The Potty Fights


Sometimes you just need a helmet to get you through potty training.

I remember when my son started potty training. I was bound and determined that he was going to be fully trained at two years old. At the time, I thought I wanted him to be trained so that I could do away with the diapers, wipes and disgusting clean ups. Looking back I realize that I had another objective. I wanted to be able to proudly tell other moms that my son was only two and fully potty trained. What is wrong with me? Why would this be one of my objectives? Could it be that I was just trying to keep up with the competition?

Seriously, now we compete with one another when it comes to our child’s poop. This is a whole other level of absurdity. And I have a hard time believing that I am the only one that has been sucked into the competitive sport of potty training. When you give birth you get asked almost immediately, ‘Are you breastfeeding?’ When your child turns two, you get drilled with the dreaded ‘Are they potty trained yet?’ question.

So there I was thinking that I would use my ‘oh so amazing’ mommy skills  to persuade my son to poop on the potty. The prize basket failed. The bribery system ended in disaster. The ‘sit and wait’ plan was just ridiculous. My son was just not ready to be potty trained. He was too busy crapping all over the rest of the house. And then of course there was the moment of truth when he finally knew he had to go… and went outside to dump behind a bush.

How could I face all the other moms? My son was now 2.5 and not trained. I stressed about it. I got angry and frustrated and then I came to the realization that my son felt the same way too. How did I get sucked into the potty fights? I get that as mothers we are proud to tell everyone about our child’s first steps, their early words and other monumental milestones. But when it comes to potty training, save that pride for your child… they are the ones that benefit the most from it.

When I stopped stressing about potty training everything seemed go so much smoother. We eventually got my son to use that annoying talking and singing potty, because we put a tent over it. heard me right, my 2.5 year old wanted privacy and more importantly no pressure. I honestly don’t think that the eventual success of the potty training had anything to do with our parenting skills at all. The more relevant fact was probably that it was too cold to use the trees in the backyard as urinals and the bushes as dumping grounds.

Next time you are feeling like you are upon the next big ‘bragging trophy’ amongst moms… know that its never ending. If you choose to compete you will eventually make the mistake of putting unnecessary pressure and stress on your child. I no longer compete with other moms because it doesn’t help me or the other parents, and it certainly doesn’t teach our children the right message either. So next time you talk ‘potty’ with another mom, share your struggles instead of boasting your success. Tell another mom that bears crap in the woods, and sometimes kids do too.


The Potty Fights — 8 Comments

  1. Lol Owen would go hide in the bottom kitchen cupboards to poop.. Privacy who knew.. They sure don’t want to give us any. 🙂

    • It’s that so funny? Still James insist on ‘privacy’ when he’s in the bathroom, yet has no concept of why I need it.

  2. Another great post that rings so true. The “mom wars” drive me crazy, they’re the biggest reason I can’t do play groups. We’re working on potty training our middle child (3yrs in Aug), my daughter was really easy and she started at 18mos. She just had an interest for the potty and wanted to be like mommy and daddy. My son has the want and suddenly surprised us by insisting he use the potty. At the time we didn’t have a potty chair, he hadn’t showed any interest but we let him and he went. To celebrate we went and bought a cars lighting McQueen potty ( cars is his favorite). In my headi was saying yes, this will be easy….little did I know that once we got the little potty he would suddenly stop wanting to us the potty. Maybe I should let him pee on a tree….I keep hearing that. Haha

    • SO true, just when you think they’ve got it all figured out they surprise you with a curve ball. My daughter at no point wanted anything to do with the little potty. The biggest challenge there was convincing her not to ‘stand and pee’ like her brother. Peeing on a tree is great for boys!! Gook luck and keep up the good work.