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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Potty Training Mommy

Feb 24, 2019 12:00AM

By Cheryl Maguire

While potty-training books discuss children's readiness to use the pot, they do not recognize "mommy readiness." Here, I will attempt to fill the void.

Enthusiasm to clean yet another mess. Many moms spend the majority of their waking hours cleaning some sort of mess, whether it's the food smeared on the furniture or the diaper cream used as finger paint or the toys strewn across every inch of the house. Just the thought of encouraging another mess can send some moms right over the edge.

There comes a time, however, when the diaper messes become so revolting that the thought of cleaning up after potty training actually sounds appealing. This is what I mean by mommy readiness. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, just wait. You're much better off remaining in a state of blissful ignorance until then.

Motivation to do more laundry. Moms face an endless amount of laundry. Obviously, when potty training a child, accidents will occur, and this leads to more laundry. Mommy readiness becomes apparent when you find yourself cleaning sheets, blankets, and clothes every morning thanks to stripped-off diapers. Suddenly, cleaning a few extra outfits seems minimal.

Eagerness to spend all day in the bathroom. It's difficult to imagine having to add another activity to an already busy schedule, much less one that involves running to the bathroom at a moment's notice because your potty trainee needs to go. But when you add up all those dollars spent on diapers and wipes, you realize that spending some extra time in the bathroom might not be so bad after all.

Readiness to deal with accidents in public. Going to public places with toddlers is extremely challenging. They are interested in all the new and fascinating items in front of them, which sends them in every direction except the one you want. Their attention span is also limited, so you find yourself moving at warp speed trying to accomplish whatever task you set out to do. "Accidents" in public create yet more obstacles in your outing. That said, discovering your child bathing in toilet water speedily enhances your readiness to deal with any accident in public.

Willingness to use public restrooms. Many people avoid using public restrooms. Toilet training your child means using public restrooms on a regular basis. Finding your child throwing his or her dirty diaper across a room that is not a bathroom helps you overcome this hang up really fast.

Admitting your child is no longer a baby. This is by far the most difficult step for any parent to make. On some level, they will always be your babies. After learning to use the potty, the next step is going to college--or that's how it feels sometimes. Statistically, most college students end up moving back home anyway, so you need not worry about them leaving you anytime soon.

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Cheryl Maguire holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. Find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05.