How Potty Training Changed Me

3:00:00 PM

As I sat there in the playroom with my youngest son, he is wearing no bottoms and it was the first day of potty training. I didn't really know how to do this the first time around with my oldest son, and even though I had read countless articles on how to potty train; him being the first it was really very much trial and error. I was overwhelmed + frustrated + exhausted when I was trying to train my oldest, but this time around I had a "plan" and have had a few more years to (hopefully) learn some patience and a few dos + don'ts. However, potty training isn't the point of this post, rather what I learned in the midst of it.

On this day, while in the thick of potty training, something in me changed. I sat there completely devoting my attention and time to watching my son play. No housework or other things to distract me and it was one of the most precious moment I have experienced in quite some time. As I watched him independently play + learn + explore in his own little world I realized just how fleeting time really is. I will never get this time back and it is making me appreciate more than ever that I don't want to miss a moment.

I am normally the type of person consumed by my daily to-do list of laundry, dishes, the NEVER ending amount of dog hair that needs to be vacuumed daily, cooking dinner, etc. And even though all of these things are important, they most days end up taking priority over playing with my kids. I should mention I am very much the type of person that can't sit still when there are things around the house that need to be done.

Yet, in this moment of watching my nearly 2 year old play, making sure he doesn't pee anywhere, I had an epiphany. That there will always be time for laundry + dishes + cleaning, but there won't always be time to play with my kids. This moment right now that I have in front of me will never happen again and there will come a day, I know faster than I can possibly imagine, that my kids will no longer be around all of the time. It is inevitable. They will grow and this sweet (but exhausting) chapter of life will come to a close. Cue the waterworks.

So today I am making a vow, to myself and to my children, that I will always be ready to play. I will still provide them with clean clothes + a clean home to live in + good food for their bellies, because all of these things are still quite important, but they will not take precedence over my time with them.

I want to make sure they know that I am always there for them, even if that just means stopping what I'm doing for 5 minutes to run around with a super hero cape on or read a book. To wait until after they go to bed to finish the dishes so I can participate in bath time + bedtime routines. To take advantage of a sick day home with my kid and play board games or watch movies with him. Because let's face it. Time will never stop or slow down, so it is up to me to make the most of the time that I have.

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