I’ve given my three year old my laptop to reply to your incoming emails right now. My one-year old might also be chiming in. I’m having a hard time keeping them away from the keyboard. Don’t worry, I’ve invented a magical device that can also translate their thoughts and actions into words. As of Sunday, they are now responsible for my inbox. You can consider them my new personal assistant.
My friend has an almost-two-year old and she asked me “So when do I need to think about potty training?” Yeah, as though you needed anything else to consider in the pandemic. Well, I took a few minutes to brain dump everything I remembered about potty training in a quick dash Voxer message to her, all while doing dishes and cleaning up the boys’ room in our house. We both thought that these might be useful memos for you, especially if you happen to be in a similar situation. Consider this an unofficial, scrappy overview of Potty Training that will help you do a good enough job … for now.
I’m Really Sorry I Keep Texting You To Check And See If My Advice Was Useful—I Have No Ability To Self Regulate Because We’re In The Middle Of A Pandemic
I have 83 unread messages on my phone, and my family keeps checking in. I want to write back, but my toddler is mashing cheerios in the couch, and the last time I went pee, he took the gel crayons and drew all over the new carpets. I put stain remover on them and texted my husband, “I shouted them!” The message was not clear. “Who did you shout at?” he replied. The pandemic is not going well.
Begin writing a post that says “Working parents are not okay.”‘ Delete sentences because no one is okay. There isn’t really a comparison game to be played here. Call your friend and realize that you’re having trouble stringing words together. Hang up the telephone because both of your children and pushing buttons on the phone and you can’t actually have a real conversation while children and buttons are in close proximity. What was it that they said? “Opening my computer is like a pavlovian response for my child.” Yeah, that.
If you’re feeling heightened levels of stress, anxiety, or worry, this episode is for you. I’ve recorded a short breathing practice that can help calm anxiety and reduce stress even if you only have a couple of minutes. These are unprecedented times and while this won’t solve everything, this might give you a moment of reprieve if you’re feeling the heaviness of everything right now.
Parenting can challenge us to the ends of the earth—and those early years often leave you feeling overwhelmed, scared, and frustrated. Here’s a short note for you: stick with it, keep going, and you’ll be surprised at your capacity. And yes, it’s really hard.