Monthly Archives: August 2012

Potty Non-Training

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So, Robbie was supposed to be potty trained to start pre-school. And he wasn’t.  At all.  I spent all day last Thursday working on the finer points of using the potty.  We had eight successes.  And five accidents – at least.  It was all I could do to maintain my cool.

Continue on all week…  Countless accidents.  Changes of clothes.  Trying to stay positive.  Sleepless nights, worried about being kicked out of pre-school because my child didn’t use the potty.

Fortunately, the teachers seemed prepared to deal with this problem.  Their only request?  Pull-ups, so they can train him without a huge mess.  And that, unlike getting my child to tell me when he has to go to the bathroom, I can do.

Farming…

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Last week, I was taken aback by some comments regarding my decision to be a working mother.  I made the off-handed comment that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom and was met with, what seemed to me, such an attack, that it was all I could do to keep myself from crying.

Being a working mother is not a decision women make lightly, nor should it be.  Neither should the decision to have a child.  Before Justin and I decided to start a family, it was clear that we would both need to continue to work.  As many of you know, Robbie entered daycare the day he turned two months old.  Initially, it was a decision that broke my heart.  After all, what kind of woman could leave her child in the care of a virtual stranger?

I soon learned what kind of woman.  A strong woman.  A woman determined to maintain an identity outside of her family.  Now, please don’t think I am in any way undermining a stay-at-home mom; these women are incredible.  I have no idea how they are able to be patient with their children and think of new things to do with them.  This is not something I am able to do.  And every woman has to make her own decision.

As a working mother, however, it is difficult to face the criticisms of those who assume we “farm” our children out.  I absolutely do not farm my child out.  Robbie has been in daycare since he was two months old, and in the care of someone who became a part of our family.  She gave him opportunities I never could have, exposing him not only to Chinese culture but also the language.

So, my friends, I beg of you.  Do not judge each other.  Don’t judge the mother of a three-year-old who isn’t potty trained; yours may take longer, too.  Don’t judge the stay-at-home mom who looks frazzled even though she doesn’t “work”; she has a harder job than most of us.  And don’t judge the mother who makes the choice to work.  She has already judged herself more harshly.  And perhaps she is a better mother for her decision.