Friendship in the toilet over age-old parenting dilemma: 'Not my fault I have boundaries'

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images 

No one enjoys having little people join them in the bathroom. 

For many parents, peeing in peace is one of those wistful memories relegated to their child-free life, much like being able to sit down while they eat, drinking hot tea or sleeping through the night.

But for one mum, it's the one rule she won't budge on and only a house fire or similar emergency warrants her three kids interrupting her on the loo. 

So strong is her stance that it's recently cost her a friendship. 

As she explained on Reddit, while she had been quick to throw out many of her pre-child ideas of parenting, one that stuck was peeing in peace

"When my kids became toddler age and could understand, I told them unless they're bleeding or the house is on fire, don't bother me in the bathroom. Anything else can wait. It did take a few times of the door jiggling or them passing me things but eventually they stopped and learned the boundary," she writes.

"My kids are now eight, five and three. I have a friend with a kid who's also three. We were talking about the kids and she told me 'yeah, I haven't peed alone since (child) learned to walk'.

After explaining that she 'nipped' that in the bud early on, she was shocked when her friend told her that was mean.

"I said no, it's setting a boundary. My eight-year-old would hate it if I walked in on her. She said that we should always be accessible to our kids. I said if it's truly an emergency, they know to tell me. She kept arguing and finally I said, 'It's not my fault I have boundaries with my kids. You don't. That's cool.'

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Many on Reddit agreed it was an important boundary to set, and one that would teach her kids independence in the long run.

"Had the same boundaries with mine. Alongside 'don't talk to me through the door if it can wait. I don't mind you coming to the bathroom door to ask I'm nearly done because you need it. I don't need to hear what you want your barbie to wear at that precise second'," said one mum.

"You didn't jump straight to 'disrespectful'. She did when she made it sound like you don't care about your kids."

"She needs to learn the phrase: different parents, different rules," added another.

While one parent said the mum said she should stick to her convictions. 

"Also, to be clear, it is your fault that you have boundaries. It is your choice that you have set a healthy boundary. That's a good thing; don't be afraid to take responsibility for it," they said.

"Your friend is trying to rationalise her lack of boundaries by justifying it with healthy-sounding motives, but don't be fooled. Her children may grow up with boundary issues, if her choices continue similarly."

However one commenter argued that mums should always be there for their kids, no matter the inconvenience. 

"Choosing to be there for your kids whenever they reach out for you while they're little doesn't actually do those things though. It's not detrimental and you can have very independent children while still rocking them to sleep until they don't want it anymore or while making yourself available to them whenever they want while they're too young to understand," they said.

"What is detrimental is being an ass about your chosen parenting style and acting like any other way is wrong, mean, or not good enough just because it isn't what worked for you."