A few weeks ago, after breakfast my 3 year old took off his clothes and then said to me, “Mommy, I want to pee on the potty.”
We ran to the bathroom and he went and then I asked if he wanted to get dressed again and he said, “No.”
And that was that.
He was potty trained.
Over the course of the next few days, he peed and pooped on the potty, and had no accidents. It was easy and effortless.
But it hadn’t always been that way. Since he turned 2, we had tried to potty train him about 3 or 4 different times. Giving various rewards, setting timers, talking about how he’s a big boy now. And each time, there were accidents and tantrums and so much “Me want a diaper!!!!!!!!”, yelling that we gave up. It was stressful and hard.
I sought advice from some moms and many said, “He’ll let you know when he’s ready.”
I didn’t believe it. I thought potty training HAD to be hard. I thought I had to force the issue.
But by the 3rd day of consistent potty use this last time, I remembered something I’ve said to my husband before: He does things in his own time.
We didn’t actively wean him from the bottle, we didn’t actively get him to sleep through the night (no cry it out method)…we didn’t push things on him before he was ready.
He did it in his own time, when he was ready.
So why did I think potty training was any different? I forgot to follow my gut…I knew he wasn’t ready. I knew the crying and the tantrums were a sign he couldn’t handle potty training yet and still I forced the issue.
I forgot to allow my child to listen to his own instincts.
They have been spot on the whole 3+ years of his life. He learns when he needs to and grows when his body needs him to. For some reason, he needed to have the bottle a little longer. For some reason, he needed to wake up more at night and be comforted by his parents. And that’s okay. When he was ready and when he no longer needed those things, they stopped.
He followed his own gut, he just did what he needed and didn’t force and didn’t question.
The amazing thing about having kids is how much they teach you about life and about yourself. Following my gut wasn’t something I was actively aware of before I had my son, sure I did it on occasion but overall, it wasn’t on my radar.
But now that I get these little lessons from my son on a near daily basis, I’ve learned that following my instincts is something that is intrinsically linked to my happiness.
You see…your instincts, your gut, that knowledge you have deep inside of you that whispers to you about what to do…that is following your values without having to think about it. Pay attention to your body, your gut knows what you want and knows what you need.
Quick Ways to Follow Your Intuition:
Don’t overthink things
If something feels wrong, or makes you unhappy…that’s often your gut telling you that you aren’t doing the right thing. Ask yourself an either or question and see which one feels more calm, relaxing and doesn’t stress you out
Meditate if you aren’t sure
Meditating doesn’t have to be intensive. Just take some time, quiet and alone to think things through. Maybe write in a journal, or sit in nature or a coffee shop by yourself. Go over different scenarios in your head and again, see how each feels in your body. Notice how your emotions and thoughts re-act.
Share in the comments: What does your intuition feel like?