potty-training-toddler-urine-smell-on-clothes

Parents need potty training, too! 3 Quick Tips for the First Time Around

Alyssa running into lobbyAll morning she had talked about her new class at school. About playing with her friends. About her big girl panties. She was so proud of those Peppa Pig panties. 

She ran through the front door & into the lobby at full speed, hardly slowing as she turned the corner into her classroom. She walked right up to her teacher and happily exclaimed “I’m a BIG girl!” 

Alyssa full speed ahead

Then she slowly looked toward the floor & let out a sob. She looked up at me with confusion; tears streaming down her cheeks. 

Immediately I realized my mistake. In the hustle & bustle of our morning, I had forgotten to ask if she needed to stop to potty. I had rushed her right along, not wanting to be late to work, & she was embarrassed by having an accident in front of her new class. 

Have you ever been so wrapped up in your routine that you forgot to stop & reassess your family’s needs? Without intentionally taking a step back and evaluating the need for change regularly, you may find yourself exactly where I was that morning. 

  • Stop for a moment & think about where you can integrate potty breaks into your routine. I decided to make it a habit to encourage a trip to the bathroom before we leave the house & whenever we arrive at a new destination. This works well for our family because we stop at the Elementary school in between home & daycare.


Never having dealt with this particular laundry monster before, I threw her clothes in the wash with the rest of our laundry after adding a quick spray of stain remover. After carefully laundering everything we needed to be ready to run out the door bright & early (a.k.a. I remembered to throw it all in the dryer before I went to bed), I thought we were well prepared to get dressed the best day. 

I thought wrong. 

When I opened the dryer door, I realized I had done nothing but infuse all of our clothes with eau de potty training. I cannot stress enough that detergent alone will not yield the desired results!

But after a bit of experimentation, I found an easy & inexpensive way to ensure the smell won’t stick around.

  • Invest in a large bottle of white vinegar & a spray bottle. As soon as you are able, rinse the soiled garments in cool water & wring dry. Lightly spritz the white vinegar on all surfaces & tie up in a plastic bag until time to launder. I wash these in a small load on their own in cold water & opt for a second rinse. 

Soak in cold water and vinegar
After carrying around a diaper bag for a few years, we are all pretty used to packing an extra set of clothes & undergarments. But that day in the classroom I learned about one more item that should be considered indispensable as part of an “extra set of clothes.”

As I started to help her change clothes & clean up the mess, she asked me to take off her shoes. Then her socks. They were soaked. 

I had to ask her teacher to wash them & set them out to dry, & my already embarrassed little girl had to go barefoot for the first half of the day.

  • Shoes. One more time- SHOES! Please make sure that you always pack an extra pair of shoes (& socks if you are an overachiever) along with a change of clothes. Your future self will thank you.

Always carry extra shoes
A quick recap, for those of you taking notes:

  1. Assess your routine to build in cues for potty breaks.
  2. Spray soiled garments with white vinegar prior to washing.
  3. Carry an extra pair of shoes along with a change of clothes for accidents.

Don’t forget to find humor where you can, & remember that this too shall pass! We always hear about the challenges kids have when potty training, but as parents we have lessons to learn as well. Building time into your schedule to account for any surprises along the way will take the pressure off of you & your kids so everyone will have a better experience.

Let me know what other quick tips you have for first time potty training parents!

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overwhelm, overwhelmed, mommy burnout

Feeling overwhelmed? Then it's time to put down your shovel.

Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately?

Tired of everyone telling you to “just relax” when you simply can’t?

You know that without rest you aren’t at your best, but how are you supposed to find the time when there is so much to do?

How many of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • After a long day you finally arrive home, & instantly want to turn around and leave again just to avoid the mess.
  • The kids are finally asleep, & although you’re tired, you start working your way through your list of chores before finally succumbing to exhaustion.

You go into the weekend pumped about all of the things you will get accomplished, but stress on Sunday night because you barely made progress.

 

overwhelm, overwhelmed, mommy burnout

 

Ever notice how your projects seem to get bigger as time goes on?

It’s because they do!

In the business world, this phenomenon is called “scope creep,” & is one reason that [amazon_textlink asin=’194163110X’ text=’project managers’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’Sometimemom-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’594eaf55-d32c-11e7-9d5e-6d4b3c2506a6′] carefully lay out all aspects of a project in detail before any work begins. Scope creep can be one of the most expensive parts of a project, because it involves all of the “add-on” ideas that were not part of the plan. It can also create undue stress by increasing the number of action items on an already tight timeline.

  • When you are running to the post office to drop off a package & your coworker asks you to pick up some stampsthat’s scope creep.
  • When your boss stops by to ask you to research an additional angle for a proposal you have almost completed…that’s scope creep.

 

[bctt tweet=”Scope creep doesn’t always have a huge impact- but it can accumulate over time or over a number of projects in a way that makes your once manageable to-do list seem impossible!” username=”sometimemom”]

Do you see yourself in any of the situations below?

