If you don’t already know, Jeanne and I don’t have kids. We just aren’t ready. We are not ready financially, and I personally am not ready emotionally. And that’s okay, we know we will cross that bridge when we know it’s the right time and when we are ready. I mean, it’s a big freaking step. It’s a big deal.
This morning’s blog post is going to be about a conversation Jeanne and I had while in the car this morning. A conversation that shocked the shit out of me. A conversation I hope I never have with anyone close to me about our future child because, well, I think I would crack.
Potty training is hard, and in my opinion it’s really at a parent’s discretion about how to go about it – like breast feeding. How you, as the parent, feel is most important, and I will never judge any parent for the decisions they make for their child’s wellbeing and comfort. And listen, I don’t have kids, I am just simply writing down my thoughts about the conversation and how I feel about it. I do not profess to know anything about having a child, so please don’t get me wrong.
Jeanne and I were talking about someone close to us who had gone to visit family they don’t see very often, only for her to be badgered about why her child is still in nappies and why, at two, she is not potty trained. (These were the same family who were trying to tell her not to put her child in crèche so young, only to have a beautiful little girl who chats away until her heart is content, knows all her colours and so much more. But that’s a conversation we will have another time.)
In my opinion, when a child is ready, a child is ready, and the whole process – whether it be potty training or something else – will come naturally. Or more naturally than it being a forced upon them , making it a horribly stressful situation. This lead us to the second part of our conversation – for this person who is very close to us being told to “shame her (child) in to wearing panties” by yet another family member.
Let me just break that statement down for you – because Jeanne had to break it down for me, as I did not (or did not want to) understand. Basically, she should put her child in underwear without a nappy and, when the child wees herself, she will be so ashamed she won’t do it again.
Now, what got me so riled up about that statement is that women are already “shamed” enough about their bodies and about their ‘under garments’ today, whether it be at school, work or walking down the street, and now you want to take a two year old – one with so much spunk, life and self-confidence – and “shame” her in to something that she has to do every day for the rest of her life. That’s your advice? Really? Are you sure you had kids before? W.T.F
I don’t quite think that people understand the consequences that could occur from doing something like that. The child could end up with bladder infections because she is too scared to wee and be embarrassed, or it could taint her outgoing nature and amazing self-confidence forever. The consequences of that forcefulness could make the whole situation far more stressful and much worse than it was to begin with. I mean, so what if it takes her a little longer to get out of nappies? The last time I checked, it was not a competition.
On top of it all, it could permanently scar the child, making her retreat in to her shell, make her excessively worry, and numerous other things. I am not one of those people who will be over protective and not let my kids make mistakes, but I will be one of those parents who are aware of the impact my actions – as well as others’ actions – will have on my child’s wellbeing. As well as encourage them to be brave, take one step at a time, and be there for them no matter what.
There is so much negativity as it is, there is so much hate as it is, there is so much judgement as it is, there is absolutely no need to make a child – or mother – feel ashamed or bad about anything she is doing or the choices she is making for her child. And as a women – one with low self-esteem, one with a problem seeing myself like Jeanne sees me, and one worried about what everyone else thinks – I think this is the wrong way to go about an everyday task that will come when she is ready.
We need to stick together, we need to empower women – even the little women. We need to tell them how strong they are, and encourage them. Tell them that they can do anything and that they should reach for the stars. We should not be making them ashamed of their bodies. We should not be making them scared of something that will come in time. We should not be being hard on them for things that are natural. Seriously.
Love yourself, love your body, and help future generations empower themselves, both male and female, so they know that there is nothing wrong with them and they should love themselves. We need to be there for each other, period.
And strong mamas who stand up for their kids, we got your back! Keep doing what you’re doing and fighting the good fight, you are amazing and your kids will be amazing. You’re love, commitment and lessons will shine through them.
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Please! So leave me a comment below.