How Other Moms Manage to Keep Their Cool While Potty Training

potty training
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I knew that becoming a mom meant that I'd be dealing with someone else's poop and pee. I expected diapers and even the occasional poop blow-out. What I did not expect was having to clean pee out of a shag carpet when my potty-training kid dumped his little potty all over the floor. 

That carpet was never really the same. 

Don't get me wrong, potty training is an exciting milestone, but let's be real -- it can also be super frustrating and kind of gross. But as moms, we need to keep our cool and our patience so potty training doesn't become a source of major drama. Nobody wants potty training to turn into a struggle for control or for it to result in tears (mom or kid!). 

Read on for totally relatable advice from 11 moms who've survived the struggle -- #9 is my inspiration!

  • Embrace It

    1

    "I think the key is really just to embrace that potty training is going to have some ridiculous moments as well as some wet floors, disgusting underwear, and at least one moment of wearing a toilet as a hat -- at least at our house. You just have to roll with it and not take it too seriously. It is just pee." -- Mary S., Dover, Delaware

  • Remember to Play

    2

    "I was trying to get my daughter potty trained so she could start preschool a little early. Truthfully, she probably wasn't ready and so it was HARD. Lots of tears, on both sides. My doctor gave me some gentle advice: Remember not to let this take over your life and to make sure you're still connecting with your kid through play and other normal stuff. Don't let potty training become your whole world, basically." -- Arlene D., Casper, Wyoming

  • Laugh About It

    3

    "I potty trained twins. The only thing that got me through was gallows humor. I sent my husband a lot of texts -- while he was at work -- with pictures of poop. Poop on the floor, poop in underwear, poop near -- but not IN -- the potty. If I was going to be up to my elbows in feces, he was going to be there with me in spirit." -- Tracey V., Chicago, Illinois

    More from CafeMom: When a Potty-Trained Kid Has Accidents: 12 Dos and Don'ts

  • Commiserate

    4

    "I love love love being part of my online moms' group. They are like my online tribe. I posted a lot during the potty-training days, and it was nice to know that I wasn't alone. We would all vent about it but also celebrate the good days. You've got to confide in your mom friends." -- LeShelle M., Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

  • Educate Yourself

    5

    "Potty training gave me an encyclopedic knowledge of all of the public restrooms in a 50-mile radius of my house. It became kind of my party trick. Like, anyone could mention a store and I could tell you what the bathroom was like. Totally dazzling as a conversational moment, I'm sure. Totally useless knowledge. I'm not sure this is evidence that I survived with my sanity." -- Lauren D., Stillwater, Oklahoma

  • Team Up

    6

    "My BFF and I decided to potty train our kids at the same time. Best mom move ever. We texted like 15 times a day, including potty pictures. She was also the one who reminded me that basically all kids get potty trained eventually and that my kid wasn't going to get his diaper changed by his college roommate." -- Deb R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Take Breaks

    7

    "Sometimes we just took a day off potty training. We used diapers or training pants all day and just didn't stress about it. In the long run I think it helped me not make potty training a whole stressful thing for both of us." -- Janice V., Grand Haven, Michigan

  • Let Grandma Take Over

    8

    "Overnight trips to Grandma's house were my sanity saver. Sometimes you just need a break from potty training and, you know, the whole parenting thing." -- Erin D., Chicago, Illinois

  • Indulge a Little

    9

    "Wine. Wine helped. There may have been a wine and grilled cheese lunch indulged on one particularly crappy (pun intended!) day." -- Sasha D., Fort Collins, Colorado

    More from CafeMom: Creative Potty Training Hack May Get Your Kid to Stay Put on the Toilet

  • Do the Math

    10

    "Whenever I started to feel like I was this close to tearing my hair out (like when I stepped in a puddle of warm pee again), I did the math on what I spent on diapers every month and gritted my teeth and soldiered on. I'm very motivated by saving money." -- Priscilla G., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Remind Yourself It's Just a Phase

    11

    "For potty training or any other hard parenting phase, I just remind myself that parenting is a long game. Almost every parenting struggle I've ever had was solved by the same thing -- time. The days are long but the years are short, so in the long run the potty-training phase is just a small part of our life." -- Ryanne D., Tupelo, Mississippi

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