  • You volunteered to help out occasionally at your daughter’s school, but now it seems like you must be their only volunteer since you have a new project every week!
  • You promised yourself that this time you wouldn’t go overboard when decorating for the holidays, since it took you 3 months to put away the decorations last year but you’re already planning your theme in July… and is that a [amazon_textlink asin=’B06WWMXTMN’ text=’snowman salt shaker’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’Sometimemom-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9d73c089-d32c-11e7-8aec-4170d821ad74′] on your dining room table?
  • You started to pull out a few items for the upcoming consignment sale & ended up reorganizing everyone’s closet, pulling out 10 trash bags worth of items to donate, & color-coding the kids’ bookshelves.

There is nothing wrong with taking on additional work when you can handle it, but if saying “yes” is adding to your overwhelm, then start saying “no.”

Write it.

Shout it.

Make it sound super sweet if you must.

But say it.

 

What if you are the one creating scope creep and adding more into your day than you can handle?

 

Then it’s time to put down your shovel!

Stop digging for more.

Stop burying yourself.

Just

Put.

It.

Down!

 

The easiest way to get out of the hole you are in is to stop making it bigger.

Don’t add to your current project- make a note that once you are done, you would like to start on X,Y, or Z.

But make yourself say NO until you have wrapped up your current workload.

At first, you might feel like you are slacking off by limiting the scope of your projects. But think about how much better you will feel when you have a bunch of completed projects all out of the way, rather than those “in progress” spread like a tornado across all areas of your life.

Think about how nice it would be to know exactly what you need to focus on next.

It’s totally possible.

You can go from overwhelmed to in control.

Just put down your shovel, & get to work!

Feeling overwhelmed? Then it’s time to put down your shovel.

Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately?

Tired of everyone telling you to “just relax” when you simply can’t?

You know that without rest you aren’t at your best, but how are you supposed to find the time when there is so much to do?

How many of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • After a long day you finally arrive home, & instantly want to turn around and leave again just to avoid the mess.
  • The kids are finally asleep, & although you’re tired, you start working your way through your list of chores before finally succumbing to exhaustion.
  • You go into the weekend pumped about all of the things you will get accomplished, but stress on Sunday night because you barely made progress.

Ever notice how your projects seem to get bigger as time goes on? It’s because they do!

Overwhelmed with my to do list
In the business world, this phenomenon is called “scope creep,” & is one reason that project managers carefully lay out all aspects of a project in detail before any work begins. Scope creep can be one of the most expensive parts of a project, because it involves all of the “add-on” ideas that were not part of the plan. It can also create undue stress by increasing the number of action items on an already tight timeline.

  • When you are running to the post office to drop off a package & your coworker asks you to pick up some stampsthat’s scope creep.
  • When your boss stops by to ask you to research an additional angle for a proposal you have almost completed…that’s scope creep.

Scope creep doesn’t always have a huge impact- but it can accumulate over time or over a number of projects in a way that makes your once manageable to-do list seem impossible!

Do you see yourself in any of the situations below?

  • You volunteered to help out occasionally at your daughter’s school, but now it seems like you must be their only volunteer since you have a new project every week!
  • You promised yourself that this time you wouldn’t go overboard when decorating for the holidays, since it took you 3 months to put away the decorations last year but you’re already planning your theme in July… and is that a snowman salt shaker on your dining room table?
  • You started to pull out a few items for the upcoming consignment sale & ended up reorganizing everyone’s closet, pulling out 10 trash bags worth of items to donate, & color-coding the kids’ bookshelves.

There is nothing wrong with taking on additional work when you can handle it, but if saying “yes” is adding to your overwhelm, then start saying “no.”

Write it.

Shout it.

Make it sound super sweet if you must.

But say it.

What if you are the one creating scope creep and adding more into your day than you can handle?

Then it’s time to put down your shovel!

Stop digging for more.

Stop burying yourself.

Just

Put.

It.

Down!

The easiest way to get out of the hole you are in is to stop making it bigger. Don’t add to your current project- make a note that once you are done, you would like to start on X,Y, or Z. But say NO until you have wrapped up your current workload.

At first, you might feel like you are slacking off by limiting the scope of your projects. But think about how much better you will feel when you have a bunch of completed projects all out of the way, rather than those “in progress” spread like a tornado across all areas of your life.

Think about how nice it would be to know exactly what you need to focus on next.

It’s totally possible.

You can go from overwhelmed to in control.

Just put down your shovel, & get to work!

Mommy, will you paint with me?

Today, I stopped to consider that perhaps I had been measuring my accomplishments all wrong. What if the reason I never felt that my work was “done” was because I wasn’t spending my time on the things that really matter?

Time can be our friend, or it can be our worst enemy.

Both of my girls, ages 8 & 2, are in school during the week. 

My husband & I work demanding jobs. 

