Tag Archives: motherhood

My potty training tips.

I present to you my potty training tips. I personally prefer the term potty practice. Training makes me feel like I have a puppy that needs teaching. From my own experience, George will do things when he is ready. It is my role to guide him and just show him a good way of doing things. Not to train him, not to show him the right way. To guide him towards a way that works for the both of us. All the while gauging what he feels comfortable with.

I am by no means claiming to be an expert. Blimey who really is! We are all so different, we have to adapt things to our own and our child’s specific needs and capabilities. But we have smashed this so called potty training in 5 days. After 5 days George was dry DAY and NIGHT. I will admit he had one night time accident, but I will explain how to try to avoid this later on in the post. I read so many mums saying how awful and horrific the process was. Aside from day 2 where I had to clean up 6 wees it really was easy.

  1. Look for signs your child is ready. However, this isn’t always a good indicator. At 18 months old George was telling us he had soiled his nappy and getting the bits for us to change it. I took this as him knowing when he needed to have a wee or poo. I introduced the potty, quite successfully for a day or two. Until he needed a poo. He was bare bottomed and started pooing in the kitchen whilst standing, he ran in the living room screaming, poo pebbles falling around his ankles.

Hubs and I used gentle voices and told him it was fine and tried to get him to sit on the potty. We told him not to worry and quickly cleaned up. From that point he refused to use the potty or the toilet. Preferring to stand and scream and cry that he wanted a nappy on. For fear of him hurting himself by holding on to his toilets, we reverted back to nappies.

We spoke to him lots and tried a few times in the months following that to get him to try the potty again. At his 2 year check-up at 23 months I told the health visitor what had happened, half expecting a “why isn’t he potty trained yet?” lecture. She was so supportive and told me to leave it a long while as he was clearly traumatised by the poo-cident.

Note our successful 5 days leading to the farewell nappy parade happened at 33 months.

  1. One of the most important things is to avoid making a big deal when accidents occur. We are all human. None of us are 100% perfect. I really believe this will only put your child off the whole process even more if they see you getting angry or upset over spilt wee. I know myself that if I am doing something and someone reprimands me for the way I am doing it, I am very reluctant to perform that task again in the presence of that person.
  2. On the flip side, complete over the top praise is definitely necessary during potty practice. Did you ever see “Look Who’s Talking Too” when John Travolta and Kirstie Alley sing the pee pee on the pottayyy song. This so needs to happen. Along with numerous hi-fives, cuddles, and stickers for the t-shirt and facetimes and phone calls to grandparents to tell them what you just did. Anything that makes them feel accomplished, special, amazing and worthy. They need this so much. I really believe this helps immensely.
  3. I’m not going to tell you to prepare as such but it does help to have a few items in place before you start. Personally the items that have got us through this transition are;
  • A potty. We don’t have the latest all singing all dancing character potty. We have a bog stand, white, cheaper than cheap floor potty.
  • A toddler toilet seat. This helps make the seat smaller so they can sit comfortably without fear of falling in the toilet bowl. A seat with handles is ideal. Ours again was cheap and cheerful, easy to sling in a bag and take out with us.
  • Pull-ups. Because if accidents are going to happen, it’s a damn site easier. Some people choose to remain housebound during potty practice, we still had to go about our lives. So for bedtimes, trips to other people’s houses, or longer than 10 minute car journeys, pull ups are a godsend.

I’d recommend the more expensive ones with a wetness indicator so your child can aim to ensure the indicator doesn’t disappear. Otherwise they will just try and use it like a nappy potentially. FYI, they don’t hold much wee compared to a nappy. If you can get them with a favourite character on, bonus points! The character helps to encourage them to wear the pull up. You’ve just won the “you aren’t going to wear nappies anymore” battle and yet here you are presenting them with something that looks very much like a nappy. Confused much. The character will help distract from the point. Emphasis this is just to catch accidents which won’t happen but it’s ok if they do.

