Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No More Diapers! (Sort-of)

**Edited to add, I've known for a while that I've lost much of my mental accuity with the arrival of kids, but this is a new low. I realized while talking to someone this morning that Lydia is 21 months old today, not 22, like my original post indicated. Watch out, next thing you know I'll refer to them by each other's names...**

Without further ado I'll take this opportunity to make an announcement I hope I don't regret and have to take back soon: Lydia is potty-trained! She's been in underwear for probably 6 weeks or so now, but I've been hesitating to make it "official" since I've been sure the moment I did she would regress and refuse to use the toilet for the next year or so. But, she's even gotten to the point where she'll take herself to the bathroom and do her business when she feels the call, so I think we've reached the point of no return. *Fingers-crossed*

We're not really even close to being dry overnight most nights and I still put her in a pull-up at naptime because she tends to wake up and play quietly and happily in her bed for upwards of half and hour before I hear her. Since she's in a crib, unless I hear her right away, she can't get out so she has an accident if nature calls during her playtime. So, we're probably 50-50% as far as dryness until I get her up from her nap. She'll still only be 21 months-old on Thursday, so she's now greatly exceeded my wildest imaginations for when she'd be potty-trained so I can take months (years) of only diapering at night at this point!

She's going to kill me for this at some point, but it's just too funny not to share...she begged for a "bwa" to go with her undies!
21 months going on 21 years?
So, during the daytime at least, we're done with diapers until we decide to take the plunge and start trying for #3!

It's one of those moments where it would be really nice to pat yourself on the back and pride yourself on your great parenting training/techniques, but looking back at PTing both kids I realize that it's totally and completely not about me. No matter how much I wanted, planned, or was indifferent to potty-training when they were ready they "got it". I'll be honest, I was actually quite hesitant and even almost resistant to starting with Lydia when began asking/wanting to use the potty a couple of months ago. I figured it would just mean more work for me and that she had at least another 6-18 months before she'd really put all the pieces together. I mean, I thought Joshua was pretty early and he was 2 1/2. We'd started at the same age with Joshua and it was months-and-months of up and down, excitement and misery, success and failure, and in the end, once I'd pretty much decided to stop trying, it suddenly just clicked and he was doing it. So, I'd told myself I wasn't even going to try this time around, I'd just wait for her to do it on her own. And now she has, and I'm shaking my head, feeling even less like I have any sort of "formula" for potty training a child.

Lastly, I know there are many of you, my mommy-friends, out there who have kids that are still working on (or not even interested in) the potty training thing and they're the same age as mine. I've actually hesitated to write this post for that reason too, I really, really don't want this to sound like "my kids are so advanced and talented" or make you feel any more pressure than I know we moms already put on ourselves when we want something really badly.

Know that I feel the same pressure, not in our family's case with potty training, but with so many other things in regards to being a "good" mom. I've decided to just put the "she's potty-trained story" out there because I'm really proud of Lydia and I'm really happy with how this aspect of our family is going right now, but it's not in any way intended to be a "I'm really good at this" type of post.

If there's one thing I've learned and re-learned, and will definitely still be learning years from now, it's that I don't have all the answers or any sort of fool-proof plan for parenting my kids and I probably never will. I'm just doing the best I can with the kids I have and sometimes that exceeds my expectations and sometimes I wonder if what I'm doing is working at all. I'm happy to share what's worked for us, but it's just that, what worked for us and it may or may not be the same in your family... I love this bond of motherhood, but I hate that I so easily and quickly compare myself to others and feel badly about myself and my parenting if someone else is having a seemingly easier time than I or not struggling with something that has me repeatedly in tears. I know that "having it all together" is usually a facade and yet I fall for it nearly every time.

Basically this has been a really long and rambling way of saying, I want to strive for greater openness and honestly about both my successes and struggles. I so greatly admire people who are "real" and yet I struggle with wanting to try to look good, because maybe then others will buy it and then so can I. I don't want to feel that way, I want to share the experiences that make me joyful without having to apologize in case they might make you feel badly and I want to be open about the things that frustrate me without trying so hard to maintain an image, knowing that my friends will be there to empathize and support me. So this is me, calling all of us to a greater community--one where we know we don't have it all together and we give grace to others knowing that they don't either--anyone care to join me?


Steve & Paula said...

I admit I am envious of you! At this point I feel like I'll have 3 in diapers come April. I know Ella not
PTing yet has nothing to do with her intelligence or my success as a parent, but I still hesitate to tell people that no, she's still in diapers. I'm trying to get past those expectations that I feel like everyone else has of me and her, but it's hard sometimes. I'm actually reading a book called "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids." It's about being honest with our struggles as moms. It makes me feel better. :)

Jessi Conrad said...

Good for Lydia! Natalie pooped in her pants twice today and once yesterday too. Who knows when she'll get it. I agree with the need for honesty though, I really think everyone struggles with feeling like we're anywhere near "good enough" at this mommy thing

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

I'm not a mom yet but I'm on board with the "greater community" you speak of. I think you could replace almost every time you said "mother" with "women" and many of the same issues would be present. We compare ourselves so readily to others and yet if we compared ourselves to Christ we would know how much we all fall short and are in desperate need of grace. I struggle with this all the time. Adding up what I'm good at and what I'm not as a women and I know I will struggle with this someday as a mom. But it's not what I truly want. I really long for real community where grace is given and received and where we are all aware of how not-perfect we are, even while being ever hopeful that God is conforming us to be more like His Son.

Great post, Liz!

Rebecca said...

yea for lydia! that's awesome! i'll be happy when liberty stops going #2 in her undies!!!
i love when we mamas can be honest with each other and love each other thru this crazy time of mommyhood!

Christene said...

Hi Liz,

I got to the end of your post and felt a might "Amen, sister!" welling up in me. I really recognize what you are talking about as far as comparisons, standards, grace, community. Really, really nice to hear someone else say it (eloquently, I might add) and remind you that you are not alone.

Thanks and best,