There are many aspects of parenting that I find challenging but the biggest one is the level of peer pressure that is on Mothers, from other Mothers!
It seems like each milestone has it's own level of peer pressure and a group of mothers standing behind it pushing!
The biggest one I've come across so far is potty training!
Ah yes, the big "PT"!
Ever since Carebear turned one I have felt the pressure starting to build. It started with her first potty being bought when she was 16 months old and has continued to build since then.
I've heard tales of children as young as one being fully potty trained and every time I get together with other Mom's the questions begin.
"Has Carebear started potty training?", "When is she going to use her potty?", "We've started potty training already, haven't you?".
I was told that potty training usually starts around 18 months so all my friends with kids around Carebear's age all started at that time. When Carebear turned 18 months I had a newborn at home and decided any extra energy should be going to him and not potty training, besides, she wasn't ready yet.
I felt so pressured to start potty training Carebear since all my friends were doing it.
Then when she turned two the question began to flow again, but we had just moved and it was Christmas, not exactly my ideal time to start such a challenging experiment.
Now this doesn't mean we weren't playing with the potty. Each day Carebear would sit on the potty and even have some success, we played on the potty and talked about it every day, but going full force (no diapers) wasn't on the charts yet, again, she wasn't really ready and neither was I.
The funny thing is that from all the Mothers that had "potty trained" their kids early, every one of those kids was back in diapers and they all admitted that their children maybe weren't quite as ready as they had thought.
The more and more I talk to Mothers of older kids, I'm finding that it's closer to 3 (if not after 3) that most kids are successfully potty trained and to me it makes sense. At 3 they can talk better and communicate their needs way better than a 2 year old can!
So were does this leave me on the "potty training" train? My theory is, as always, to follow your child's lead. When Carebear is ready to start potty training we will. We still sit on the potty a few times each day, she wears pull ups that help her feel when she's gone to the bathroom, and we talk about the potty all the time, but until she's really ready I'm not going to pressure her to do it. She will one day be out of diapers (it's not like she's still going to be wearing them when she's 20 LOL) so I'm not going to worry about it!
Besides, what's everyone's rush to get out of diapers! I've heard that it's so much easier, but really I don't see how it could possibly be easier until they get older!
Right now Carebear doesn't tell me all the time when she's got to go so I'd be constantly cleaning up mess after mess. Car rides would be awful because even if she went just before we left I know as soon as we get to the van and start driving she'd then have to go again! LOL
No, I think I'll wait till she is ready to use the potty and can communicate it to me!
Until then, we all need to peer pressure each other a bit less, and start to respect other Mom's decisions. We know what is best for our own child! We should be supporting one another not tearing each other down!