If you’re a parent, chances are these are all words you’ve added to your parenting resume. A resume that is more extensive than you could have ever imagined. Parenting is the hardest, most underpaid position on the planet, and the management… don’t even get me started.
You’re working odd hours, barely sleeping, constantly stressed, and questioning every decision. With a superhero-sized workload, I’m a big proponent of working smarter, not harder. That is why I’m going to go against the grain here and say:
Don’t wean your child.
Don’t transition your child.
Don’t train your child.
But wait, if I don’t do those things how will they ever eat solid foods? Drink out of a cup? Sleep in their crib? Use the potty? Sleep in a big kid bed? How will they possibly get through life if I don’t do these things?
Great question, here’s the answer: They’ll do it when they’re ready.
With my first child, I did ALL of the above because I was on a timeline that my fellow parenting peers had established long before I ever set foot on this journey. They knew what they were doing… right? With their guidance, we were going to crush milestones so hard and be done buying diapers asap! We were going to win at parenting and toddlerhood alike!
Wrong. We were not going to do any of those things.
We were going to stress as we cleaned up spilled milk from a rejected sippy cup.
We were going to cry together from the comfort of a hard plastic toddler bed.
We were going to become increasingly frustrated with each other as we loaded the ninth pair of wet underwear into the washing machine.
We were not crushing milestones. The only thing being crushed was our souls.
As we stored the toddler bed away, took down the perfectly designed potty sticker chart, and let go of expectations, we were free of those societal pressures and ready to do things on our own terms.
And we did.
My child learned to drink out of a cup, use the potty, sleep in a big kid bed, and is (most days), a wonderfully functioning part of society.
I learned it didn’t work for us to wean, transition, or potty train; but rather to introduce, guide, and adjust.
We both learned patience, grace, and to manage our expectations.
But most importantly, we did it. And we did it when WE were ready.