Category Archives: Mommahood 101

This wasn’t in my Mommy-to-be book😒!! [Real Deal on Potty Training]

Potty Training has been beyond Hell on Earth in our house to put it lightly😞. Okay, there are glimmers of hope, but the journey is not for the faint of heart. My two kiddies are 17 months apart so I thought it only made sense to potty train them both simultaneously. My son had very little interest in the process, but my daughter, who (and was 17 months at the time we begun) idolizes her brother and wants to do everything he does, took great interest in the process. At the time she had limited vocabulary, but would say “Potty Momma, potty” then she’d run to the bathroom and would go ahead and pee. I was to say the least, IMPRESSED!

I had heard success stories of moms who trained their kiddies before their 2nd birthday. If she became potty trained within a day, 2 weeks or a month like their kids, I would be able to share the pride and brag with all those Mommas who told me about their babies being potty trained at 12mths.old or 15mths.old. And all I could say after hearing their stories was “wow”and look at my son with sadness (and to be honest disappointment) who at the time was 2 months shy of TURNING 3 years old and didn’t want to have anything to do with a potty chair, a potty seat, etc. (even though his favorite place at home was the bathroom and playing with the sink water) but he just wouldn’t do it. I think if his vocabulary was developed at the time he would have said, Heck no, I WON’T GO😒. He just, wasn’t ready. But, why couldn’t he get it?

Some people I confided in summed it up to, “well you know boys are slower than girls and are known to be lazy with potty training” but I knew it wasn’t just about him being a boy. I suspected that my son had special needs,  I didn’t want to put him in a box/bracket because he was so young, but a Momma always knows when something just isn’t right.

Then the disappointment started to shift from him to me. There had to be something I was doing wrong, AGAIN! I often take it very personally when my children do not achieve certain milestones at a certain point. I feel like it is a reflection on me and welp, I must not be such a good mother after all😢.

You don’t get the memo about the ups and downs of this process in your mommy-to-be book nor your birthing/Lamaze class. The struggle is so real, but you don’t get it till you experience it firsthand.

No one talks in detail about the accidents that happen bare bottom while standing right in front of the potty, smh, WHO DOES THAT?!?!??!! I’ll tell you who does that, TODDLERS who are self-absorbed and who believe in being self-directed. No one reminds you about the countless loads of laundry that will have to be done because they may have 3 accidents that day or everyday. And how about how to handle the aftermath of an accident in their car seat after you have cleaned it? Do you just put them back to sit in their clean clothes, in the clean YET WET/DAMP car seat for a 10 minute drive to your home from Target😞?!?!?!!?? These are just a few examples of the ordeal that I have been experiencing and imagine that all doubled, cause I decided it would be a bright idea to kill two birds with one stone and potty train them together. Now imagine one of those 2 children having special needs. That factor creates challenges on the journey.

I remember a family member basically scolding me for not having them potty trained because she potty trained my nephew at 2 and my son was almost 3 at that time. Deep inside I felt horrible and as if she was right, but my pride wouldn’t let me say this aloud. So instead I responded simply with, “they just aren’t ready”. So of course she couldn’t leave well enough alone and said, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM READY. At that moment I had to walk away because I felt my face turning red and smoke coming out of my ears. However, the experience motivated me to try and consistently work with my kids on it, because one thing I will say is we were not as consistent as we should have been with the process. I started to give up and a year passed by and still no one is fully potty trained!

Consistency is key and patience falls right underneath it. It is easier said than done, trust me I know, when everyone around you has an opinion, (that you never asked for btw),  when other people report that their baby has been fully potty trained at birth, lol.. just kidding, but sometimes that is how I feel. Their babies slept through the night a week after birth, they barely whimpered when needed to be fed or a diaper needed to be changed, and they achieved all milestones ahead of time. That is just not my case and I have to accept THAT IT IS OKAY. And for some reason I feel like there are other Mommas out there who can relate to my experience, I AM NOT ALONE and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I am a witness that it eventually gets better. I am proud to report that today, my son, who will be 4 in March 2016, and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is 95% there. The only thing we have to work on is encouraging him to stand and not sit when he pees, but I don’t believe there is a penalty for a 3 year old who sits to pee,lol, so I am not going to stress out about that. He wears underwear during the day and thankfully his teachers have stayed on top of keeping our routine to have him go to the potty consistently. Also, he wears a pull up overnight, but the last 3 weeks he has been waking up dry about 75% of the time, so we will give him another week to be dry all 7 days and then I think we can safely say IT IS FINISHED, at least for him.

