bathroom to put on my hairspray because he has lots of allergies. Finally, I'm done.

I go downstairs to eat breakfast, have my coffee and take my vitamins. I then go back upstairs to brush my teeth. Now if my dear hubby has an early meeting to go to, he's in the shower by this time. So I go in the back door, leaving it open to combat the steam, and I brush my teeth.

This whole routine can really annoy me at times. I'm actually embarrassed to tell people that I live in a home with only 1 bathroom. After all, we live in America. The land of plenty! How is it possible that I live in a house with fewer than two bathrooms?

Then one morning last week I began thinking about Paulo, the little boy we sponsor through Compassion International, and about Andres, whom I'm still trying to find a sponsor for. What are their bathrooms like? Do they even have indoor plumbing? Do they have toilet paper and clean towels? How about soap and other toiletries that we consider necessities.

These thoughts were very humbling for me. How dare I complain when I am blessed to have hot water and a toilet in my home? (Even when that toilet doesn't stay very clean because my men have bad aim!) I have a shelf in my linen closet stocked with extra soap, shampoo, hairspray, cotton balls, lotions, etc.

My dear friends, remember to thank our Heavenly Father for your blessings. Especially for those things that you take for granted and that actually may irritate you from time to time. As the saying goes, "What's one man's junk is another man's treasure." Remember those who don't have what you do. Pray for them and be grateful for your "junk".


Faye said...

Leslie,This was a beautiful post. Hope you have a great day! Blessings

Sue J. said...

AMEN! And, even though that's quite a routine, you all seem to have it so well coordinated that it must work for you.

We grew up with one shower for the 4 of us girls and Mom and Dad. Although we did have a 1/2 bath downstairs, most of the time time when we were younger, Mom handled the hair styling in the kitchen. She used to PURR through our tangles (remember that electric comb thing from 1970-?), Q-Tip noses and ears, and we'd be off for school.

Like changing diapers and midnight feedings, you might find you miss these days down the road.

Kelly Combs said...

I loved this post Leslie. It's true, we are so blessed and don't even realize it.

So what would you say if I told you my house has 5 bathrooms? No kidding. Unfortunately there is only 1 downstairs and we're always all lined up for that one! Talk about too lazy to go upstairs!!!

I hope you & yours have a great Christmas time. I'm taking December off from blogging and will see you next year!

Heart2Heart said...


What a beautiful reminder that we often don't look at the situations of others when we are complaining about our own. I too, will never look at this the same way!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Andrea said...

It doesn't take much to knock you and I off our rocky horse pitty party and get our attention. We are truly blessed whether we have one or 4 bathrooms....lets face it...we have in door plumbing. I praise GOD for that every time I think about it. It scares me...literally to think HE might make me live without indoor plumbing. I am spoiled!
Love you, andrea