You know all that bad stuff people have said about potty training? Yeah, it's all true. All. Of. It. The parenting challenge that is trying to get your kid to successfully use a toilet will break you, one way or the other. But there are reasons to be pumped when your kid starts potty training, too. Every cloud has a silver lining, you guys. Every frustrating, poop-filled, urine-soaked cloud.
My potty training experiences run the gamut. One of my children took to it gradually, the other was trained in a weekend. Still, there were pros and cons to both endeavors. The gradual child, yes, it took a while, but it was a steady progression to toilet independence. The weekender? It didn't take long and that was pretty magical, but it meant three horrifying days of finding poop and pee everywhere. How did they make that much pee? How did they always manage to get it on the one section of the carpet I had not covered with old towels? No one knows. To this day, it remains a mystery.
Look, parenting is full of lots of crappy issues (pun absolutely intended and no I am not sorry) and this one is up there in terms of difficulty and annoyance. But the payoff here is a serious game changer. So, as you're in the trenches on this one, just think of the following:
No More Buying Diapers
I mean that's about $70+ a month you now have for other things! Sure, those things will probably be child-related (because is your money even yours anymore?), but it's really nice to not have to spend it on something you have to throw away within hours (if you're lucky).
Plus, there's that potential guilt you have for using disposable diapers in the first place (I know not everyone feels this way, but I did) and now that goes away!
No More Washing Diapers
If you went the cloth diaper route, I don't have to tell you that scraping poo and running laundry all the time can be annoying AF. Potty training is going to free up hours of your time, every week! And since cloth diapers are endlessly reusable (within reason) you can get a little return on investment by putting your no-longer-necessary cloth diapers up on a resell site! (Or, if this is not your last baby, setting them aside for the next beloved rugrat.)
In The Grand Scheme Of Things, It Doesn't Take Too Long
Bear with me on this one, because I know some of you are reading that statement and are either Googling my home address to come yell at me (please don't) or are just so incredulous you've taken to mad cackling.
Look, the swathe of "normal" regarding how long it takes to potty train is broad. Some kids train in a few days or weeks. But it can be months or even years before some completely get it. I am not saying that doesn't suck. But speaking as a mom whose child took months, I can say that it seems long at the time when you're in the thick of it, but when you look back years later you'll probably realize it felt a lot longer than it actually was. What I'm saying is that you're going to have a long happy life after potty training.
No More Diaper Bag
I cannot stress quite enough how absolutely liberating it is to leave the house without having to pack half your nursery. I could not have imagined, when my kids were still in diapers, having the ability to just walk out of the house with my (small!) purse and keys, but here we are. It's become the norm, but every now and then I still revel in the fact that I don't have to schlep 10 diapers and spare outfits for my kids because what if there's a blowout!?
No More Smug Assistants
I don't know about you, but once my kids were old enough to give commentary on how I was diapering them (or, like, condescendingly hand me a wipe to clean their butt) I was like, "OK, screw this. Time for potty training."
No More Touching Poo
When you first start handling daily diapers, you're probably disgusted and horrified, but after a while you put the psychological terror on the back burner and do what you have to do because what other choice is there? That's just a mental defense mechanism. I mean, you always know it's disgusting because you're gagging at not just the smell but the still-identifiable meals in your toddler's pants, but once you're done you can once again recognize just how foul it all is and praise whatever powers that be that you don't have to do it anymore.
You Get Some Good Stories Out Of It
They may not be funny at the time, but they will be when you gather with other potty training veteran parents and swap tales. Or your when your child becomes a teenager is getting too big for their britches and it might be helpful to remind them it wasn't too long ago that they were pooping and peeing in them.
Your Child Will Be So Proud Of Themselves
There's nothing quite like watching a toddler beam at the sight of a turd in the toilet. Like... it's gross but it's also so sweet and so, so pure. Never again will an actual poop make them so happy (as it should be, because ew).
You Will Be So Proud Of Them (And Yourself)
It's a great feeling to see your little one realize that they are capable and are becoming a "big kid." And it's a real testament to your patience, encouragement, and mad parenting skillz. You're getting through this, and before you know it you will have gotten through this. You should be proud!
More Independence To Come
Watching your baby grow up can be difficult, because you love your baby and being needed and the developmentally appropriate co-dependence you enjoy. But there's a lot of new ways to grow your relationship as they grow older and more independent. It's a beautiful thing, and you should be excited for it!