  • Big boy/big girl pants or knickers. If you can get them with a favourite character bonus points!
  • Loo roll. You’ll suddenly go from the Queen/King of multiple uses for baby wipes to the Goddess/God of loo roll and lessons in how little you actually need to use.
  1. Rewards chart. I know many of you will shudder at the thought of such a system. I too was against them having followed gentle parenting methods for the first year of George’s life. As he evolved into a toddler however, I realised that no ONE method was going to suit us when it came to parenting. Instead we choose to take advice from parenting styles we agree with and then adapt them to our child and our way of life.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so fearful that as soon as he received ten stickers and got his hands on that new toy, the pants would come flying off and he would scream for his nappy back. One week later and he is still totally rocking the pants and has sampled so many types of loo and loo seat I don’t think he will ever contemplate using a nappy again.

How we used the reward chart was to give a sticker for every poo or wee on the potty/toilet. He chose the sticker and stuck it on himself. The chart was beautifully handmade by moi. With inspiration taken from Pinterest. There are a huge choice out there and many seem overly complicated. I chose a simple, ten stickers and you get a new toy. This meant he could literally complete the chart in a matter of two days, if you consider how many poos and wees you do in a day.

Tuesday morning saw the chart at 6 stickers but unfortunately so did Tuesday evening. We had so many accidents Tuesday, he only made it to the toilet the once, first thing. Wednesday being a new day, we discussed with George the idea of removing the stickers he had earned and starting again, in light of the accidents. He was more than happy for us to do this. And so we began again. By Friday lunchtime he had his 10 stickers. The last of which was earned at nursery.

I’m wondering if because the chart was so simple and short, this allowed us to accomplish the unthinkable so quickly and successfully. I could be wrong. It’s worth a try though.

potty6. Many other mamas recommended I provide a form of distraction for little one as he sat on the toilet/potty. Especially when trying to overcome the “fear of the poo”. Distraction suggestions ranged from singing songs to reading a favourite story or blowing bubbles. We opted for me to read him a story which we kept in the bathroom.

7. Take their potty with you. When we took George to nursery on day 3 of potty practice, we had discussed him using the potty their and he agreed. On collecting him they told us he had refused to use their potty and only wanted his own. We took his own in on the friday and this problem was solved.

When we came to going on our first trip out, we took our seat adapter from home. However, despite having familiarity with the seat, he was still upset the first time he needed a wee and stood in the toilet and cried. I placed him on his seat and explained it was the same as at home. Used my usual distraction techniques, song singing, look at that bug on the wall etc and he realxed and did his wee. After that there was really no stopping him.

8. If all else fails talk about how it looks. We discuss what shape his poo’s are. It gives him determination to try and do a different shape next time. We do a wee in the toilet first and tell him to do a wee on top of ours so they can be flushed away together. All things that make him feel safe and reassured. It can be tough for toddlers to let go of things, even bodily functions. Knowing they are with Mummy and Daddy’s or they are being big and copying you can help them relate.

9. Share the love. Get them to tell everyone you encounter what they have achieved and how wonderful they are doing. get them to recognise and brag about their own accomplishments with potty practice. Ultimately you are also encouraging discussion of bodily functions. Something that, as we grow older, can often develop a stigma. I’m a great supporter of nothing being out of bounds. Your bodily functions can tell a lot about your health and I don’t believe we should ever be embarrassed of them or teach our little ones to be.

10. Best of Luck to all you potty practisers out there. If it feels like too much hard work then stop and wait a few months and try again is the best advice I can give. There will obviously be people out there who have persevered and successfully said farewell to the nappies.I can only give advice based on our experience. I’m not here to play the smug mum or knock anyone else’s methods. I aim to help.

So take these tips on board if you will. Change them to suit you, completely ignore them altogether if they don’t suit you or your child. You know me though, I love to share so I couldn’t resist. Would be great to know my tips have helped at least one person.

Best of luck to you all. If you have any tips you think may help our readers please feel free to add them in the comments below.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

A tubthumping Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day in our household was seeming like an ordinary day. Hubs was having a lie in and I was going about my normal motherly , housewife duties when this just hit me.

Seeing fellow mummies share posts of breakfast in bed and showered with gifts (shame on me for having my birthday 6 days prior) I felt compelled to start writing.

And so a tubthumping Mother’s Day was born. Read this to the tune of Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. A hit with anyone old enough to remember the 90’s. Even better, pop the tune on in the background whilst you read my ‘alternative’ lyrics. I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Tubthumping – Chumbawamba

 A Tubthumping Mother’s Day


We’ll be singing, coz we’re women, we’ll be singing.

