We Only Have One Bathroom


American Horror Story: Freak Show

Do I have two heads? Well some people look at me like I do when they find out we only have one bathroom. It happens often.

After the gasps, they usually follow with this comment:

“I don’t know how you did it.”

Which actually means:

“Wow. That sucks. Your life sucks and I am so happy I don’t have to deal with your horrid living situation because I know I couldn’t survive that.”

I’m usually polite but in my head I’m rolling my eyes.


The Tina Fey eye roll. Works everytime.

Well, for those lacking the ability to comprehend how a family can possibly live with only one bathroom, THIS is how we do it:


In Living Color, the show where Jim Carrey was just the white guy and JLo was one of the back up dancers.

  1. Before taking a shower, ask if anyone needs to use the bathroom.
  2. Modified shotgun rules apply. You don’t have to be within site of the toilet to call it, but you should be in site of the house. For example, when returning home and pulling into the parking spot, that is when calling it is permitted. But not an hour before. C’mon now.
  3. In cases of urgent need, give up your legally obtained, valid place in line. That’s just the right thing to do.
  4. Understand that washing and elimination are the two main activites that must be done in the bathroom. Other activities — drying, brushing or combing out, flat ironing, curling, or braiding one’s hair and also applying makeup can, should, and will be done elsewhere.

    The Waterboy and his Mama

  5. If you are engaging in non-bathroom essential activities see Rules 3 and 4 above, and step aside (um, Get Out!).
  6. Again, in case of urgent need, be willing to share. There have been times when one girl is in the shower and the other is on the “pot.” (That’s what my mother calls it.) tenor-2
  7. Become a nighttime shower person. That whole — bath time before bed — doesn’t have to stop at puberty. In fact, it can quite relaxing.
  8. Improvise.


My son has always been a resourceful young chap, and he is, you know, a boy. His anatomy is conducive to certain alternative elimination arrangements. Much more so than me and his sisters.

I only found out about this recently. I promise. Like in the last couple of years. The girls were fussing over some bathroom violation and the boy just laughed, shrugged, turned to me and said,

“I don’t have this problem. I have my own bathroom.”

“Say what?” I asked.


“My window.”

When I began to breathe again and my head stopped spinning it was confirmed that years ago my boy child had, at times, peed out his window.


From The Waterboy. Mama was having the brain pain.

I can’t imagine this was truly necessary. Or that it happened often. In fact I can’t imagine it at all. It must be a boy thing, given, again, the anatomy. Talk about male privilege . . . heh heh heh

I did not condone this activity. I didn’t even know about it.

To be fair, you should know that the adjacent house on his window side was an abandoned foreclosure. So he didn’t pee at anyone’s home. Notably, that house has since been flipped and though it’s a twin and smaller than our’s it is now worth much more. Likely because they added a BATHROOM! . . . but I digress . . .

Anyway, my point is that, yes, a family can live with only one bathroom. It is not the end of the world. It does not make them freaks. Ask New Yorkers, San Franciscans, people outside of the United States, your parents or grandparents, or those tiny house folks. It builds character, patience, law and order, teaches people to be considerate of others and yes, at times, requires resourcefulness.

Do you hear me HGTV? We haven’t bravely “survived” living with one bathroom, as if it were akin to living under a bridge or in a circus tent.

It’s really not that big a deal.


Just Me With . . . just one bathroom in my house. And one boy — with one window in his room.

What is it with this house and urine placement?

Piss, Puke, and Porn

Toilet or Kitchen Sink — Who Can Tell?

My Love Affair with Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bathroom

I’ve blamed HGTV before . . .

Double Sinks in the Master Bath – Must We Have Them? Really? Part I

My Refrigerator Broke. Do I Really Need a Fancy, Stainless Steel, New One?

An Argument Against the Open Floor Plan

10 responses

  1. We also live with only one bathroom in the house. I live with my two boys- now 20 and 16. Moved in 10 years ago. Helps that despite this single bathroom my 1952 1280 sq ft 3 bedroom ranch (i.e. a very small house) on 1/4 acre is worth around $850K (bought it for 400K) thanks to our location 6 miles from Boston. Take that HGTV people who live places where you get a literal mansion for $500K!

    One of my coping methods for this one bath situation is that the other three families who lived in this house with kids survived, so could we! Also, we never lock the bathroom door when taking a shower, so if absolutely necessary the shower curtain can provide necessary privacy!

    1. See that? You are sitting on a gold mine! But per HGTV standards your house has no value and is darn near uninhabitable. I would (and did) give up on some amenities to be where I wanted to be. And in old cities like Boston where there is little room for new construction housing subdivisions and where houses are well over 100 years old, well you get what you get and adapt. I was raised in a house with one bathroom. Mom, Dad, and three kids. We “survived.” My mom was pregnant with number two when they knowingly moved into a house with one bathroom. The HGTV families would demand 2.5 baths at least when a second child arrives — or the first. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to have another bathroom, but I can and have lived without one and I’m not the only one. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I love this! After divorce we went from 3 bathrooms to one, in an old 1935 house with no shower. Still has the old claw foot tub. The teens and I adapted quickly survived just fine–just like we all did when I was a kid. I think bathrooms with tons of room and multi-functions are way over rated. Just get in and get out. I do wish this one didn’t have a big hole in the floor, but I covered it with hexagon fabric and I’ll fix it someday when I have the funds.

    1. We have the old claw foot tub as well. I added the shower to it. I agree, no one actually needs a bathroom big enough to host a dinner party. I think my kids were better prepared for college and shared bathrooms. No big deal for them — ha!

  3. Nope. Couldn’t do it. Hell, my husband and I go on vacation… I book a 2 bathroom condo.

  4. We started with one bathroom in our first home and after the almost divorce lol…we now have two and we wished we would have looked for a house with three…our son though now just started college…

  5. We also live with one bathroom in the house so i can imagine the drama😄

  6. My husband has gastrointestinal issues that cause him to spend several hours in the bathroom a day. We’ve lived in a few apartments with only one bathroom before and it was a nightmare. While looking for houses, if there wasn’t two bathrooms, it was an automatic no. For us, two bathrooms is essential!

    1. Ohh that’s a really good reason to require two bathrooms. I often feared someone having food poisoning or something and the rest of the family not having any place to “go” literally. I wouldn’t be mad if I had two bathrooms, not gonna lie. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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