Do you ever have those days (or weeks) when you feel overwhelmed by being a mom and having to juggle it all?
Sometimes I feel that way. Right now for me the big stress is toilet training. My son, Carl, is 3 years and 9 months. We have been hitting toilet training hard since he turned 3 years old. We’re reading potty training books, having potty training parties, using sticker charts and we having little training toilets all over the house!
Carl’s preschool requires the children to be fully toilet trained. Which, I totally understand. Plus I know kids are way more capable than adults think they are. It is my job as a ski coach to help kids do things, that at their young ages – sometimes they have just turned 5, no one would ever think they were capable of. They can learn form and control their speed better than most adults could ever dream of doing. These youngsters learn complex course sets and execute them, skiing lines sometimes better than anyone else in the race.
So – why is it that teaching toilet training is so daunting? I can teach skiing but I can’t teach my son to use the toilet! It’s so stressful! He can ski down the hardest chair at our ski area with ease and grace. 1500 feet later he is ready for another run. So why is the potty so hard?
I know he would rather play outside, read, pretend to be a dinosaur, or really do anything other than use the potty. He CAN use it but he is not interested in stopping what he is doing to keep himself dry.
Put on the Cape
Sometimes when I get really stressed out with a big task like this I visualize myself dressed as Super MOM! My blond hair big and curly, my make-up exaggerated and perfect, and of course long eyelashes – there I stand with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of wine in the other ready to tackle anything. Of course this is a fantasy – I have never smoked or intend to but it is fun to think about yourself as someone wild for a minute – just for a laugh and to get the task done. Really, whatever it takes, I say.
So this week I am tackling potty training – in reality I will be tackling it in my mom uniform of yoga pants, a tank top and a pony tail. But, if the going gets tough – and I think we all know it will – I will be visualizing Super MOM taking a drag off her cigarette and sip of her wine as she gets the job done. Again, this is only a fantasy, like your husband vacuuming or cleaning the kitchen with-out being nagged a bit.
To help this “Super MOM” get through this stressful time I posted on Facebook, pleading for help and advice from friends on potty training. (What every mom nowadays does, right? Turn to Facebook for answers!) I thought I might get one or two comments and honestly, I would have been happy with anything. But, I was more than surprised to get over 50 comments in less than 2 hours. I want to share the main ideas with you in case you or someone you know is in the same boat.
Super MOM Tips for Toilet Training
Here are some toilet training ideas generously given to me by my Facebook friends (IRL and virtual):
- Take them to the potty every 30 minutes to every hour – set a timer
- Would not let the boys get their driver’s licenses until they were potty trained – ha (puts it in perspective a bit).
- Bribery and prizes for success
- NO Pull ups
- Have boys aim at Cheerios
- Giving a speech about potty training and no more diapers
- Traveling with a potty and a change of clothes
- Big boy underwear with action characters on them
- Potty training camp at a daycare or with friends
- Potty training movies and books.
- When they go make a big, happy deal about it
- Find their currency – what motivates the child (M&M’s?)
- Have them go naked outside so they can see how it all works!
- Have the child pick out the candy reward with you at the grocery store.
- Some kids can wait until they are ready and some will never choose to be ready so you must try.
- Peer pressure – other kids their age using the potty
- Thick cotton training underwear
- Old school plastic pants
- Having the child change out of their underwear in the empty bathtub themselves when they are wet
- Put potty chairs in multiple rooms.
- Gum ball machine and they can get a coin when they use the potty to use in it
Tip: Grandpa Shorter’s has every toy that a child could desire and so many yummy kinds of candy to bribe these little buggers every step of the way! Oh and Super MOM, reward yourself! Maybe some nice jewelry when the job is done? Just an idea!
So, here we go again. Cheers to all the moms out there potty training or whatever hard task you are tackling this week. You are amazing! It will pay off!
Here’s to Super MOM! (AKA the fantasy mom who gets us through the day)!
West Coast Shorter Wife