Potty training is the worst. For some parents, I'm sure it's just part of the whole growing up process and for others (read: me) it's a residual reminder I have no idea what I'm doing. I really admire those who claim to have trained their toddler with zero incidents but, sadly, I've experienced many potty training moments that prove I'm a hot mess. I'm not admitting defeat, although those early morning clean-ups are when I seriously daydream about grabbing the keys and taking a long drive to anywhere (and until that mess up and cleans itself).
Training my daughter wasn't exactly "easy," because she was the first child and I really didn't know how any of the parenting stuff worked. We tried the no-diaper method, sticker charts and rewards, and all the things experts say will help move things along in the right direction. Looking back, we started her on the potty training path way too early, and I often regret the unnecessary pressure I put on both of us. My son is taking a little bit longer to potty train. Having just turned five, there's a stronger fear of going to the bathroom with him than there ever was with my daughter. He'll hold it all day and until there's a mess I (or my partner) have to deal with. In other words, it's not fun for any of us.
In all these years of trial and error I can say, without a doubt, that I'm no expert. In fact, I'm pretty terrible and my standards have lowered to "just make it near the toilet." On that note, here are some of the potty training moments I've experienced that'll prove you're a hot mess mom. Don't worry, there's no shame here.
When You Hope They'll Hold It. All. Day. Long
I'm not advocating your kids keep the goods bottled up inside or anything. I mean, that's not healthy. However, some days I'm really not in the mood for a full-house sanitation. My kids are naturally good at "holding it" for various reasons (inconvenience to their important play plans, mostly).
However, during special events and holidays I have this thought in the back of my mind like, "Maybe if he doesn't go during this one specific moment, everything will be fine." Potty training is a lot of work so, at times, it'd just be easier if no one went. Inevitably it backfires, of course, and my son will not only go multiple times, he'll have an epic blowout. #Karma
When You Put Towels Around The Toilet, Just In Case
Because of my anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I clean often anyway. One place I freakin' hate cleaning, at any point, is near and around the toilet. It's damp for unknown reasons, smells, and —OMG — it's the precipice of germ infestation. Basically, it's my nightmare.
However, and even though it definitely makes me a "hot mess," I've found that piling up old towels around the base of the damn thing, helps ease the potty-time situation. I'll just burn the towels once this phase has passed, and never speak of them again.
When You Keep Cleaner On-Hand
There's many different rules/suggestions for surviving potty training, whether you're a hot mess mom or not. I used to get rashes because of how often I used cleaner without gloves and, to be honest, I still haven't learned my lesson completely. While I have gobs of various types of sanitizer, cleaner, bleach, and air freshener, there's no telling how overboard I'll go after my youngest leaves the bathroom. Typically, if you enter my house after on of his "sessions," it will smell like a crime scene has just been scrubbed (because to me, it is a crime scene).
When Your Toddler's Underwear Drawer Rivals Your Entire Closet
How much underwear is too much? That is the question currently plaguing my life. I mean, it's normal for my kids to have more underwear than actual clothes, just in case, but a lot of people have shared their potty training tips and suggestions that make be feel like I'm just overly-prepared.
You may be a hot mess like me if your little one has dozens and dozens of underwear, because accidents mean you'll throw out whichever ones were worn at the time.
When You Secure Layers Of Blankets And Towels Beneath The Mattress Cover
The mattress is my enemy. No matter what type of mattress pad or cover we've used, my son will pee through it. I don't know what the kid is holding in there but by the looks of it, it's super strength and only comes in gallons.
As I said, potty training is gross and not for the faint of heart. Hot mess moms prepare for the inevitable by using every available blanket and/or towel and stuffing those babies under the mattress cover. It may feel like he's sleeping on a mountain but, hey, at least it's a dry mountain, right?
When You Ask Them To "Go" Outside
I don't want to promote breaking the law or perpetrating some indecent exposure-type crime or whatever, but if my son has to pee and I've just gone through all the emotional stages pee clean-up to the point that I've hit my daily quota, there's a slight chance I may send him to the backyard (within the confines of our privacy fence) to save me just one more pee-situation for the day. I mean, no one is around and clean-up is basically non-existent. That's just smart parenting, you guys.
When You Double Up On Pullups
Some pull-ups can hold enough urine for a good night's rest, but others (I've learned) won't hold a single freakin' drop. This is when hot mess moms use the power of doubling up, to at least attempt to save the mattress (and the blankets covering it). I don't know if this is the norm or whatever, but it works for us.
Potty training is frustrating, exhausting, and just plain gross. If you've done any of the above, you might be a hot mess mom but, I mean, who cares? The little ones will get it figured out. Eventually.