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A friend’s daughter communing with nature

As if I haven’t talked about it enough.  We are in the middle of potty training my 3 year-old.  Potty training is a parenting right of passage.  Many a story is passed down about how many times the car had to be pulled over for an emergency potty break.  Many loads of laundry are done whilst lamenting the loss of diapers.  And many a silly potty dance are preformed by grown adults while a successful child squeals with pride.

While going through this process, I realized that potty training is really a lot like parenting in general.

  1. Its hard to make a shift to something new, when you are used to doing things a certain way.
  2. There is no right way to do it, every parent is different, and every kid is different.
  3. Some days go better than others
  4. Its easy to second guess your approach
  5. There are going to be accidents and mistakes and all you can do is say “that’s ok, we’ll do better next time”
  6. Its all about control, bladder control and mind control.
  7. Some days you just throw the underwear away and start over.
  8. Its harder than you think it will be.
  9. Its easier than you think it will be.
  10. And (you saw this one coming) Its filled with a lot of S*#t at times.

I am, by no means, an expert, but I have found that as parents, we love to hear what other parents are doing.  SO, I promise my next post will go into the logistics of how we went about the potty training.  If  you don’t want to read the word pee pee and poo poo…ALOT…you might want to skip the next one 🙂

Parenthood is this weird club.  LOTS of people have kids, lots of our friends have kids, our family members have kids, the neighbors have kids, and yet, sometimes we can feel really alone.   This having kids thing, that bonds us together, can also feel really isolating.  It is so easy to feel like you are the only parent in the world to go through whatever you are currently going through.
 

I often feel I am the only one who hasn’t figured it out yet (what ever it is at the moment).  Then I talk to a girlfriend, and she doesn’t have it figured out either.  So we decide that WE are the only ones who haven’t got a clue, but everyone else must be in control.  Then I meet a new mom, and she is completely overwhelmed and can’t believe I can find the time to write a blog, but I assure her that I don’t know what I am doing either. So now there are at least three people on the what-the-heck-are-we-doing team.
 

So what’s going on?  As mothers, (and fathers too I am sure), are we not talking to each other about the hard parts of parenting?  Or are we not listening when others do talk about it?  Or, and this is the case for me, are we not applying the same compassion for ourselves that we do for our fellow mothers.
 

I find in so easy to reassure my girlfriends that they are doing a fantastic job parenting and that whatever they are worried about is completely normal and they don’t need to stress about it.  But then I stress about ‘it’ with my own kids.
 

Parenting is also fleeting.  That huge challenge you thought you could never overcome, is now yesterday’s notch in the baby book and now you are on to the next big challenge that you REALLY think you are never going to overcome.  Getting your infant to take a bottle…awful, until she does and then it was easy compared to getting her to sleep through the night.  You think your child will never poop on the potty, and then he does and you can go on to worry if he’ll get into the preschool who’s wait list you’ve been on since he was 6 months old.
 

Recently, I read a friend’s blog completely devoted to the trials and tribulations of getting her teen sons into college…I am sure she longs for the easy days of potty training and growth chart check-ins.
 

It is really hard not to compare yourself, your kids, your marriage, your car, or your parenting skills to the people next door.   I think it is human nature to think everyone else has it easier or is doing a better job than you are. The proverbial grass is greener.
 

But that mom leaving the grocery store with her adorably well behaved kids and her perfectly sculpted post-baby body….she has it figured out, right??
 

Probably not.

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