As I struggle with toileting adventures in my own home on a regular basis, I am grateful that today’s guest, Lynn, is here to share her story about potty training and judgment. No little person, or their mama, ought be looked down upon for when or how they go to the bathroom.
In December of 2010 I gave birth to my first son. I was lucky enough to go through the experience with 2 close friends (I’ll call them Friend A and B) who both had their daughters within 2 weeks of me. I found it fascinating to see how different we all were when it came to how we raised our babies. And I loved the fact that we were all able to discuss things and support each other. It was amazing. I felt empowered as a mom; I felt close to my friends. But then things started changing.
When Alex hit about 18 months I bought a potty for him and set it up in the bathroom; but he wasn’t showing much interest in it. I didn’t worry too much about it. Everything I read and my Dr told me indicated that it can take until a child is three to potty train, and all kids are going to do it at their own pace. So I made the decision that I wasn’t going to push Alex into potty training before he was ready. Even though I found out when Alex was 21 months old that we were expecting baby number 3, I wasn’t going to push him. I would deal with having 3 babies in diapers.
Friends A and B also bought their kids a potty around the same time. Except that unlike Alex, their kids took to it super fast. By 24 months, Friend A’s daughter was day trained and Friend B’s daughter was day and night trained. I still wasn’t pushing Alex to use the potty if he didn’t want to.
One day, just before my third child was due, I was talking to talking to Friend B. She asked me how Alex was doing with potty training. I was honest and told her that I wasn’t pushing it right then, I was going to wait until after he adjusted to the new baby and then start encouraging him to use the potty since he was going to be 2.5 years old. I honestly thought by saying this, she would understand and support me the way she always had in the past. Instead she told me that by being lazy about potty training him I was enabling him to continue being lazy and doing him a disservice. I was shocked. I was hurt. I didn’t know how to reply to her.
I thought maybe I was overreacting to her comments so I talked to Friend A about it. I told her about the conversation with friend B and how I didn’t understand her perspective. I hoped that Friend A would assure me that I was doing what was right for my family and not to worry about Friend B’s opinion. Instead, she told me that she agreed with Friend B and that if I was a ‘responsible, good mom’ I would have him potty trained already and I also wouldn’t have had three kids as close together as I did. Again I was shocked, hurt and unsure of how to reply.
These conversations made me really question if I was doing the wrong thing by letting Alex set the pace with his potty training. Maybe I was wrong to not encourage him more? Maybe I was encouraging him to grow up to be lazy? After a lot of soul searching, and a conversation with another friend, I decided that those two ‘friends’ were wrong. I was doing what was right for me and my son. He wasn’t ready to potty train.
Over the last few days Alex has been showing more signs of readiness. I think that now is the time to start encouraging him. Maybe in a week he will be fully potty trained. Maybe it’ll take us 6 months to get to that point. Either way, I am going to do what is right for him and me, and I am not going to care what other people think of that.
Lynn is a 25 year old stay at home mom to three gorgeous babies…Alex, Nick, and Zoey. In her free time she enjoys blogging at http://lynncollins10.wordpress.com/.