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Potty Training: Why The Rush To Flush?

Having a child comes with a lot of responsibilities…providing a roof over their head, food on the table and keeping them safe are some of the obvious ones. Those responsibilities, and the countless other duties that are required to be a parent, can leave you feeling overwhelmed. So why put any added pressure on yourself when it isn’t necessary? Enter POTTY TRAINING.

Parents today feel more pressure than ever to get their child potty trained…and sooner rather than later. But why? Why the rush? What’s in it for you? What reward is there for getting your child potty trained as soon as possible? Nothing…other than the reward of not being judged from other parents when your 3 year old is running around the playground with their saggy diaper almost dragging on the ground. You get absolutely nothing but MORE STRESS and MORE MESS by putting that added pressure on yourself…and your child. You may encounter the, “I’m just so happy to not have to deal with diapers anymore” type of people. Really? But you’re totally fine with your life revolving around when your child chooses to relieve themselves? You’re completely happy with washing their pants and underwear at an alarming rate? You’re absolutely content with having to get your trusty old mop or generic carpet cleaner out to deal with your little bundle of joy and their not-so accidental shortcomings multiple times a day? All I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed when I didn’t have to try to hold my toddler over a port-a-potty ‘seat’ where one hand is normally used to plug your nose and in a space that is obviously not meant for two (if you’re ‘lucky’ enough to be at a park with such amenities)…or try to race to the closest coffee shop before the s**t storm hits (and hopefully there’s no line-up or a key required for entry to slow you down).

Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t expect to go straight from a diaper-wearing baby to a fully functional potty-using toddler without a bit of work. I’m just saying, it’s going to happen one day regardless. Enjoy the diaper stage while you can. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that bad. I mean, you don’t want your child going to kindergarten still rocking the pull-ups, but don’t rush it either. Enjoy the carefree outings…you’ll have years ahead of you frantically searching for a bathroom at a drop of a hat, or trying not to draw attention to yourself as your child turns a very public place into his or her own personal bathroom. The desperate sprint in a mall, grocery store, park (or insert imagined worst case scenario here) when your little one announces, “I have to pee!!” or even worse.

If you can get over the pressure of the “you’ve got to get your child out of diapers as quickly as you can” movement or the funny looks you might get when your kid’s diaper pokes out from the top of their pants as you’re asked, “how old is he/she?”, which of course translates to, ”shouldn’t he/she be out of diapers by now?” If you can deal with that for a little while longer, then I say, hold off. Why not wait until they’re a little bit older and can understand the concept, rather than forcing them at a younger age because you feel obligated to?

A few years ago, I had a long drive, with my then 2 1/2 year old. I decided to split it into two days. Five hours a day. Not bad, until I inform you that I was by myself and remind you that there was a two year old being chauffeured in the back seat. Could be a recipe for disaster for many reasons and I was preparing for the worst. Within an arm’s reach, I had snacks, drinks and an assortment of various distraction items to keep his royal highness occupied. But it was a long drive. And he was an almost 3 year old. So you just never know. And that’s when I was thrilled he was still wearing diapers. One less thing to worry about. And it was a BIG one less thing. I could control the stops. “Hey…it’s time to stop for something to eat. NOW, is also a great time to change that diaper.” OR “Hey…we need some more gas. NOW, is also a great time to change that diaper of yours.”

Now I’m sure this will be frowned upon by some…but so what? Your child will not remember, 20 years from now (or tomorrow), how you wouldn’t stop for them to pee or how old they were when they were potty trained and how these factors really stunted their urination development. You know who would remember a trip like that 20 years from now? You. You, because you had to stop every 15 minutes as your little precious piece of cargo was learning how to relieve themselves on their own, turning a leisurely 5-hour drive into an excruciatingly painful 8-hour drive. This will remain a vivid memory for you for the rest of your life and you’ll be damn sure to remind your child of it…often.

In conclusion…enjoy the diaper days!

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