Whole Parenting Family

14 Ways Your Bathroom Looks Like You Have Kids

Dead giveaway. If you crane your neck to look past the baseball cards, unfolded underwear, used tape, and assortment of half-colored workbooks, and those weren’t the signal we have kids, welcome to my bathrooms.

We live in a big ole house with lots of bathrooms. Some are rarely used. Some are frequent favorites. But nearly all of them have one of these fifteen characteristics of people-with-kid-bathrooms.

1) hand towel on the ground.

It may be clean; it may be dirty. You just don’t know and don’t dare risk using it. It literally could have been anywhere. It’s also slightly damp.

2) garbage can missing.

It was loaded with unmentionables and taken out to the kitchen to be tossed with the rest of the garbage . . . last week sometime . . . and hasn’t made it back. So meanwhile, there’s a pile of used q-tips, wet-ones, and hair balls in the corner.

3) toilet paper not on roll.

It could be behind the toilet, on the back of the toilet, or set in the shower. But it’s not on the roll.

4) stool near toilet.

If you’re an adult, please, do not use the stool. It needs to be wiped down. Just kick it with your foot out of the way so you can make it to the toilet, semi-unscathed.

5) suspicious crusting near toilet paper roll holder.

Someone may have tried to wipe himself while waiting for a slow old mama to get the wet wipes to finish off a number 2 job. So anything that’s remotely crusted looking needs to be hosed down. Don’t touch it. It’s not chocolate.

6) bath toys anywhere but the bath.

Why do we buy these? Why do we let them get moldy and God forbid you have the ones that keep water inside to squirt out? I had to trash them. The questionable length of time water sits in there is . . . ugh.

7) toothpaste out, half squirted.

Two flavors in our house: strawberry or blueberry. And sometimes people want a combo. It’s like I run a dairy queen.

8) about 43 small tooth flossing thingies on the side of the sink.

Floss your kids’ teeth, they said. It will be fun for them, they said. Half the time they use them as weapons on each other and the other half, I’m toddling after them with it in my hand insisting, just let me hold your mouth still for one more second. The packaging looks more appealing to me the buyer than them the consumer.

9) nearly three dozen hair binders, but none the color your daughter wants.

Pink, or purple. God help the yellow and tan ones. Nobody likes them.

10) a diaper that was on someone, but not soiled, but still crunched up, maybe going to be used tonight.

Hey, trying not to waste here, people! These are our favs and compostable, so I don’t feel as bad when it’s not soiled but just . . . worn too well.

11) baby soap that some people ahem, me, like to use that shouldn’t so it’s always running low.

The half second the older kids are alone in the bathtub (don’t leave your kids unwatched! remember they can drown in a 1/2 inch of water), they douse themselves in it. Thanks for making such a great product, Molly. So great, it is almost too great.

12) baby towels with hoods no one uses but everyone fights over.

The baby is the only one small enough to even contemplate using these but it’s the middle two who fight like roosters over them.


13) stack of mismatched towels precariously perched, ready to be pulled asunder by a tot.

Yes, I also used to have matching towels without holes in them. Yes, I do store them in a separate drawer and only take them out for the guest bath, right, Haley? So the rest of the crew gets what they get.

14) an inset toilet seat that the toddler insistes he doesn’t need, but was probably peed on regularly for a few years, hanging out near the toilet. Close enough to smell, far enough away to look menacing.

Tell me your kid actually can get up and over his or hers and properly use it? This third potty trainer basically skipped it and has only fallen into the toilet (wet bottom only!) once.

Any tell-tale signs in your house?

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  1. Mara on April 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for the laugh!! So true though!

  2. Rachel Gillespie on April 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Hilarious. Glad to not be alone here. Every time we have a surprise visitor stop by, I rush upstairs to throw the toilet paper rolls (on the floor, behind the toilet, near the toilet) away, wipe down the sink and throw our GUC clothing (& maybe some skid-marked undies) into a hamper. I’m not sure if this is part of a bathroom with kids but we (all 8 of us) always have our pre-bath or pre-shower undies and clothes on the floor of the bathroom.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm


  3. Marietta on April 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    The squatty potty has been THE best potty training device ever (5 down, 1 to go!). No more potty chair or seat. It’s not really about how big the hole in the seat is, it’s how far away the floor is. Grownups can, ahem, use it too since it’s actually designed for adults. (Good for pelvic floor issues!) Our Costco sells them now. Plus they have the best ad I’ve ever seen. Search for it on Amazon and check out the video!

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 18, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      YES! We have one! We just have six bathrooms so it’s only the best helper in one of them haha

      • Celia on April 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm

        Nell, I’d die if I had to clean six bathrooms. I can’t even manage two. haha

        • Natural Mama Nell on April 23, 2017 at 4:54 pm

          HAHAHA I do die!!! And I only clean 3 regularly so the others are out of the way and not used as much, or so I would like to think!!

  4. sonrie on April 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Oh my goodness, that was hysterical!

  5. Leigh on April 18, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    My kids are fond of finger painting on the mirrors with liquid hand soap. In our powder room it comes from a penguin foam soap dispenser screwed to the wall (best thing ever).
    And so true about the stool. And the toothpaste.

  6. tacy on April 19, 2017 at 7:20 am

    So true and very funny. I don’t do “cleaning and deep-cleaning.” I do small, medium, and large cleaning. For me that designation is easier to wrap my mind around. When there is glitter all over the sink and a random little mess I can do a small clean. 😉

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm


  7. Elizabeth on April 19, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Hahaha. #1 especially!!! I wash so many towels unnecessarily because who-knows-where-it’s-been?
    In our main bathroom we have a squatty potty and a “next step” 2-in-1 toilet seat with the training ring built in!!!! It’s brilliant and I love it, but our 3-year-old insists on using the full-size seat. When Bea starts potty training, hopefully she’ll use it and it won’t have been a waste. 😛

  8. Celia on April 19, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Oh my goodness, Nell. I’m so glad I am not the only one with a bathroom like this. I hope and pray I don’t have unexpected visitors some days because while I’d be okay with them seeing dirty dishes I would prefer people not to be disgusted by my bathrooms.

    I’ll add another: When we lived in CA it got oddly (dangerously) quiet in our upstairs bathroom right around bedtime. One of my kids had poured an entire bottle of (expensive, natural) bubble bath on the floor to see what would happen. Said child received an education in floor-cleaning the next day and realized just how many bubbles a QUART of bubble bath can create. But then my bathroom floor was REALLY clean. Bahahaha. I have the best kids.

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 23, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Oh. My Gosh.!!!!!