There were, honestly, very few things I feared as a new mother. I was afraid to leave the house with my baby by myself, I was deathly afraid that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed for as long as I wanted, and, well, I was afraid of potty training. Sure, I had the daily anxieties that every mother experiences, but nothing scared me like potty training did. I did my research and read my books but, it turns out,
being a feminist makes potty training easier, and that requires little-to-no heavy ready or Google searching. Finally, something that came surprisingly easy, even if it meant pee in places pee there should never be and poop where there should never be poop and moments when, well, you kind of think you won't make it out alive. What Parents Are Talking About — Delivered Straight To Your Inbox
If I'm being horrifically honest, I'd have to say that there are
very thing things that make potty training easy. And by few, I mean nothing at all. It's going to be a difficult endeavor no matter what you do or what you read or how you go about it, but being a feminist and believing in body autonomy and refusing to pit your kid's accomplishments or milestones against the accomplishments and milestones of someone else's kid, sure does help. When you believe the fundamental beliefs that make feminism what it is, you tend to worry less about potty training because, well, it's kind of out of your control. You can guide your kid and you can help them as best you can but, in the end, they're going to get it when they'll get it and that undeniable fact is freeing, to say the least.
So by all means, study up as best you can (I know I did, and that helped, too) but if you identify as a feminist, I promise you that you already have the tools you need to make it through potty training like the parenting pro you are.
You'll Do Your Research
A grown-ass woman is going to know her stuff, especially if she identifies as a feminist and, sadly, opens herself up to constant scrutiny and judgement. I can't tell you how many people try to "test" me when they see that I am a proud feminist. It's like catching a feminist in any scenario where he or she doesn't know the perfect answer wins them 10 points in some fictitious game. That social paradigm, while annoying, has also conditioned me to constantly research and learn and be as informed as possible. I can't tell you how much that helped me when I was potty training my son. I knew the
signs that my kid was ready to potty train and some life-saving potty training hacks and, well, it pays to learn, my friends. You Won't Assume Potty Training Is Just One Person's Responsibility
A feminist won't assume it's someone else's responsibly to know
a thing or do a thing or be capable of any "thing," just because society has arbitrarily decide one gender should know something or be better at something. In turn, a feminist mother isn'g going to assume that potty training is either just her responsibly or just the responsibility of her parenting partner or co-parent or significant other. She'll make sure that her parenting partner is in it with her because, yes, they're both parents, and she will make sure she's an active participant instead of assuming potty training someone else's responsibility. You'll Make Sure Your Kid Is Ready...
A feminist is all about body autonomy, and giving your kid control of their body (even at a young age) is paramount. I mean, yes, you're not going to allow your kid to dress in shorts and a t-shirt when it's -5 outside in the dead of winter, but you're going to work to give your kid as much body autonomy as possible. That pays off when you're attempting to potty train. I, personally, waited for my kid to show signs that he was ready (literally by him running to the potty and pointing while holding his diaper) before I even remotely pressed the issue. Letting him decide what he wanted, in this case and many others, proved to be the right way to go.
...And Continually Check In With Them And How They're Feeling
And, of course, there's
potty training regression, where you think your kid has a great handle on potty training and your pee-soaked sheets and pants and diaper days are behind you, only to realize they're, well, not. When you're constantly checking win wit your kid and asking them how they're doing and paying attention to their body language and their outbursts and tantrums and just, well, their toddler selves, you'll be able to asses their well-being and, in turn, their ability to continue to use the potty effectively. Instead of pressing the issue, you'll know when to back off and just let them take the time they need. You Won't "Push" Them Because It's Something They're "Supposed" To Learn By Now...
As a feminist, you won't be concerned with what you're "supposed to do" because society has arbitrarily decided this choice and this decision and this life decision mean something. Nope. Not your thing. So,
as a feminist mom, you're not going to push your kid to learn something they're not ready to learn, just because someone else's kid has or because they've hit a particular age. You'll cater to your kid and their individual needs, because everyone is uniquely and beautifully different. ...And, Instead, Let Your Kid Decide When They're Ready
Whether they're telling you through physical cues or they've hit a developmental age where they can string sentences together, listening to your kid is vital (at any age and in any circumstance). Yes, you're the authority figure and you need to set a tone and be a source of stability via rules and whatnot, however, when it comes to bodily functions, it's best to take a backseat and let your kid decide when they're ready.
You Won't Shame Your Kid When They Have An Accident...
Yeah, a feminist isn't about shame because a feminist (unfortunately) knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of it. Why would you shame your kid when you have been shamed yourself? I mean, why would you shame your kid at all, especially for something they can't necessarily control?
...Or Compare Them To Someone Else
A feminist won't compare his or her situation to anyone else's, so she won't compare her kid's situation to any other kid's. Just because your friend's sister's cousin's best friend potty trained their kid at 13 months, doesn't mean you're scrambling to push your kid to do the same.
You Won't Stress About Poop...
Honestly, what's the point? I mean, it's going to happen anyway...
...Because, Hey, Poop Happens
...and I would argue that no one knows this better than a feminist. A feminist is constantly
combatting the ridiculous idea that feminism means you hate men or feminism means you're better than someone else or feminism means that you want something else, besides the social, political and economic equality o the sexist. At this point, you're probably used to shit (I know I am), so a little bit on the floor while your kid is trying to master the toilet, is no big thing. It happens, and you'll deal with it, just like you deal with everything else.