Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

Let’s talk potty-training. My kids are all potty-trained. Yay! When I was a new mom, one of the things I feared most was potty-training. It scared me to the core and I was dreading it. I did not want to deal with cleaning up pee and poo all day. No thanks. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to doing extra loads of laundry since accidents were bound to happen. People told me it would be horrible. Especially because my oldest was a boy. Apparently, boys are supposed to be near impossible to potty-train. So, I did what any responsible parent would do and I did NOT potty-train our son. Or maybe it was the lazy parent approach- but it worked brilliantly.

Around the age of 2, I did put a little potty chair in our bathroom just in case he ever decided he wanted to test it out. I also added some children’s books about going to the bathroom to our book rotation. I stocked his dresser with Lightning McQueen undies. That was it. We didn’t talk about it. I didn’t ask him if he had to go. I didn’t make him sit on the toilet. I totally let him take the lead. If he wanted to sit on the potty – he did. If he wanted to wear undies – he did. It wasn’t too long and the diapers were gone. Completely gone. No need for them. Not for naptime and not even for bedtime. We went for his 3 year well visit and the pediatrician was shocked that he was fully, completely potty-trained.

I did the same thing for my daughters with equal success. One chose Minnie Mouse undies while my youngest decided Paw Patrol would be her jam. It’s all about giving them control. There’s so many methods that people swear by and I’m sure many of them work for a lot of kids. But for me? I didn’t want to test them out. I’m already potty-trained and wanted to make this process as easy and stress free as possible for me and my kids!

We didn’t stay at home. If we wanted to go do something fun, we did it. The thought of staying home for days sounds miserable to me and my kids but we strive on getting out and changing the scenery. Plus, most places have bathrooms. I didn’t set the timer because I didn’t want to tell them when to go, I wanted THEM to tell ME. We really didn’t change a whole lot when we were in the thick of potty-training. Or lack thereof. We kept on living life like normal and were ready to run if someone decided it was time.

I know a lot of people swear by pull-ups. And clearly, they work for lots of people otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular. Either that or they have a great marketing team. But to me, I feel like it’s a glorified diaper that costs more money. Although, I get the desire if your child still has the occasional accident at night. In that case, embrace the pull-ups!

Those first few times my kids had success in the potty, we did an all-out celebration without treats! We just clap, cheer and jump up and down! Yes, sometimes that means I get applauded for going to the bathroom. It usually gets a few chuckles from the stall next door.

One thing I added to my repertoire when my youngest was learning, is to embrace the nakedness (when at home!). And to keep step stools in every bathroom. She preferred to use the regular toilet instead of the pint sized potty. But being on the tiny side, she needed help. So between being pantless and having access to step stools she was able to make it happen on her own and with plenty of time to spare.

In my experience, potty-training wasn’t horrible. It was actually enjoyable. I loved watching my kids grow and mature. Their excitement over their success was contagious. My youngest took great pleasure in announcing to everyone that she would meet that her undies are dry!

My biggest piece of potty-training advice is don’t do it. When your child is truly ready, it will be so easy. Just let it go and they will (literally) let it go…

You May Also Like: Potty-Training Survival Strategies for Moms

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.

You’re Learning Life by Watching Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child touching mother's face as they lie on a bed

Every morning my daughter and I go outside for some fresh air. She feeds her chickens and plays and explores and walks around with her dog while I follow her around and have a cup of coffee.  This morning, my girl grabbed one of her coffee cups from her toy kitchen and brought it outside with her while she walked with her dog and pretended to take sips out of it.  Guys. I stood there watching her with her toy coffee cup, walking around with her animals, and I cried giant baby tears.  RELATED: I Wasn’t Counting On You Growing...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Love Means Slowing Down

In: Friendship, Kids
Two boys on bicycles riding to park, shown from behind

Think of something faster than a 7-year-old boy on a two-wheel bike. Maybe a race car at the drop of the checkered flag? Perhaps a rocket ship blasting into space? Or how quickly a toddler mom books it out of the house after being told she can have a hands-free hour ALONE in Target. Yes, all of these things are seriously speedy, but I have still never seen anything quite as quick as a boy on a bike on a sunny day with endless open track ahead of him. Until today. Today, my 6-year-old son wanted to ride bikes with...

