Life Right Now, Parenting

The Potty Training Games

I have to admit something: so far, this whole parenthood thing has been quite easy. I mean, easy in the word that it could have been way harder – we’re lucky in that way. I’m only saying this because raising a child, as challenging as it may seem, can be a thousand times harder than what we think our current situation in parenthood is. (My current situation is struggling with a stubborn toddler that refuses to go to sleep) But somewhere out there in the world are other parents, just like us that are facing other challenges, some that we cannot even start to imagine, of raising a happy, healthy and loved child. We’re not alone in the hood of parents.

Yet somehow, it can feel that way. I tend to feel this way sometimes. Especially when my anxiety, fear of failure and fear of disappointment gets the best of me. This usually happens after a long day at work, having to try my best to get through household to-do’s and suddenly ending up with a screaming toddler that refuses to ‘to-go’ poo-poo on the toilet or potty.

I call the current phase of our journey in parenthood: The Potty Training Games.

I call it this for a very valid reason. Potty training, to date, has been the hardest part of parenthood for this mama. We’ve been at it since Caitlin turned two years old. That’s a whopping 18 months of on and off trying to get her to “be a big girl” and use the potty. “Babies don’t wear diapers”. Well, she reckons that she’s my baby, so it must be okay then to still use diapers. I’ve tried what seems to be all the tricks in the non-existing manual of raising a child and so far we’ve only managed to get half way through the process. Sometimes it feels like we’re never going to get it right.

And then I feel like I’ve let my daughter down. Failed as a parent in successfully teaching her something that surely should come naturally to her to grasp. 

We’ve had a rough ride in the potty training games that may have contributed to our struggles. Constipation, diarrhea, medication to treat the two, unwillingness to eat fibre and veggies, as well as changes of a new teacher, friends and school – they all play a part in why we haven’t managed to get a handle on it yet.

Potty training can be done in many ways. There’s no set time as to how long it can take, no set methods to success as each child is different.

In Caitlin’s situation, she’s a bright little girl that easily gets shy when it comes to ‘doing her business’, she’s an extremely sensitive soul, thus get’s easily upset and all of this makes the process so much harder, frustrating and quite frankly exhausting.

We’ve managed to accomplish certain stages of potty training:

  1. Acknowledging that you need to-go
  2. Ask or tell an adult you need to-go
  3. Use the potty to-go pee-pee

The stages that we cannot seem to crack:

4. Acknowledging that you need to-go poo-poo
5. Use the potty to go poo-poo before making an accident in your underwear

Something you need to know about me: I always worry. And in this case my mind tends to run away with me. What if she can’t get it right? What if they start to tease her at school? I don’t want that! No parent wants that!

In the world of motherhood, it can feel like everyone’s children are perfect – Instagram perfect! – so why isn’t your child? The fact is that they are perfect… perfectly human. Little human beings that are learning. And learning takes patience. Something that I’m not good at and learning along the way. It’s a process and something that I’m hoping that we get through soon (before my nerves give in!).

Tell me moms: Did you have any challenges like ours when potty training your little one? If so, how did you manage to successfully potty train? I’d love some of your tips! 

Much love,
Cxxx

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Encouragement, Handy Tools & Advice, Random Thoughts

Never lose sight of who you really are… trust in yourself

wom·an·hood
ˈwo͝omənˌho͝od/
noun
  1. the state or condition of being a woman.

What seems to be missing from the above is the mention of ‘superhuman with the ability to play multiple roles at the same time’ – don’t you think?

Somehow in the midst of being everything to everyone, we reach a point where we start to lose sight of who we really are. We allow the opinions of others affect us and we give in to the pressure of the feeling that we’re ‘not good enough’. As women, we put ourselves through numerous attempts of changing ourselves, ‘making ourselves better’ with the hope of feeling better about ourselves and accomplishing acceptance amongst others.

Throughout life, you’re surrounded by others guiding you through it all, ideally providing you with the necessary life skills to keep you strong against all the ‘bad’ outside there in the real world. Sometimes, you find yourself surrounded by people that aren’t in it for the enrichment of life, but rather for personal gain. A matter of ‘what can I get out of this relationship’? These people add even more pressure to our lives on top of what we already experience as women.

You must be sexy, you must be smart, you must be nice… things that don’t add value to life or your worth as a woman. You also have to be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an employee – each role with sub-roles that you have to fulfill. You, as a woman have to be so many things to so many people! Are you relating to what I’m saying right now; nodding your head thinking ‘yes, she gets me?!’

I think it’s due to the fact that most woman, especially when going through the dual journey of motherhood and womanhood, find themselves in this particular situation like the one that I’ve just described. You got to deal with all this pressure, sometimes hearing that ‘you’re not good enough’. Meanwhile, all you want to do is gain acceptance for you – just that, being your true self. That in itself is being something great, isn’t it?! It completely shatters you as a woman, as a human, when your self-worth, your self-esteem gets knocked down as you get consumed by the pressure and the obsession of trying to be SuperWoman.

Wouldn’t it be the most tragic tale ever written if the treasure of a human being that you really are and the talent that you possess was buried under the mountain of opinions and expectations of others?

“You’re a bad mother. You’re a terrible wife. You’re an awful friend.” You’re just plain, no darn good if you try and do anything whatsoever that makes you happy. Sound familiar? Those thoughts have run through my mind before… “Don’t you dare do something for yourself, forget to do the washing or take your eyes of your children for one second! You better be there… all… the… time.” That’s the messaging that mothers get. Did you know that this particular message has the power, the ability to drive someone totally insane whilst she tries to be everything and do everything?!

