The day I quit potty training

On Monday, I quit trying to potty train E. After four days of her wearing big-girl underwear and being barricaded in the kitchen (the only room in the house that isn't carpeted) with a bunch of books and toys, we weren't having much success. I was frustrated, and so was she. So, we quit. We are potty training failures.

Ok, that's obviously overly dramatic. Kids develop at their own rate, she'll be ready in her own time and it's totally not her fault or anything, etc. etc. etc. Yes. But it sure feels like a bit of a letdown when you fail to teach your kid something as basic as where to pee. Deciding to quit for now, though a huge relief in the moment, also felt like failing.

But you know what? As I write this, I'm sitting here thanking Jesus for that feeling. Because I just realized that it's training for me. There are going to be many times throughout the years when I feel like a failure as a mom in both big and small ways. So experiencing it now in this small, totally-not-permanent way is preparation. Talking myself through this little disappointment will strengthen me for a future time when I may have to work through something much bigger. It's like a dress rehearsal. And when I'm losing it in a few years because I can't seem to help E figure out division or get her excited about science... well, I'll have some sort of internal reference point for climbing up out of the hole of disappointment.

All kids are different. If you're doing your best, you're doing fine. Patience. It'll click when the time is right. Just enjoy who she is, right now, in this moment. Take it one step at a time. Grow together. 

Deep breath, mama. You can do it.


  1. We quit potty training the first time around, too. It was so stressful and Kate was obviously not getting it, so it was better for all involved to stop and try again later. We just did this past weekend and holy cow, so much easier when they're really ready for it! But still really really hard.

  2. Good for you! It took Maura an entire year to stop having accidents/hiding behind the couch. She actually only figured it out when Tessie decided to potty train almost perfectly in one week a whole year younger than her. You seriously do more harm than good trying to force it before they're ready.