I get no sleep, I get up in the night, I’ve got a toddler who’s screaming “Milk!”
I get no sleep, but I get up at dawn, I ain’t never gonna lie in late!
I get him milk, but he won’t go to sleep, he wants to come and sleep in my bed.
I bring him in, but he won’t go to sleep, he wants the television on instead!

Wishing my life away…..tomorrows another day.

I change a wet nappy
I change a pooey nappy
I feed the toddler
I feed the pussy cats
I check my Facebook reminds me of the good times
I check my Instagram reminds me of the better times.

Ohhh…mummy I…mummy I..want my Paw Patrolllllll!!!!!!

I get back up and I sit down again….you won’t ever let me stay sat down!
I get your yoghurt….and then I get your drink
I’m feeling like some sort of waitress now
I get no tips
I get more whining
And Daddy is god knows where right now!
I’m thinking tea and something nice to eat
But I’ll just have to make my own in this house!

Putting the toys awayyyy
Putting the toys awayyyy

I clean the litter tray
I clean the bottles
I put the laundry on
I get the hoover out
I check my Facebook reminds me of the good times
I check my Instagram reminds me of the better times.

Don’t cry for me, it will soon be Fathers Day 😜

I get back up, and I sit down again….you won’t ever let me stay sat down.
I get some food
The cats done a poo
Will I ever get to finish my mouth
I sip my drink
And it’s gone cold again
I may just as well be nil by mouth
I get no break and then I hear hubs say,
Wish Mummy Happy Mothers Day!

Until next time…..

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The Friday Bruce Almighty helped me out – That Friday Linky

Friday has arrived. The first thing to recognise about today is that it is my eldest sister’s birthday so shout out to her. She really is the most kind and caring person there is and has always mothered me. Yesterday also marked the birthday of my step sister who is the same age as me. We are 18 days apart. I feel more like we are non biological, Irish twins rather than step sisters. Hate the term step. She’s my sister.
So today has been one of those Fridays where you feel like some kind of superhero. Do you have those days? I think it’s really important to recognise days when you exceed expectations of yourself.
This particular Friday morning I had rather foolishly booked a fringe trim for 9am. George is 2 years old and an only child, whilst I’m a stay at home mum.  So I’m not used to early starts and being out of the door before 9. The person in charge of my
Book of life also decided this morning that my alarm would fail and that I would wake at 7:57am!
With under an hour to get myself and a procrastinating toddler ready, I saw he was a sweaty sticky mess and realised it was my hair washing day and the dry shampoo was something I’d foolishly left off the shopping list. (In truth I read a article a while back about it causing bald patches and I’ve not bought it since, despite loving the magic of the stuff!).
Despite all this. I somehow managed to wash and blow dry my hair. Slap on some minimalist make up. Dress and shower both myself and George. Layer us both up, with a quick kiss sending hubby on his way to work, also unblocking  the driveway for my car to leave.
I’m not sure if some Jim Carrey God type, ala Bruce Almighty, froze time for us this morning but somehow we made it on time. George even forgot to throw his routine tantrum over something ridiculous on the way out of the door.
Arriving at the hairdressers at 9.05am with a dinosaur dangled in front of George’s face to encourage him to run faster, I began to explain my morning. The staff there congratulated me on my achievement.
Big fucking deal I hear you say. Well as I explained at the start, for me, it is. So I subconsciously gave myself a little “you’re fabulous” award before settling down for a quick fringe trim.
Feeling tidy and perfected, I headed to McDonald’s for a breakfast of champions. George got some rather satisfying puddle jumping in and we enjoyed a naughty breakfast treat together. Looking at the clock I realised we had a Hartbeeps class scheduled for 10am.
Pulling up at the village hall for our regular Friday Hartbeeps sesh, I was perfecting my reverse parking manoeuvre when I heard a loud crunch. Those vertical paving slabs that were at the back of the parking bay were closer than I had realised. Again, upon looking, I found no damage. Bruce Almighty must have been at work again.
Hartbeeps was its usual crazy dancing and singing self and we got to spend time with some friends. It’s a franchise that offers classes nationwide. I can fully recommend you try it. It starts as young as a babe in arms.
We finished our crazy morning with a play session at a friends house. I had crazily decided to make some avocado chocolate brownies the night before for us mummies to enjoy. The recipe was in the free Asda magazine. They contain a lot of peanut butter and to be honest it’s hard to taste much else. My friend seemed to enjoy them. I don’t like avocado but I know it has great health benefits so this is a great way for me to sneak it into my diet.
I’m don’t practice any religion or believe in a particular holy being. I actually read an article yesterday that suggests I might be a humanist. The jury is still out on that one. But I can’t help feeling like everything was on our side this Friday morning. It may sound ridiculous but if I do have a guardian angel, they definitely gave me a helping hand this morning.
Wishing you all a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend. Achieve what you can and give yourself credit where credit is due.
Until next time……
 This post was taking part in #ThatFridayLinky . Organised by Twin Mummy and Daddy
Twin Mummy and Daddy
Friday, Bruce Almighty, Breakfast, Brownies and Hartbeeps.

