It's okay to stop and start again...

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

PSA! It is okay to stop transitioning or teaching your babes something new and start again at a later date…..

Let me tell you what I’m talking about with these two examples. I’ll also tell you why it was just the best thing for us to stop doing it! In February, Johanna’s teachers and I decided it was a good idea to start potty training. I realize that at only 21 months old it’s a little early but she had been showing signs that she was ready to start. Signs like telling us she went to the bathroom in her diaper, hiding while doing a #2 and showing interest in the toilet! Before this, I had been putting her on the toilet every night before bath time. She never actually went on the toilet but it was good habit practice.

Well…. I bought the panties, the carpet cleaner and the toddler toilet seat and gave it a try. Let’s just say it was an absolute mess! She peed everywhere except in the toilet. I found it to be more frustrating that enjoyable. Whenever I would sit her on the toilet she would dance and talk (a sign that she was in fact NOT ready). I did this with her for 3 days and then it was time for the daycare to take over! I still remember I had the worst anxiety driving her to daycare in panties even though it is 3 minutes from our house! We got there and her panties were dry! Win win, right?! Well…. when I picked her up at the end of the day it wasn’t a win win anymore. She had peed on the floor, on a toy, in her panties, everywhere except in the toilet. Her teachers are amazing and were willing to keep going for the rest of the week but just like at home she danced, sang and talked a lot while sitting on the toilet. I mean who can blame her for that, right?

So here is why we stopped and I don’t feel guilt about it at all. She is young and she simply wasn’t ready and that is okay! My Dad actually put it perfectly for me, “don’t rush her to grow up.” Thanks Dad! Another reason that we stopped is because there was a lot of change that was about to happen for her and we did not want her to regress. We would soon be moving and she would be transitioning to the next classroom (the 2 year old class). We did move but Coronavirus brought on more changes that just moving to a new classroom. There was actually no way I could keep potty training, pack up the house and move at the same time. I couldn’t put that much pressure on myself as her Mom and I couldn’t put that much pressure on a 21-month old little girl! No way!

The plan was to get settled into our new place and let her transition to the new class and then wait 6 months to start potty training again. Welp! I’m sure glad that we stopped because I can guarantee with the crazy schedule we have right now, she would have regressed!!! Now the plan is to wait until the pandemic is over, wait 6 months after that and start again. Listen to me…. Do yourself a favor, give yourself some grace and weigh your pros and cons!!!

The other thing that we stopped and have yet to start again is transitioning her to a toddler bed. I really did try to rush her into things and actually started this at the same time as potty training!!!!! No No No! This goes along with what I always tell you about knowing your kids inside and out and what they can handle and what they can’t! Too much change is probably not that great for any kid but I was out of my mind doing both things at the same time. I took that rail off her bed like a stern proud Mom thinking “hell yeah, she is good to go.” Ha!!!!

She did great the first few nights! However, I did not! I was constantly checking on her, watching the camera, waking up to make sure she didn’t fall out of the bed…. Yeah, that was me…. I’m that Mom! The helicopter type.

After the first few nights, Cookie (our dog) decided it was a great idea to sleep in the bed with her best friend (Johanna). To be completely honest, I didn’t even know she was in her bed until I heard Johanna talking. I was headed up the stairs and stopped halfway thinking “oh no way she’s awake right now.” I whipped out my camera and saw her and Cookie in the bed together, talking!!!! I didn’t know what to do so I just went into my room. 20 minutes later, Johanna was also in my room and that was the end of that transitioning! The next few nights, I would wake up to Johanna in my bed! Our rooms were very close together so it wasn’t like she had to go that far. I am not against co sleeping whatsoever! I am on team “whatever works for you, your child and your family.” However, for me it is important that she have her own room with her own bed. She sleeps with me when she is sick, has had a rough day, etc. etc. But I like the fact that there is that boundary since we are stuck like glue all day long! I think it is healthy for her and myself but again this is just what works for us!

Anyway… after about a week of waking up to her snuggled up on me in my bed (I did love it and it’s so hard to resist) I decided she wasn’t yet ready to sleep in a toddler bed. Again, we would be moving soon and she would not only have to learn to sleep in a toddler bed but also adjust to a new house, new room and new schedule… it was too much! So I put the crib back up and decided to wait 6 months after we are settled in. Now, just like the potty training I will wait until the pandemic is over and another 6 months after that to start again!

I have no regrets, no mom guilt and I’m proud of my decision to stop doing both things!

This brings me here… to the world we are living in today… a pandemic where everything has suddenly stopped for everyone including our children. They have stopped seeing there friends, stopped seeing their family and maybe even have had a developmental or educational set back. Listen to me, it is okay!!!! EVERYONE is in the same situation as you are even if it is a different category. One Mom may have had to stop potty training, while another has had to stop teaching all day long and it is okay!!!

Once this is over, we will jump right back into things and our kids with move on, relearn and progress!

Always remember, you are doing a fantastic job!

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