My daughter on the other hand (who is 2 years and 4 months old) who seemed so ready to potty train at 18 months old currently has a nonchalant attitude about the process. She laughs when she has accidents and isn’t bothered when I scold her about it😩😳😕. She is capable of doing it, but She Isn’t Ready and THAT IS OKAY!

Until then I will continue to read books with realistic tips, read children’s books to them that are all about potty training, talk about my feelings with someone who will be a sounding board and won’t judge our journey, especially the frustration of it all, I will consider what other Mommas have to say regarding their experience and pick and choose what will work best for me and my children based on their needs and I will be consistent and get creative! Eventually THEY WILL GET IT.

Their success in life to be a good citizen, kindhearted, score well on their SATs, get into a great college with a full scholarship🙌👍 and settle down with an amazing person is independent of when they were fully potty trained or how they potty trained. Focus on keeping them happy, well-nourished and grounded. Screaming, shouting, spanking (which was also suggested to me, but I refuse to do) and punishing will drive the desire away and cause them to shut down, so watch your stuff so it doesn’t become their stuff!

As far as the loads of laundry, there is no solution, it just has to be done. Although if they are at home, consider keeping them bare bottom (no pull-ups, panty or underwear). For the car seat dilemma a friend suggested to keep blankets in the car and put them on the wet seat after the child has been changed and the seat cleaned (my suggestion is to clean it with wipes and lysol). It will keep them from getting their bottoms wet after having that accident. The car seat will eventually dry.


Easier said than done–BUT DON’T QUIT


Three weeks into the new year and here I am struggling to stay positive and speak life. I am trying to think in a new way so I can speak and act in a new way, since I can only control my words and actions. Once I conquer negative thinking and speaking, no matter what comes my way, HOW I RESPOND is key to Peace & Happiness or Anxiety & Bitterness.

But just for today I have to be honest about where I was/how I was today. My food choices can be out of whack when my mood is whack and my mood wasn’t right today…

I have been doing so well this week, eating more veggies, fruits, juicing, good protein and cutting my salt intake. BUT TODAY, I didn’t want to speak, but I wanted to eat, smh..So here’s a pic of me sadly posing with regular egg beaters instead of my egg whites, smh.. I gave in, to temptation and honestly I am not feeling guilty about it, although I feel like I should, I really don’t. I topped it off with some shredded cheese, smh..However, I realize that imperfect me will have days like this, but I can’t afford to get comfortable and let those days, become weeks, months, etc. I am allowing myself this moment, but I am also telling myself, “Self, you can’t stay in your feelings, get in a rut and waste all the hard work that you have done this week for some words or actions directed your way that hurt you/pissed you off. BREATHE, INHALE, EXHALE, SPEAK UP and MAKE PEACE with whatever it is and LET IT GO”. SNAP OUT OF IT!!

When my nerves were going wild, I put my kids in their high chairs/booster seats, put on their ABC Phonics program, put their snacks on their trays and went to my oasis. My getaway. My Niagara Falls. The bathroom, lol! I took a look in the mirror and did some positive self talk. I reminded myself that It’s a new year, but even better, TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY!

If you have found yourself slowly but surely trying to head into a rut, pray, push, pull, do whatever you have to do to get out of it and if you don’t feel strong enough to do it alone, Surrender it. Surrender to God and ask someone you trust for help! Have a great weekend folks! #newyearnewme #newyearnewyou #therewillbesomestumblingalongtheway #butgetupandpresson

Whose boobs are they anyway?!?!?

My experience with my daughter as my second child was so very different from my experience with my son, her older brother. The differences are mostly good, some controlled by me and others beyond my control. The most positive differences were from her delivery, a VBAC, to her first moments outside of the womb, immediately placed on my chest and latched on to nurse. I was ecstatic and relieved about her entrance in the world. It was like night and day when compared to the delivery of my son. I felt empowered, I was super woman 😄💪 and knew in my spirit that this journey of motherhood Part II was going to be an interesting one.

One of the disappointments that I faced with the beginning of my journey with my son was having to supplement breastfeeding with formula. I wasn’t as informed as I thought I was about the facts of breastfeeding. For example, not realizing that I should not determine the amount of my milk flow on the amount of milk expressed through my breast pump, especially in the first 2-3 months because the baby’s suckling extracts milk differently than the pump. I would cry after every pumping session because I would let down less than half of the bottle, which was about a little over 1 ounce, after 15 mins.of  vigorous pumping. So, during my pregnancy with my daughter I decided to thoroughly investigate everything I needed to know about breastfeeding and tune out everyone’s opinion on what I should do, because of course they were heavily involved  with unsolicited advice the first time around with my son. I was confident in what I learned and with my husband’s support I decided that I would exclusively breastfeed.

