Restrooms in ritzy department stores aren’t just filled with rows of stalls and sinks. The best have actual sitting rooms with names like the Powder Room, Ladies Quarters, or simply the Women’s Lounge.

The downtown Seattle Macy’s restroom has a grand lounge. Next to the vintage stalls and sinks there’s a circular room filled with a string of arm chairs. Some days almost every spot is occupied with old women, sitting with both feet on the floor, nodding off or knitting.

I was in the Nordstrom restroom over my lunch break on Friday. Walking towards the exit I noticed a sign that said “Mother’s Lounge” next to a doorway. I peaked inside—the room was quiet and dark with a changing table and purple velvet couch. I’m four or five months away from motherhood, which I figure is close enough to earn access to the mother’s lounge. So I went in and sat deliberately and quietly with both feet on the floor.

I closed my eyes and opened them slowly, wishing for motherhood to feel much more like the Macy’s grand lounge–a big circle of a room full of grandmas passing baby from knee to knee.

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