Public Bathroom Manifesto


Recent events have inspired me to draft a Public Bathroom Manifesto. Don’t ask me for specifics because I’m in the middle of a delicate psychological process of erasing my memory of the entire experience.

To the Mama who changed her baby’s diaper at the changing station while my boys did their business, I have two things to say: (1) “I’m sorry.” Or, “Your welcome! Taking two curious little boys to the bathroom sure is funny! Glad we gave you a good laugh!” I have a feeling the former is more appropriate. (2) “Enjoy those poopy diapers, Mama. At least your baby isn’t touching the floor behind the toilet.”

I present to you, the Public Bathroom Manifesto.


Rule 1

Touch nothing.

Touch. Nothing.

Rule 2

Keep your private parts private.

Urinal etiquette withstanding, do not strip down and flash your junk until you are safely in a stall with the door closed and locked.  

Rule 3

Do not unlock or open the stall door until every person has made his or her private parts private again.

This almost always happens when Mama is on the toilet.

Rule 4 (boys only)

If the toilet is taller than your private parts, sit.  Or, for Pete’s sake, let your Mama lift you up a few inches.

Pointing your penis to the sky and hoping for the best is strategery at its worst.

Rule 5

Respect other people’s privacy.

Do not look for your Mama – who is having an unexpected and delightful moment of privacy – by getting on your hands and knees and peeking under every single stall until you find her.  

Rule 6

Wash your hands.  No really, wash your hands.  WASH. YOUR. HANDS.

There is no excuse, including “I didn’t touch my penis,” that will ever make hand washing optional.


Filed under public bathrooms, rules

3 responses to “Public Bathroom Manifesto

  1. Jillian

    Jen- this is the 1st time I read your blog. I love it. You are so right- The number of required glue sticks really made me wonder. And i didnt even bother with the 4 reams of copy paper- really? Like I could carry that too? But, I really appreciate how eloquently you describe the every day struggles. I question myself every day. My guilt stems from working 10 hour days, and coming home stressed out and wanting to be left alone even though the kids are desperate for my attention the minute I walk through the door. Anyway, I’m so glad I discovered your blog. Like you, I’m an honest mom. Sometimes I’m too honest about feeling constantly guilty, impatient and aggravated. So, reading your blog made me feel somehow less alone. Thanks Jen


  2. Hilarious! I was never a mom (except to a couple of rescue dogs and some stray cats) and I am not a big germophobe. I always marvel at “moms” composure in public restrooms.


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