The most important skill that you as a woman can have in protecting yourself against losing sight of who you really are and keeping your happiness is to learn to trust in yourself. Stop hating yourself for everything that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are. You have the right to be happy!

As a fellow woman, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and so on – I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve never tried to make myself better by giving in; giving into the pressure of it all, because I have. Sometimes I still do, even if it’s just to keep the peace momentarily. We’re only human and it will happen occasionally. What I’m saying is don’t let it consume you.

Never underestimate the investment you make in yourself. You have the right to be happy in life and in yourself. It is what fuels you from the inside. Your happiness in yourself is what sets the tone for every relationship you have in this world. The more you work on it, the better life will become. Don’t lose your way, lose sight of your true self and what makes you happy.

Be wise, learn from your past mistakes, take better care of yourself and ensure that you do what makes you happy. That gives you the ability to take care of others at the capacity that is required in life as a woman and all the numerous roles that we play on a daily basis.

Surround yourself with people you can grow with and avoid the people who are only in it for personal gain. Motherhood… womanhood… it’s considered a tribe. The most important thing we must remember is that we can learn from one another and support one another.

Stay true to yourself. Trust yourself. Never lose sight of who you really are. And know, that others, your fellow tribe members and your true people will always have your back.

Much love,
Chantelle

Handy Tools & Advice, Uncategorized

The Silent Treatment Smoothie… for Constipated Kids (& Adults!)

Something that not everyone is too keen to talk about… constipation. It’s all good and manageable when it is yourself (or another adult… hubby?) to worry about. But when it comes to your little one (no matter what age), it’s always a bit more of a daunting task.

Since we started Caitlin’s potty training (she was about 2 years old when we started… the same time when toddlerhood came in at full force) we noticed that she became more and more constipated. Not only was she more outspoken towards the food that she wants to eat (gone are the easy days of feeding veggies and fruit in a jiffy) but she also started showing her independence, of which one was to ‘hold it in’. This duo display of ‘I have a say in what I want to do’ caused havoc on Caitlin’s gut… ultimately, causing constipation issues.

We’ve tried everyting recommended by the GP and Pediatrician… all of them saying ‘it’s just a temporarily solution’ and ‘a lot of toddlers go through this period in their growing stages, this too shall pass’ (no pun intended). After different medication attempts that had us sitting up in the early mornings with a tummy going from completely bloated, constipated and sore to runny tummy crying on the loo sessions with multiple diaper changes in between.

As we went through it all, I decided that the medication’s not going to resolve our problem with the aftermath it had and I still needed to potty train Caitlin. So I decided to go the more natural route, researching ways to get her to eat more high fibre through dishes that she enjoys.

A year and a half later, we’ve now reached the stage where she is fully potty trained for #1 and have a toilet routine in place to get her used to doing a #2, alongside good list of food items that helps us get her tummy to go as close to normally as possible. This list of food items includes:

  • Squishies (these funky little packs are ideal all season long and the fruity flavours that includes tummy encouragement like prunes, guava, mango and pear are always on the shopping list) Visit their website for more info by clicking here.
  • Wholewheat pasta (Caitlin LOVES pasta, thus when I make her favourite Spaghetti Bolognaise, I always use wholewheat pasta. Fatti’s & Moni’s being the favourite in our house 🍝)
  • Digestive Biscuits (a favourite of mine that Caitlin adapted to eating, we sometimes treat her with the Baker’s Betta Snack Digestives that have a bit of extra love with some Chocolate or Caramel on… sugar rush galore, but as part of our morning coffee routine it fits right)
  • Wholewheat or Multigrain Bread (I usually opt for Albany’s Ultima range and a firm new favourite is their new Ultima Calorie Controlled Brown Bread. Simply divine and even better with less guilt. Top it off with Oh Mega Peanut Butter and a smidgen of golden syrup…your little one will be licking their fingers off!)
  • Hidden Veggies (hiding veggies is probably my biggest challenge with Caitlin. She immediately knows when there are veggies in a dish and refuses to eat it, even though she eats all her veg at school. Umatie’s Macaroni & Cheese is the only one that I’ve found Caitlin to enjoy and not picking up the veggies hidden in them. Hooray!!! PS. even onions count as a vegetable in Caitlin’s frame of reference 🙈)
  • Plain Double Cream Yogurt (We usually opt between Woolworth’s Double Cream Plain yogurt or Lancewood’s High Fat Double Cream yogurt that’s absolutely delicious with honey and fresh berries and/or nuts for breakfast)
  • Fresh Fruit (A staple in our home are Strawberries, Apples, Banana and Blueberries. I tend to buy berries from the gym’s health shop or direct from the source, the closest to us being Hillcrest Berry Orchards)

And lastly, a new discovery I’ve made is that Caitlin absolutely LOVES smoothies! Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner – it doesn’t matter, she’ll have a smoothie anytime. I’ve taken a bit of advantage of this by adding some ‘good for your tummy’ food items that she wouldn’t necessary eat (her exact words being “Ugh, Sleg Mamma!” with some additional mouth gestures and sounds 😄). The brilliant SMOOTHIE has come to this Mama’s rescue!

The Silent Treatment Smoothie: Gut Happiness in a Glass

  • half a cup of frozen banana
  • half a cup of frozen blueberries
  • half a cup of papaya
  • 3/4 cup of double cream plain yogurt
  • 1tsp honey
  • 3/4 cup of apple juice (or for something less sweet opt for milk or water)
  • 1tbsp of oats

Blend it all together for about 2 minutes and serve for immediate consumption.

If you struggle with a little one that’s at the age of eating solids and struggling to go poop, why not give our smoothie recipe a try? Packed with all the goodness of mother nature provides for us.

Much love, C
xxx