"The day a grown woman filled three toddler nappies." The parenting story you must read.

Sitting in her parked car next to a busy walking track, her bursting bladder threatening to give way any minute, Melbourne mother-of-two, Adele Barbaro, had a very difficult decision to make.

She had already exhausted the idea of peeing outside (there was a hockey game going on in the pitch next to her) and failed to find a public toilet closer to the walking track.

But in her immediate grasp were a few of her three-year-old son, Harvey’s toddler-sized diapers.

Adele knew what she had to do.

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Sharing her story with her 20,000 Instagram followers, Adele said that there were a couple of factors that led to this ‘situation’: she’d been trying to up her water intake to three litres a day – and had forgotten to go to the loo before leaving the house.

“As I drove away from home, I realised I hadn’t been to the loo, which is usually part of my leaving-the-house-routine. But I didn’t feel like I needed to go, so I carried on,” she wrote in the caption of her photo.


“When we arrived, Chloe had done a poop. So I had to change her in the boot of the car and whilst getting on a fresh nappy, I realised a wee was coming. I thought about packing everything back into the car and heading home but I was pretty sure there was a public toilet along the walking track, so I popped her in the stroller and off we went.”

After a few minutes of walking, Adele realised that she really needed to pee, so she “picked up the pace” to get to the public toilet faster.

There was only one problem.

That imagined public toilet, wasn’t in fact a public toilet, but instead a storage shed.

Oh no.

“And with that, I realised I was in trouble. I walked for a couple of minutes more and thought about going in the bushes,” she wrote.

“There was a few times I nearly did but bike riders would come out of nowhere or the footy team would conveniently stop and stretch.”

But now Adele was busting.

She tried to convince herself that she didn’t need to pee with a “motivational head talk.”

It didn’t work.

Then she began walking from “the knees down”.

Taking breaks, she tried to tell herself that she would make it.

“I had no idea where ‘make it’ was though. And no idea what I was going to do when I got to the car,” she told her followers.

“I found my keys, had my finger on the button to open the door and I prayed for a water bottle or a cup or anything floating around in the car.”

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Now, 100 metres from her vehicle, Adele was “in pain”.

“The faster I walked, the worse it became,” she recalled.

“I was slowly tip toe-ing through the car park. I got to the car and like that, I couldn’t hold anymore.

“The effort to open the car door and search for something to pee in, took away from my efforts to hold the litre of water in my bladder and it started coming out.”

It was then that she found her unexpectant saving grace – a bunch of Harley – her three-year-old son’s spare nappies, hiding in the glove box.

So, in front of her daughter as other spectators watched the hockey game in their parked cars around her, Adele flared out a nappy, shoved it down her pants and slowly peed into it.

She noticed her daughter, too young to understand what was going on, stare at her with a “bewildered” expression.

“And I just sat there, pretending to watch the game while other spectators watched from cars around me. Someone even gave me the head nod as we caught eye contact,” she wrote.

“I learnt when I went for pregnancy ultra sounds that you could stop peeing at any time if you needed to and with this new skill, I stopped, removed the nappy, put another on and continued what was the most mortifying but relieving moment I can remember.

“And that day was the day a grown woman filled three toddler nappies.”


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Speaking to Mamamia, Adele said that although she easily shares most of her parenting wins and fails, this “nappy incident” was different.

“I couldn’t even tell my husband. But I knew so many women will have been in the same boat!” she said.

“I wanted to show an honest insight into motherhood when there is so much on social media which is unrealistic. This includes the good, the bad and the down right humiliating. I think it helps Mums (and dads) know they are not alone.”

And when Adele finally came clean to her husband – this did happen in his car after all, he took it all in good humour.

“He laughed when I eventually told him. When he got over the shock that I peed in our sons nappies, in his car,” she said.

You can follow Adele Barbaro on Instagram @real-mumma and Facebook too.