I have two nephews who both potty trained quickly and easily at around the two-year mark so in my head that is how potty training ought to be. I have to confess, in the past I have found myself thinking of parents as lazy for not having their child toilet trained before they are three years old, and I would like to apologise whole-heartedly for that, I had no idea how wrong I was.
As it happens, potty training can actually be a real pain.
I have read extensively about how you can potty train a child in a week just by taking their nappies away and putting underwear on them and being shut-ins for a week or about reward charts and stickers and excessive praise can have a child dry in no time. None of that prepared me for the urine soaked chaos of trying to get my son to independently use a potty or toilet.
We are around three months into our “journey” (if you can really call it that) after failing miserably at an attempt around six months ago which resulted in every single pair of undies my son has being soiled within a day and outright refusal to go near the potty.
Naturally, when my son refused to let me put a nappy on him only a few months after the initial attempt I was apprehensive but also excited that this could finally be happening. I certainly didn’t expect everything to still be the same after three more months.
The first few days were great, no big accidents and all the wee went in the potty (there was a bit of poo confusion but oh well, it was early days). Everything was going well… but my son was permanently naked from the waist down. As soon as we put pants or trousers on him he wets. Every. Single. Time. Which would be fine if it hadn’t been snowing and if he would leave the eczema on his legs along but it has and he won’t. We have to regularly strip him down to use the toilet and he never asks to go so we have to prompt very regularly and often get accidents.
Since his first successful poo on the potty two days in he has not done another and now insists on doing it in a nappy. I know we will have to get to the bottom of it but I’m not about to force the poor kid to sit on the potty and poo when he is visibly distressed. So my boy, who will be three years old soon, cannot use a potty or toilet independently and that is absolutely fine.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a miracle piece of potty training advice to offer because this is ongoing for our family but if it’s like this for us there must be parents out there who think they are doing it wrong or that this isn’t normal. I just want to say; you are absolutely not alone.
On the plus side, I am clearly a font of patience and serenity because three months of being wee’d on and literally catching poo has not broken me and we still have a little round of applause for every wee in the toilet and I even offer praise for little toots that happen whilst he is sat on the potty, hoping that one of them will be a poo one day.
The first day of 2018. Does anyone else think 2017 just flew by?
Anyway, most people reading this will have made new year’s resolutions last night… a few common ones in my house growing up were to stop biting your nails or to lose weight. It’s only since I’ve grown up and left my mother’s house that I actually stopped bothering with resolutions, and realised how superficial those ones are.
For us mummies who have been through the horrors of pregnancy and childbirth, and gained a lot of weight in the process (I gained 3 stone in total!!!), it’s completely understandable that you want to lose that extra weight in the “mum-tum” region. I still have my little tummy pouch and I hate looking at it, as stupid as that sounds. For some people, setting those personal fitness goals might be the perfect way to motivate yourself and get the job done, for others, it can be a clear example of setting our expectations too high and putting too much pressure on ourselves. For me, I’m a healthy weight and not at any further health risk, so waiting until I have the time to spend toning up instead of adding it to my already full plate (a pretty poor expression when we’re talking about weight loss, so forgive me) will help me in the long run. It gives me time to focus on my education and my daughter, without constantly jumping on the scales to see how much I weigh. I know I weigh more than I want to, so what is the point in checking every day until I know I have time to do something about it!
Our blog has spoken a lot about self care, and maybe your New Year’s resolutions are your way of achieving that – great for you! But for the mums, like me, who have plenty going on already, a smaller goal for self care might be better. At the end of the day, if you set your goals too high, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of feeling like a failure and then not being proactive enough to succeed.
2018 is the first year since I left home that I will be setting New Year’s resolutions. But they’re not just about my health and fitness. I’m focusing instead on living a level 10 life, and I discovered this idea through the realms of bullet journal ideas on Pinterest.
Your level 10 life makes you assess each of the ten areas of your life… 1) family and friends 2) personal development 3) spirituality and (my own addition) inner peace 4) finances 5) career 6) giving/contribution 7) fun 8) marriage 9) physical environment 10) health and fitness
You score them out of ten, and then give yourself small goals on how to improve. You can see mine below…
I showed this to my stepdaughter and she was genuinely interested in my goals and how I was going to get there. I felt like that was a better message for her to receive than for her to hear myself and her mother saying we wanted to lose weight in 2018 and however many years after that. I had to hear my mother say it every new year and all it did was make me set the same goals when I was old enough to learn and want to follow in her footsteps.
So this new year, focus on the little things you can change to bring you more positivity! Don’t set your goals too high and put extra pressure on yourself… we have enough of that already just being parents!
If you’re already living your level 10 life, then that’s fabulous, but for me, it was a reality check having to assess my happiness and work out how to improve it. I think this exercise will ultimately improve my mental health and help me to feel more positive about life and it’s changes, but time will tell!
Let us know in the comments if you have any resolutions or habits you want to kick, whatever they may be! Or even if you’ve tried the level 10 life spread and want to share its success/drawbacks!