There is always more on our to-do list than can possibly be done. But, like many of you, I gave myself the responsibility of trying to do it all anyway.

Start the laundry, wash some dishes, hurry the girls off to school, run to the grocery store on my lunch break to avoid cutting into family time, work late to make up the extra few minutes it took to go  shopping, hurry Alyssa into the car at pickup so we aren’t late to get Callie, bring in the groceries, rush through homework, speed through dinner, a quick bath, and then bedtime. For the girls, at least. Whew!

Say hi to my husband, put the laundry in the dryer, set out clothes for the morning, & realize that somehow I have stayed up too late yet again. Promise myself to do better tomorrow.

Rushing through tasks, cramming more into our day than ever before, & waking up exhausted yet bravely attempting to do it all again. Sound familiar?

I read the same articles that you do- the ones that tell me to slow down before I burn out. It makes sense, & I tell myself that I will slow down. Later. When I am finished with all the things that have to be done. 

Today in between checking items off of my to-do list, I try to take a break like the articles suggest. But then I see those beautiful homes on TV & in the glossy covered magazines I don’t normally stop to read. I browse through my newsfeed & see those adorable snapshots of my friends’ neatly groomed children & spotless living rooms. I look around my house- at the toys scattered carelessly & dishes left in the sink, & get to work.

“Mommy, I want to paint.” Alyssa comes to the kitchen holding a pad of paper almost as big as she is, and I give my standard reply. “Ok, just a minute, let me finish (insert task of the moment here).” She goes off to play with her sister, and I tell myself I will get her paints after I finish loading the dishwasher. One job turns into another & I find myself moving the art supplies to dust the table.

I forgot to get Alyssa her paints. I am a terrible mother & have probably scarred her for life. I hope she doesn’t think that I forgot about her. I know I would be letting the girls down if I didn’t do as much cleaning as I can on the weekend since I work during the week because they deserve a tidy house like the ones I always see. That’s just part of being a good mom.

I quickly set up the paints & go find Alyssa. I get her situated so I can head upstairs to do some laundry. 

“Mommy, will you paint with me?”

I stop- I stop walking, I stop checking off items on the list in my head, & I look at her. She has gotten so big. So independent. I wonder how long it’s been since I sat in the floor & played with her. She’s almost 3 now, & doesn’t need me to keep her entertained like she did when she was younger. But she still needs me.

You should have seen her eyes light up when I sat down on the floor. Callie heard the giggles & joined us almost immediately. We spent at least an hour sitting in the floor together. The girls were having tons of fun, & so was I. 

Callie painting with watercolorI didn’t think about my to-do list once during that time. I was fully present, simply enjoying the moment with my girls. I understand what those articles about slowing down were trying to say. I felt it today, & I want to feel it every day. Time stood still for that moment. 

Earlier I told you about my impossibly long to-do list; all of the things that have to be done. And how, like many of you, I gave myself the responsibility of trying to do it all anyway. After today, I am done with that way of thinking, & I want you to release this burden in the same way that I did. 

It isn’t about the painting, or sitting in the floor. It is about the choice.

The choice I made when I gave myself the responsibility to do it all. The choice you make when you do the same. That is the choice that will make or break us all- & it depends on whether you can bring yourself to stop. 

Just for one small moment. 

Stop & feel  time stand still.

When I put Alyssa to bed tonight, I knew this would be one of the best choices I have ever made. As she snuggled in with her lovey & started talking about her day, I asked what was her favorite part. Her reply?

“Mommy, when you played with me.”

Little Shadow

I have a little shadow

Soft and sweet as can be

She sneaks into my room each night

And curls up next to me

All day long she’s underfoot

And wants to hold my hand

I wish for days of freedom

Then gently honor her demands

These days are long and nights seem short

Devoted to my shadow

But looking back the time has flown

Don’t let it go much faster

For my baby girl with tiny hands

Has turned into a toddler

Another day, another year

Not my shadow, but my daughter

Getting Myself into Gear

Time for a confession…

I am a dreamer. I am a planner. I am an analyzer. I am incredibly resourceful. 

But I have a problem with commitment. Really, it’s a twofold problem. 

  1. I will commit to doing just about anything Sometime. If the plans aren’t certain, the project not nailed down, or the brainstorming has just begun, count me in!
  2. I cannot bring myself to commit to anything that might box me in. Dinner next week? Maybe… Dinner next Friday at 6? Um, no, I don’t think I can make it.

This also flows out into the dreams I have, the plans I do make, and the decisions I endlessly analyze. I have heard it called “analysis paralysis” and I am certain that I have a textbook case. 

So far, I have failed myself by letting this stop me from jumping into this blog with the gusto that I dreamed about. But today, I resolve that I will not let my indecision get in the way of this blog. I will write, I will share my insights, & I will not worry myself  with getting everything just right.

Maybe sometimes, just getting started is enough.