I just gave up...

Wednesday, I gave up on potty training my 2 ½ year old.

I was feeling overwhelmed with him. I couldn't understand why he wasn't getting it. Was I doing something wrong? It was very plausible. I had no idea what I was doing. “This sounds right, I’ll just do that.”  No one to say, “Hey Marybeth, he just might not be ready.” Until yesterday.
I was trying the "no pants" approach.
And yes, Trevor and I were driving  Hot Wheels off of ramps into cups.

I’m part of a group of ladies called Kairos. Kairos is the Greek word for  "God's time." There are 5 of us, and most of the time I leave feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed. And it feels great. All too often I live in this little safe bubble of my home, where I am queen and feel confident (most days) with my family members. And to push myself outside of my comfort zone like this, to sit in a circle with 4 other women and talk about God and my marriage and my parenting…it’s frightening. It’s freeing.

So I looked at them on Wednesday and said, “How did you ladies potty train your children? I feel like Miah is just not getting anywhere and I actually don’t really know what I am doing.”

And it was amazing to me to hear their answers.

“My kids really just did it on their own.”
 “They did it when they were ready.
 “I just let it happen naturally.

This parenting tactic does not come naturally to me. My thought more often than not is:  when I think he's ready, he obviously is ready. I know that is not right. Now.  I have lived with a lot of very controlling authority figures. I’m realizing more and more how their parenting styles have influenced my parenting style. Because it’s all I’ve ever known. It makes sense to my brain. And it’s taking a lot of tears and a lot of oopsies and uh-ohs to retrain my mind and heart.

I honestly feel like I have no idea what I am doing as a Mother half the time. I feel like I am grasping at free falling sand and hoping to catch onto what is right and miss what is wrong. And to my tired and weary Mama heart, Wednesday’s conversation was a swig of sweet tea on a burnin' hot July afternoon.

I felt like I wasn’t parenting alone anymore. All this advice, all this wisdom just kept pouring forth and I was soaking it up. I felt like it was ok that I was doing everything wrong, or at least potty training, because I had realized it, gathered courage and asked for help.

Do you feel alone as a Mother? I do a lot of the time. Do you feel overwhelmed, like you have no idea what you are doing? I know I do a lot of the time. And I’m tired of it. I do it to myself. I hide out of laziness and fear. I hide out of fear of judgment and condemnation from other Mothers who know these things.  But Wednesday, I was tired of it. To my great relief, these ladies held no condemning tone in their voices; they had no judgmental glances, no jokes, no mocking, and no snide remarks. Only love and a whole lot of wisdom.

Don’t let Satan’s attempts to bring you down by fear and isolation keep you back from gaining the wisdom and love and community you need, my friends.

As my husband says, “We suck at life the most when we are alone.”

We cannot parent alone.
We cannot do life alone! 


  1. Ooooh twenty points to Trevor for that quote!

    And... all in good time, my dear, he will be going and will have no accidents at all. It'll be wonderful. Until then, just savor his last remaining bits of baby-hood. <3

    1. I know...I know...all too soon. It wasn't that he wasn't having accidents. It was that once I put the diaper on, he didn't even want to go on the potty anymore. He just felt comfy in the diaper and only went on the potty because he didn't want to pee on the floor. It'll happen, I now that now. And not on MY timeline!

  2. I definitely like what Trevor said. Its so true.

    I often feel like I have no clue what I am doing and guess what... that will be the case over and over again! Good thing we have God who gives us grace! =) I really felt that way when I was trying to wean Braden from nursing... I lead him a little, but then eventually it was just done. I think that's how parenting is sometimes...we're clueless, but that's okay...I don't think we will really mess up our children! You're a great mama Marybeth! Love you, friend!

    1. Thanks Kassie! I have to remember that- we won't mess up our children. I love them, I am trying my best, I am learning and changing and fixing things. It's all about falling 7 times and rising 8! Love you!

  3. 'retrain my mind and heart' ........ this is where i am in my marriage. it's the most frustrating battle/struggle ever.

    and a big YES! to the comments about not doing life alone and not isolating.

    this http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/My-Weekly-Intentional-Living-Plan.pdf hit me upside the head this week.

    1. also, i think saying you gave up is incorrect. you stopped doing something that wasn't working. you choose to stop and do something different = not giving up.

    2. I am retraining my mind and heart in EVERY single area it seems! It's so frustrating and such a difficult process. Especially in the marriage realm. And thank you for the last part of your comment...I didn't give up. I realized something wasn't working and decided to give it more time. It sure felt like giving up, but that is the problem, I was trying to do potty training, I wasn't letting Jeremiah steer the wheel. Thank you!!!!!

  4. this is a great post. And I think at some point as mothers we all feel like we have no idea what we are doing, Or we feel like we fail because things do not go as plained. I like what my brother said. very true!!

    1. Thank you Tiffany! It is good to know there are so many Moms out there who feel the same...and a lot more who just don't confess! :) Love you sis!


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