Surviving the Poopocalypse


You know what they say about best-laid plans? Well, things did not go as planned this week. I had time set aside after packing for my business trip to put the final edits on a post for my blog and was excited to start putting words on the page for my Richmond Moms Blog Post. I was all set to share about the virtues of going on day dates, but then: Poopocalypse happened.

So what is the Poopocalypse?

It was the culmination of a series of unfortunate events that left me elbows deep in you guessed it, POOP. My daughter told me when I first got home that the toilet wouldn’t flush, but it had to wait as I was making dinner. I didn’t think cooking and dealing with the toilet was a good combo. When dinner was done and I went in to check on things, everything looked normal. BUT time passed and someone used the toilet, and when it was flushed the water began to rise. The next thing to do was to plunge the toilet, but it did NOTHING. I checked the house to see if there was another, better plunger but I was not that lucky. I tried plunging the toilet again, and again, and again, but it did nothing.

At this point, I was getting nervous and needed to figure out what do next.

It was time to get all this extra water out of the toilet so I could see what was causing this situation. I grabbed an old cup and bucket (after washing up) to begin scooping out the old water. At this point, I started making multiple trips upstairs to dump the water from one toilet into the next. I was V-E-R-Y careful to keep things from being too full as I did not want dirty toilet water spilling down my stairs. Once the toilet was empty, I plunged again and tried to flush it again. Much to my despair, the toilet was STILL clogged and the water filled even higher. So began the fun of scooping and dumping the dirty toilet water. I also realized I was in over my head (thank goodness only metaphorically) and needed help.

I called in the reinforcements.

Also known as my husband who had been blissfully unaware working upstairs. He jumped right in to help calm me down, and thankfully he knew where our plumbing snake was located. He got to work snaking the toilet and thought it would be an easy fix. Turns out he had to snake the toilet not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. Eventually, the clog was cleared and things began to flush. We still do not know what our children put down the toilet, but at least it works.

Being a mom, you know that things will not always go as planned, but can you really prepare for a Poopocalypse?

I’m here to say that as a survivor you can. As one who has made it through the muck (elbow deep mind you), I’m here to guide you through to the other side. There are a few things you need and a few things you need to know.

Here’s what you need:

  1. Toilet Plunger – we all need one of these. Clogs will happen. Be prepared.
  2. A Plumbing Snake – clogs will inevitably happen where it’s a sink, tub, or toilet. There’s no need to call a plumber to snake your drain when you can do this yourself.
  3. Grit and Determination – when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Toilets have to work, you have to get this thing working. Do you want your child using a toilet that doesn’t work and adding to the existing mess?
  4. A willingness to call in reinforcements – I’m a woman who believes I can do anything I put my mind to and that I don’t need a man to help me. BUT there are times I have to accept that I don’t have all answers and that I do need help.
  5. Grace – we have to be kind to ourselves. I could say I should have handled the toilet problem earlier and it would have prevented the poopocalypse. But if I’m honest with myself, this situation could have happened regardless. What matters is that the problem has been handled.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The difference between a sink plunger and a toilet plunger – not all plungers are created equal. Make sure that if you’re battling a poopocalype of your own that you have more than a sink plunger, because this will NOT be large enough to handle the job.
  2. How to use a snake – it’s not difficult to use and does not require a plumber’s license. Buy one, and learn to use it before trouble hits.
  3. When you’ve reached your limits – we all have a limit. Some may be at our limit the moment the toilet cannot be plunged. Whatever your limit is, know it, and call for help.
  4. That you can do hard things – we are all more capable than we believe. No matter the situation, you can do more than you know.
  5. That you cannot leave the toilet seat open or at least unattended with small children – nothing is ever safe with little ones. I have a preschooler and a toddler, and one of them stuck something down my toilet. I have no idea which one, I have my bets, but I know the toilet is not safe with them alone.


From the survivor of one poopocalypse to the potential future victim, I wish you luck! I’ll share with you soon the value of day dates, but I’ve got a house to finish scrubbing. I may have contained the mess, but I’d like to mop the stairs for good measure.