My daughter did not have any challenges with latching on and I felt like I was in complete control and proud of how well the journey was going. I introduced solids at about 6 months and I started to watch for signs of her weaning off on her own because that is what my son did. He was officially weaned off at 7 months. I actually took it personally when he stopped. I felt rejected. He refused to nurse, he began to act confused, as if he had no idea how to nurse anymore, so I just let it go and he continued to be formula fed. However, my little princess decided otherwise and 6mths. passed, 9mths. came and went and it didn’t seem like baby-led weaning was anywhere near her thoughts. I was beyond surprised and had no interest in mother-led weaning (deciding to stop nursing before she gives me signs that she is ready to do so) or abrupt weaning (discontinuing all breast feeding suddenly-basically, cold turkey). I was confident that she would stop on her own by her 1st birthday, but here we are at 14 months and there is no sign of her giving it up! Which simply means putting a deadline on weaning, especially as a stay at home mom, without any sickness or new medication that could be harmful to your baby IS A JOKE! My breasts are not my own, smh!

My daughter currently drinks almond milk, water and diluted juice in a sippy cup or a regular cup. She doesn’t care to drink from a bottle. She currently eats table food excluding foods that include nuts and I haven’t given her eggs as yet. Her appetite for the most part is good, but there are some days where it feels like all she wants to do is nurse all night or constantly throughout the day and that can be very tiring and draining for me. She takes two naps a day and most of the time she wants to breastfeed to sleep, including at bedtime. I have attempted to give her warm breast milk in a sippy cup to help her fall asleep, but she rejects it, especially at bedtime and has an attitude/mentality of “mommy you know better, where are MY BOOBS”, smh. She thinks she owns me and sometimes I honestly feel that there is some truth to that, smh..

Lately, which is the last month and a half she has wanted to nurse, just because, which has made me adopt the title of being her “snack bar”. Seriously, she is snacking on me for about 5 minutes randomly throughout the day outside of when she wants to sleep. Oftentimes I can’t get a lot done because she wants to cuddle or nurse. I adore my children and I especially love the cuddles and kisses and I am proud that I have been able to give her nourishment for such a long period of time. However, sometimes it can be exhausting and it has put a damper on my social life with some extended me time, family, friends or with my husband. Ladies night, includes her. Mother’s Day outing this year included her too, because unlike my son who I sent to grandma’s the night before for an overnight visit, she couldn’t go because she would give hell for bedtime because she expects to nurse to sleep.

Of course people have to continue to give their unsolicited opinion/advice.  “You’re still nursing”!, “Whoa, she is so attached to you, when do you get a break”, “How do you expect to go back to work in the new year if you are not starting the weaning process”, “When will you be able to take getaways for a few days if you are still nursing”, “She will eventually bite you while nursing, so maybe then you’ll stop”, and many, many other “lovely” remarks. They are not in my shoes, but somehow seem to think that weaning is necessary at her age and simple to do. They believe that I have complete control on “cutting her off”. Some of these comments, believe it or not, are coming from people who have my best interest at heart. They don’t realize that their words don’t speak life into the situation, but just create unnecessary worry and add anxiety to my feelings about the process of weaning. No one understands my plight (including  my husband, who attempts to empathize and be supportive), except another breastfeeding momma with a similar situation. This is why I have written this post because there is another momma who may be going through this or will go through it and needs to know that they are not alone and can be encouraged by how I tackle this challenge.

So how will I deal with this ? I have to commit to being persistent on my thoughts and convictions of what is best for my daughter and myself. Choosing to breastfeed your baby is not just about them, it is about the momma too. Your confident or anxious thoughts about it affects your milk flow and even your baby’s ability or attitude about breastfeeding. I believe this, not because of the research, but because of my 2 polar opposite experiences of nursing my children. Regarding those people with unsolicited opinions/advice, I have to tune them out, respectfully say thanks but no thanks to their advice, and as I said before do what’s best for me and my child. Last time I checked, my body and unmistakably my boobs do not belong to them. They don’t even belong to me. When it comes to breastfeeding they belong to me and my daughter and when she gives me those cues to stop we will. They are our boobs.

When I have to get away she will have to scream bloody murder if that is what will help her deal with my absence, well really the absence of our boobs, it’s inevitable. When I decide to return to work it will be our journey to take, our time to face the music and I will not feel guilty for choosing baby-led weaning, mother-led weaning or partial weaning (gradually eliminating some feedings, not offering, but not refusing). I’m sticking to the plan of NO PLAN!