Potty training. It seems sometimes like it’s on your mind from the moment they are born, when you’re changing a million diapers a day and you’re like, “I can’t wait until this kid potty trains so I don’t have to change diapers anymore.” But I’m here to tell you that I am a potty training quitter. Yup, I said it. I quit potty training. Read on to find out why I quit potty training.
It seems around age 2 the pressure starts to build. People start asking you about it, other kids around you start doing it, and it suddenly feels like if you’re not doing it too, you’re missing the boat and your kid is never going to potty train or that if you “miss your window” it will be enormously difficult.
So, all of those forces combined for me to try potty training Dominic when he was 2 1/2. It was a disaster. We were having no success and it was stressing me out terribly. I felt like I couldn’t successfully prevent Dominic from having an accident and take care of Allen, who was still little and nursing a lot. But everything I had read told me that once I had started, I couldn’t stop or he would never learn to potty train!
Thankfully, some friends helped convince me that it was okay to quit. That it was stressing me out too much to continue and that he would eventually get it and we were not doomed to a life of diapers if he didn’t potty train that instant.
So I quit. And I felt at first like a failure. Even though my friends assured me that I was not a failure. But it’s not like I have a crystal ball – or even a magic 8 ball – that could tell me how this would all work out in the future.
But I am pleased to say that after Dominic was 3 we tried again and it was completely different. It was a breeze because he was ready and if I could go back in time, I would just wait until he was ready and save us both the stress of trying to do it just because everyone else was doing it and not because he was ready.
Every day, we all face pressures around us to do things a certain way or for our kids to be doing things a certain way or at a certain time because other kids around them are. Or because of something you read. Or because of a comment someone else made to you. It’s okay to do it in your own way and your own time. I need to repeat this to myself about 50 times a day, at least, but it truly is okay.
I wrote this today, because I wish I had read something, anything like this that said quitting potty training was okay and that you weren’t dooming your kid to a lifetime of diapers! But I think there are broader points here, that sometimes it is okay to quit and that knowing your limits and knowing when to step back is a valuable skill to have. I was glad I quit potty training! Have you ever quit something and were glad you quit?