The Bumpy Road to My Potty Trained Toddler

My soon to be 4 year old, stubborn, strong willed son has been “potty training” for what seems like forever. We tried a reward system, we tried convincing him he was a big boy and he didn’t need to wear diapers anymore, we tried the 3 days without diapers….twice. Nothing seemed to be working.

He would tell us things like, “I’m not ready” or “It’s hard for me”. We would validate his concerns and ask him why he wasn’t ready or why it was hard. His answer was his favorite answer when he does not have a real reason, “It’s why mommy”. (I still am not completely sure what that means.) When we did the reward system he would only go potty when he knew we had prizes and when the prizes ran out, he suddenly ran out of pee pee for the potty. Oh, my little smarty pants was totally working us.

I was devastated that nothing seemed to work and he could not stay consistent with the potty training. I would call my mom and ask for advice. She would assure me that it was okay, some kids take longer to potty train. I wasn’t satisfied with that answer after hearing it time and time again. (I should have trusted her, she is my mom you know.) So, I did what every mom does. I googled it. Why isn’t my toddler potty training? Potty training a stubborn toddler. The lists goes on and on. Then I admitted it to myself that yes, I do have a strong willed son and a resistant potty trainer.

After all my google research, I decided to lay off the potty training and see what would happen. I waited and then waited some more. Then, last Monday my son woke up and said “I don’t want to wear these diapers anymore!”. I had not had one sip of my morning coffee yet, so I was still trying to process what he had said with so much excitement. I responded with “Okay, so what would you like to wear today?”. He said, “big boy undies!”. I was celebrating and doing a happy dance in my head. He wore his big boy undies and he has been wearing big boy undies for three days straight!

He got mad on the first night when we put a diaper on him for night time. We though he might wet the bed and he proved us wrong. He popped out of bed, ran to the potty, and changed back in to his big boy undies. The thing that he did seem to have a fear about was doing #2 in the potty and he was successful with that too! Can I tell you what kind of excitement and glow we both had after that success! We were both on top of the world! We made some fun cupcakes in celebration of his potty success. If you would of told me a few years ago that I would be baking cupcakes to celebrate poop in a potty, I would of laughed! Motherhood can make us do some inexplicable things.

So, after all of our ups and downs with potty training I have come to a conclusion. If you are like me and struggling to potty training your toddler, don’t feel bad. Don’t doubt yourself as a parent and don’t doubt that little one either. The amazing thing about being a parent is you learn so much along the way. With this potty training adventure I have learned that sometimes you have to stretch your patience even farther then you thought possible but it pays off in the end. I learned a lot about my little guy too. I learned how strong willed he is and it always amazes me how smart he is. I’m not mad at him for potty training on his terms. Somethings take longer to adapt too. I don’t ever want him to lose that stubborn streak or strong will because that might just help him get through challenges in life. The last lesson I learned throughout our potty training adventures is always listen to your mother!

Payment by Toddler Hugs and Kisses and Baby Giggles and Grins

Sometimes being a stay at home mom and being able to contribute zero dollars to the family funds is frustrating. I went from being a very high earner with my retail management job to bringing in zero. We made the choice as a family to go from two incomes to one. This was definitely a hard decision to make, but the “pay” I get from my job now is priceless. I am going to admit I wonder if I made the right decision some days because I feel like we aren’t where we want to be financially. My husband is great at reminding me that what I am able to give our boys now is so, so very important. I am so thankful for his never faltering attitude about our decision for me to stay home with the boys. But, still I feel a little guilty now and then about not contributing to our cash flow.

When I was at my management job I had a handful of older ladies that were retired and working for fun that had been SAHMs for their kids years and years back. I remember one of them telling me a few days before I left my position that staying home with your kids is so amazing and to remember that sometimes money might be tight, you might not be able to go out to eat or go out of town as often, but it was the most valuable thing you could do for your little ones. Every time I wonder if I made the right choice for our family on our financial side, I think of her. I remember her telling me that so vividly and wondering if I would have those days and sometimes I do. So maybe it takes longer to pay off a credit card bill or a car payment. That is okay and I have to remember to be okay with that. If you are feeling like things are tight because you are staying home with your babies just remember you are so valuable. The value you are giving to your kids surpasses any amount of money a salary could pay you. You, stay at home mama, are priceless.