Keep Reading

I Am a Wrestling Mom

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three young boys with wrestling medals, color photo

As the sun is rising on a frigid winter morning, a brave and determined group of athletes are weighing in at a high school gym. They are physically and mentally preparing for a long day spent at a tournament where they will spend only minutes wrestling, despite the hours they sit and wait all day. Their sport uses offense, defense, and mental strength unlike any other sport. My sons and nephew are wrestlers. They are part of a special team of athletes who work together but compete as individuals.           Their youth team is run by all volunteer coaches with...

Keep Reading

3 Ways to Help Your Firstborn Embrace Becoming a Big Brother

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Pregnant woman holding toddler son, color photo

My oldest son turned four right after his first brother was born. Four years of alone time with his parents. Four years of extra mommy time during the week. Four years of having toys to himself, extra attention from family members, and more. I didn’t plan a four-year age gap; it took our family a lot longer and a lot more help than we expected to have our second son, but age gaps aren’t everything. When my second son was finally on the way, I heard a lot of opinions about how our oldest son would feel once he finally...

Keep Reading

Dear Busy Sports Mom: It’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mom watching soccer game, photo from behind

My daughter stands on the front porch every morning and waves goodbye to me as I pull out of the driveway to go to work.  She is 11, and recently eye-rolling, long sighs, and tears have become more commonplace in our daily interactions. But, there is also this: “Bye! Have a good day!” she calls to me in the quiet of early morning, neighbors not yet awake in their still dark houses. “You are AMAZING! You got this!” she continues in her little adult voice, sounding more like a soccer mom than a fifth grader.   Her hair is still a...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the Baby Hangers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Shirt hanging from small hanger, color photo

You bought them when you first found out you were pregnant. It may have been one of the first items, actually, to hold all of the precious new clothes. The smallest ones in your household. Do you remember that first newborn onesie you bought? It was one of your favorites. You couldn’t fathom you would soon hold something so small that would fit into that onesie. You washed all of the new clothing in preparation and hung them up in your baby’s closet. You know the item. A miniature version of the ones in your closet. Baby hangers. “Do we...

Keep Reading

Take the Trip, You Won’t Regret It

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

Two years ago, in the middle of a snowy, windy, Colorado March, my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to road trip to Arizona with our three very young kids.  Even though I was excited, the nerves were so very real. Over the next couple of weeks, I literally lost sleep worrying about the logistics of our trip. My late-night mindless scrolling was replaced by searches like “traveling with toddlers” and “keeping kids entertained on road trips”. We already had our hands full chasing kids at home in a familiar setting. Were we crazy to think we could just...

Keep Reading

They’ll Remember the Love Most of All

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman with kids from above, pregnant mother with kids hands on belly

You lie in bed at the end of a long day, the events of the day flashing back through your mind. You do this a lot—recap your day as a mama. How did you do? Did you maintain your patience? Did you play enough? Did you limit screen time? Did you yell less today than you did yesterday? You saw a really neat toddler activity in the group you’re a part of on Facebook . . . you should have done that with the kids. They would have loved it. There wasn’t enough time though, and you didn’t have all...

Keep Reading

He’s Slowly Walking Away with Footprints As Big As Mine

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Teen boy walking along beach shore

The true measure of a mother’s love is her willingness to wake up before the sun on vacation. On a recent trip to the shore, my youngest son begged to walk the beach at dawn to look for shells. So, I set my alarm, tumbled out of a warm, king-sized bed with extra squishy pillows, glared at my dead-to-the-world husband, and gently woke my 11-year-old. Without so much as a drop of coffee, we headed out into the morning, the sun still below the ocean horizon. With each step, I shed my zombie-like state and took in the quiet, salt-kissed...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Raising You Right Is Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
little boy walking in sunlit field

You were the baby who slept nights. You were the infant who quietly stacked blocks one on top of the other. You were the toddler who watched other kids go down the slide at the park 20 times before attempting it yourself. You were the preschooler who hunkered down quietly and patiently when meeting your grandmother’s chickens. So I assumed you would be a gentle boy. And you are.   And yet, now that you’re eight, I’m beginning to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Boys will be boys.” I had my first inkling that day when you were five...

Keep Reading