All righty! Today I’m kicking off the new Motherhood Unadorned Thursday Series “I’m Not a Bad Mom (or Dad) Because…” with my own post about my non-potty-trained-kiddo. I’m really excited about this series because with it I’m inviting guest posts each week! I’ve already gotten one for today from @BruceSallan “I’m Not a Bad Dad Because…” and two lined up next week from fellow #PPDChat moms. If you’re interested in submitting for this ongoing series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you haven’t already don’t forget to check out my original “I’m Not A Bad Mom Because I Take Medication”
I’ve been diapering bums for almost four years.
Yes, Ronin is less than two months away from four and is still not potty trained … AT ALL. Like I said the other day when my friend Robin mentioned her (potty trained) 3-year-old and poop, my brain went straight to how horrible my parenting skills must be to have him still in diapers.
But I know I’m not a bad mom.
I’m a good mom. I love my boy and he loves me.
He’s very much like me actually. Anxious. Shy. Cautious. Sweet.
I believe his diaper to him is a safety net of sorts. And not for pee. For his anxiety. On days that I’ve tried to push it and force him diaperless I see intense panic. Not necessarily manipulation.
I don’t want his bodily functions to become a real issue. I want him to be ready. I want him to want to be a big boy. I want him to see potty training as his own accomplishment, and not a constant failure.
I was in Florida last month and talked to the mom of a friend of mine. Let’s call her Joyce, because that’s her name. Anyway, she’s raised two grown daughters and has five grandkids, among other qualifications like nurse. And to hear her say “It’ll happen when he’s ready” was a breath of fresh air.
No advice on how to *make* him want to do it. No, have you tried this or that. Just it’ll happen when he’s ready.
I want him to be ready. I really REALLY do. But I love him with a fierceness of a mama bear, and I want to not only guide my cub to success but help protect him from unnecessary anxiety. I KNOW anxiety. And I believe forcing him to potty train is just that, unnecessary pressure to do something he WILL do in his own good time.
Do I feel like a bad mom sometimes when all of his buddies and younger cousin are running off to pee and poop on the pot with no issues? Yes, I do. But that’s just my own mama guilt that I’ve created for myself. I need to let that go and OWN my parenting beauty.
Hi, I’m Cristi. I’m a good mom. And my almost four year old is still in diapers.
UPDATE: This was published in late 2011. Ronin is now 8 1/2 years old. He potty trained in less than a week shortly after this post was published. Once he was ready, it was very easy. He just got it, and has had no potty issues ever since. His sister potty trained much earlier at 3 (also in her own time).