Potty Training and the Working Mom

by Love, Work 6 Comments
Working moms have an advantage when it comes to potty training. Childcare professionals can help you! But when you work from home -- that's another story.
Recently, my 2-year-old and I embarked on the adventure known as potty training. Being a working mom has its advantages at this particular developmental stage. Your babysitter is another person on your team, someone who can help your little one make progress while you are at work and not worrying about pee and poo every two minutes. But pair potty training with working from home, and you’re in for a … wet experience.At first glance, you would think working from home would be really conducive to potty training. You’re home with the Little One all day. It’s one more chance to help her get into the swing of things.

Then you participate in a conference call.

The key to keeping up with the office while at home is making sure your child is occupied so he or she doesn’t interrupt. On my first work-from-home-potty-training day, I participated in an hour-long call while my daughter played happily in our guest room. When I finished the call, she was still playing happily–and there was a huge puddle on the floor. (Let me pause right here to say that hardwood floors and a Swiffer Wet Jet are indispensable items for potty training parents.) We had progressed to the point–that day, at least–when she had decided diapers were hopelessly passe and was insisting on wearing her Dora The Explorer panties or nothing at all. Well, both Dora panties and nothing at all call for close supervision. And close supervision is hard to do when you’re trying to brainstorm with your colleagues by phone.

Potty training toddlers are a fickle, fibbing bunch. They will insist they don’t have to potty, only to go everywhere two seconds later. They will sit on the pot and go, giving you a false sense of security that it’s OK to relax your eagle eye. Then, the minute you turn your back, they’ll go even more, all over your favorite leather chair. My daughter is great at telling us she needs to use the potty–50 percent of the time, she tells us after she’s already used it in the corner. Most of this I figured out last Tuesday as I tried to juggle my job at the office and my job as the person who’s supposed to be teaching Little One to stay dry. “Wow,” I thought, as I cleaned up puddle #2, “If my co-workers could only see me now, they’d *really* be jealous of this flexible work schedule. This right here is Glamour with a capital G.”

Tomorrow I’m working from home again. And I’ve got a new package of Pull-Ups. She’s made a bit of progess in the past week. Maybe I won’t need them. But I’ve got a couple of calls to do, and I’m running out of Wet Jet refill pads. I figure I’m safer saving the hard-core potty training for after office hours.

Sara Bennett Wealer

A co-founder of Working Moms Against Guilt, Sara Bennett Wealer is an author, copywriter and mother of two. Her debut novel for young adults, RIVAL, was released by HarperTeen.

6 Comments

  1. I was very frustrated as well with potty training. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com. We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try.

  2. lol. Your post cracked me up. It took forever for us to get Sean Michael potty trained. He just wasn’t interested. In no way,shape or form did he see reason to give up his pullups for underwear. We tried everything – Cherios in the toilet to “shoot” made him cry, stickers on a chart were of no interest, he had no interest in candy or treats as rewards. Then one day I found his weakness… Thomas the Tank Engine. I am not above telling you that I resorted to bribery. All I can say is that I was desperate to have him transition to his Thomas underwear and out of pullups. With in a week he was well on his way to becoming a “big” boy and I was only out 3 trains and a crane (for going #2, but that is a whole diff. story…).

  3. I recently thought “When Owen gets old enough to talk, this working at home will be much easier.” Then I thought, along with talking, he’ll be walking, getting into things, needing to be potty trained. Then I realized–it’s never really going to get easier, is it? Good luck to you and your LO with potty training! And know I feel your “working at home with child” pain–albeit on a different level.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! I’m experiencing the same thing with my daughter! She’s almost three (in May), and you’re right – they fib about it! I’ve tried using the “big girl” panties – yet she doesn’t feel uncomfortable in wet panties at all! Yet, I’m thankful that she moved herself up this past week to wanting to sit on the toilet instead of the pot. And she does it with ease.

    You’re also right about having hardwood floors. I wish we did have them, but we have carpet, so no letting her go around with nothing!

    Thanks for an entertaining post! I can relate to it perfectly!

    KWiz

  5. That previous “anonymous” comment was me – KWiz at http://www.wisdomwalking.net .

    Interestingly, just so you know, Blogger let me post that comment without me putting in the “Word Verification” letters it asks for before it posts (to eliminate spam, right?). Which is why it says “anonymous.” I merely pressed the wrong key on my keyboard and it posted anyway. Just wanted you to be aware.

  6. […] See, this is how much I don’t know. I have stocked up on Swiffer Wet Jet pads after reading Sara’s post from awhile back. Go […]

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