Reasons to smile – the happy side of parenting. 

I’ve decided to share with you a few reasons to smile if you are a parent of a toddler. Sharing’s caring and all that, and if I make you smile then let me know. I’m a people pleaser so if I make someone happy, that’s makes me happy.

In this crazy world of parenting, I feel like a good majority get far too hung up on the negatives. Lack of sleep, lack of time to yourself, lack of time full stop, non stop mess to tidy, our bodies getting wrecked by these tiny beings blah blah blah. The list goes on.

Parenting does have this little known Happy sidento it. Very, very rarely though do I hear parents talking about it. When asked how they are,  parents often respond with something negative about their child, myself included. It just seems to be the norm now that if someone asks a parent “hi, how are you?” , the response is more often than not related to the child and what terrible phase or stage they are at. Well I’m here to change this trend!

Yes my toddler can drive me up the wall and sometimes I can’t wait to hand him over to someone else for an hour. But this post is to acknowledge how much happiness he brings to my life regardless of any of the struggle parenthood brings.

Kids say the funniest things. Here are some of the classics George has made me giggle with recently.

“where the fuck have you been?”. Said to me after I popped downstairs to grab my drink and bring it upstairs where we were playing. I have to admit I am guilty of saying this word a lot. Naughty mummy, I’m trying to stop I promise.
“I not go ‘flying’ through the windscreen because I don’t have wings!”. This was in response to me explaining why he needed to wear his car seat straps as in a crash he may go flying.
“Don’t worry mummy, I make you better”. Approaching me with his doctors kit after I said I had a migraine.
“Sockies don’t be scared, let’s be friends yeah”. To our cat who isn’t scared of him but the other two run away from him.
“Oh, what’s that noise outside, it’s a girl, she’s sad, she wants me to play with her”. Randomly said during an evening bath.
“Stop singing Daddy’s song!” Whilst singing Queen, Don’t stop me now. This is mine and my sisters karaoke song! When I smiled at him he questioned it! Kids! Always a “what” and a “why” to throw my way.

George is an adorable singer. At not far past two years old, he knows a variety of songs, some old school nursery rhymes and some theme tunes from his favourite TV shows. He often gets me to sing it and then says, “sing it again”. This happens about three times as he watches me intently, learning the words, then sings along with me. It’s adorable. Plus I love having a mini singing buddy and feeling like a superstar when he watches me so intently.

He now gets very excited by the arrival of daylight, jumping up and down on the bed trying to wake us up saying “wake up mummy, daddy, it’s morning time!” He will also put his head under the duvet or crawl under my pillows and declare that he’s hiding. I love his enthusiasm and world of wonderment.


So my challenge to you is to try and share something positive about parenthood next time you are asked.

I fully support sharing all emotions, following the belief that sharing is caring no matter what feeling you share. I am a huge promoter of positivity and optimism though and this post aims to show this.

Until next time……

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Bringing up baby : Unwelcome advice

We’ve all experienced unwelcome advice at some point in our lives. It’s only when I really sit and think about it, I realise we are surrounded by apparent ‘ experts’ in every subject.  And these experts love nothing more than sharing their unwelcome, expert advice.

