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Help, I’m giving up

I seem to recall potty training Eliza was reasonably simple.  It took about a month all in and then a few accidents occurred.  But she got it pretty quickly.  She was about 2 and 2 months I think, but I can’t be sure.  The same can not be said of her little sister.  Just getting her on the sodding potty was gargantuan effort and then after about a month she finally started to wee on it.  I thought we were getting somewhere. But the rate of accidents suggests I was deluding myself.

The thing that comes out in every article I read is consistency. You have to do the same thing and keep trying, so I did that, and I asked the childminder to do the same. Seemed to be working.  But Tilly only tells me she needs a wee after she’s actually done one.  So I can cope with these accidents at home but at other people’s houses and in Sainsbury’s is a bit annoying.  But of course, according to other articles, you have to stay at home for a week and that’ll crack it.  I’m guessing those articles weren’t written by working mothers who can’t take a week off at the drop of a hat.

So other articles say you’re supposed to try a new strategy if the one you’re using isn’t working.  But the suggestions aren’t exactly plentiful and in my constantly tired state (Eliza’s back to her 5am mornings) I don’t have the imagination to come up with any. Or other articles say you are supposed to be a mind-reader:

The parents who achieve potty training success without frustration and headache are those who can really look inside the mind of their little one and figure out what strategies will work on any given day.
So often, parents get frustrated with their child because he or she appears to be backtracking or was showing progress and then stopped. The fact is that children of this age are so complex and change so rapidly that it is almost unheard for a parent to apply one single principle or strategy to child potty training and enjoy success.

I was feeling like a classic #mummyfail, singularly failing to potty train my 21/2 year old when I got a text from my childminder yesterday saying that she didn’t have the time to give my daughter the one to one potty training she needed so she’d prefer it if she was in pull ups. I can see her point, it must be frustrating having to change her when she wets herself and having to anticipate when she’ll need a wee when she has other children to look after too.  The irony is I was quite happy to leave Tilly in nappies until I felt she was really ready, but I kept being told that she was ready. She clearly wasn’t.

So we’re giving up on it for a bit, start again when she really is ready I guess.  I’m sure it will happen before she starts school.

But my point is this.  When you work you are often devolving responsibility for the major developments in your child’s life simply because you are not present at these moments.  It doesn’t mean you don’t care, doesn’t mean you are a bad person and the fact you work doesn’t make you the antichrist of mothers.

So why does it always feel that you are?

Any working mothers managed to potty train their children?  If so I would be most grateful for you advice.



  1. Don’t feel like you’ve failed. I was convinced that my son was ready at two and a half but he just couldn’t get it. Tried again 3 months later and had to give up again. Some time around three we tried again because all his friends were potty training and he wanted to be like them and it worked. Definately a case of positive peer pressure. She will get it in the end as you say.

  2. Just wait and wait until she is ready. Really ready. Then it literally only takes an hour and they get it. This is the slack, easy, expensive in nappies no pride method that worked for me….

  3. I feel like I’ve missed much of my partner’s pregnancy due to work and having to travel far and wide whilst working – I hope I’m there more of the time when my child is born, I can completely sympathise and it’s interesting to see it from the other side, so to speak.

    Keep up the good work :)

  4. Don’t feel like you are giving up she is still only little… I trained all of mine by having them in pants when it was convenient and towards the end pants with a pull-up over the top to save mess (well Middle Littlesheep did decide to start training on Christmas day itself after Father Christmas fulfilled his wish put pants in his stocking!)

  5. Your little one is obviously not ready and it is not a reflection on anyone! When she is ready she will ask to go more etc – at about that age with my son we started to read lots of books about using big toilets and talked a lot about it and eventually he just got it – think he was nearly 3! Whereas my little one we trained at 2 years and 4 months and she got it in about a month but still randomly(5 months on) she has the odd accident!

  6. There’s no shame in giving up – we tried and failed a couple of times before Bigger got it but when she was ready it was done in a matter of hours

    I know what you feel about missing out on these things but in the greater scheme of thing they’ll remember that you were there in the middle of the night when they need you, not that you did bum wiping

  7. Ha! I sent the twins to my mothers age 2 and 3/4 – bloody hard work,

    dont worry tilly will sort it when she wants – she is a smart cookie that one


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