Six Ways to Survive Potty Training

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One thing I will not sugarcoat--potty training a little person is not for the faint of heart. Two of my three toddler daughters are diaper free. I feel like that right there needs an amen, hallelujah and a huge thank you Jesus!

When you begin to think about potty training, there will be strong opinions from mothers in all camps. {"Do not use pull-ups!" "Use pull-ups!" "You only need 3 days wearing nothing and they will get it!" "Take your time and your child will eventually get it!"} After having potty trained two little ladies, here's my opinion....do what works best for your child and your family. This post is in no way shape or form a "how to" potty train your child. This is more a fun How to Survive Potty Training post to all you moms out there that like me, see potty training as one of the hardest aspects of the toddler age.

1. Pick the right week to start.
For potty training, I pick a week out of our schedule that we are doing nothing, going no where; where our sole goal of that week is to hit the potty. We start on Monday morning with new panties and prayers that maybe once, baby girl will find the potty instead of the floor. Pick a week where you don't have to be anywhere or do anything but just help your child learn how to potty. This helps your child have more opportunities to learn when they are only 10 feet from a toilet and reduces a mom's stress on how to leave the house when your kid is learning.

2. Do all of your grocery and miscellaneous shopping before you start potty training.
Believe me: it is way easier on you momma if you do not have to leave your house with a 2-3 year old who might or might not make it to a potty on time. While "clean up on aisle five" does happen sometimes, give yourself a week of not needing to stress while at Kroger with your child.

3. Your favorite drink from Starbucks, Sonic, etc.
For both of my girls, things didn't click until about Wednesday.  On Tuesday night of potty training week I am always a mess. After spending two whole days of cleaning up things off the floor that should never be on your floor, I always hit Tuesday with a little doubt that my child will ever be able to go potty and am ready to give up. Insert God sending two saints my way. When I was potty training Emmalyn in Houston, a beautiful friend brought me the largest frappichino from Starbucks on the Tuesday night of potty training. It was like manna from heaven. While potty training Kaylin here in Dallas, another beautiful friend surprised me with an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  Ask a friend to bring you your favorite drink on day #2 of training and then pay it forward when you hear one of your friends is starting to potty train. 

4. Schedule YOU time for the evenings after you put the kids to bed.
After needing to be on your A-game all day....after cleaning up messes all day....after only talking in potty code all day...after never leaving a ten foot radius of the toilet....believe me, you will need some you time. The week of potty training Kaylin, I scheduled coffee dates with friends once every one was down or just went to Target to wander the aisles. 

5. Rewards 
Both Emmalyn and Kaylin liked receiving a reward once having a potty success. After every small success, even if it was just a little drop in the potty, the child got to pick out one M&M. Mom also got to pick out five M&Ms. I mean really, a mom needs to reward herself for this success too! I used M&Ms because they were small and just one as a reward wasn't going to ruin their next meal.  Also, I added the reward of a pedicure for myself once we had successfully made it through the week. Let's be honest, potty training is hard work for the parent. Pick something (a book, a Red Box movie, ice cream, etc.) to reward yourself with at the end of your potty training journey.

6. Grace
Mom, give yourself grace. Give your child grace. This is just a season. Yes a hard, at times messy season, but it will be a memory in a few months. I added potty training Kaylin to my prayer list three months before I began potty training her.  I knew I needed Jesus for parenting her through potty training. For patience. For peace. For grace.