Having became a Mum to gorgeous George, I have increasingly felt under pressure from almost everyone around me to be the type of mum they think I should be or to mould George to be like the other babies or like their babies were.
When I think about it though, this is nothing new! People have forced their unwelcome advice on me all my life! Any big event in my life, be it getting a job, buying a car, buying a house or planning our wedding, there they were, the orderly queue of advice givers, opinion makers and critiques. Many well-meaning, many not having a clue what they were talking about but liking to think they did. Many advising you on what you should do because that’s what they did, completely irrespective of whether that’s what will be good for me or not. Despite the fact when they last did what I was trying to do it was ten, twenty, fifty years ago! And some I sadly suspect were ill advising me as they didn’t want me to succeed at pulling off something they themselves couldn’t, wouldn’t, or hadn’t.

Now the good soul that I am, and not wishing to offend anyone, I’ve always taken each and every person’s advice on board. Added a pinch of salt to some, a splash of cynicism to others and just let some fly right over my head without so much as a thought. Because I knew how unsuited the advice was for me.

unwelcome advice

The problem is that each of these past life events were in the planning stage, then they happened, then there were over. I got a job, I bought a car, a house and we got married. But with George it’s different. George is an ongoing event. Not including milestones, George will always be a work in progress which I love. He can be anything he wants and develop at his own pace.

But what plays on my mind and makes my heart sink is that the advice giving and opinion making will never end. And as much as I feel confident now that I know I’m doing the best I can with George, I can’t help feeling guilty that I should be doing something else because that’s how so and so did it or that’s what so and so’s child does so why doesn’t George. I hear myself continuously and repetitively justifying the decisions I’ve made with George.
It’s a mentally exhausting battle. Like sifting through a large bag of slightly unwelcome fan mail sorting them into three piles of “ignore completely”, “take pieces and discard the rest” and finally “take wholeheartedly on board” wondering why I hadn’t thought of that myself.

unwelcome advice

So next time you are telling somebody all about what you did with yours, or giving your unwelcome advice that really wasn’t asked for, please realise that person is potentially going to think about your words for a lot longer than you did before you opened your mouth to say them.

Until next time……..

This was written when George was 16 months old (he’s now 27 months). At that point I was experiencing, its safe to say, undiagnosed postnatal depression. I over thought everything and had little confidence in my parenting abilities. I really now that I have always been an amazing mother to George and this unwelcome advice was really not helping the way I felt. I’m glad I spoke out about how I felt and with the help of family, friends and medical professionals, became myself again. If you are feeling emotionally unable to cope with life at any point, talk to the right people about the right stuff and help can be found. Love and strength. x 

A belly full of nothing but a heart full of warmth. 

 A belly full of nothing, but a heart full of warmth I feel quite aptly describes how I felt returning to work after having George. The feeling most mums feel when they return to work can vary. For me it didn’t feel right. It went against my instincts and literally speaking I felt empty.

First full day back at work and the feeling in my belly is like emptiness. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve eaten or drank today, the emptiness is still there. And it’s not an emptiness I can fill because what I’m missing is my little boy. Not only is it my first full day back at work, it’s also his first long day at nursery.

We have done settle in days of two to three hours at different times of the day but today is the full shebang. And no matter how much I know it’s good for him and it will help mould him into a better person and prepare him for his life ahead at school blah blah blah, none of that fills the empty gap inside me. The gap that is usually dancing around, singing a variety of nursery rhymes and pulling silly faces, with a gorgeous little man, his own unique smell, tugging at my leg and demanding what he wants in his own little way.

My method at the start of the day was to pretend that me and this little man hadn’t become a part of each other’s lives. The less I thought about him, the easier and more pain free it was. But as the reality sunk in then suddenly this little man popped back into my head. I couldn’t eat and go out for walks when I wanted as I was now restricted to this structured day.

Then I found myself dialing the nursery to check up on him. Something which I justified by the fact that I always call to check if my cats are ok in the cattery on holiday so why would I not call to check my baby is ok in nursery!?

Hearing that he had been crying intermittently but was now napping was reassuring for me but my mind was now on him. I couldn’t concentrate fully. My imagination was playing ball and reading stories and blowing bubbles. Yet here I was in an office catching up on the last years standard operating procedure updates. Getting my qualifications back up to par.

As all my fellow mummies had reassured me, i did survive the day. I even managed to get through my new three day week without shedding a tear. My gorgeous man presented me with his first painting and a hug with lots of kisses.

I am yet to be convinced that I need this apparently fabulous thing they call “mummy time”. Unless i am misunderstanding, my perfect “mummy time” would be time spent being a mummy.

Until next time……