7 Reasons I Dread Potty Training My 2-Year-Old

by Erin Parsons
potty training toddler
deucee_ / iStock

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I don’t want to potty train my 2-year-old. I’m told that most people look forward to potty training. Or perhaps more accurately, they look forward to having a potty-trained child. I get that—well, mostly—but the process itself sucks. And if we’re honest, the aftermath isn’t always that great either.

Here are a few reasons why I have kept diapers around:

1. A Kid in Diapers Can Go Anywhere

Literally. They can go anywhere. Run your errands, attend playdates, or go to the park. Sure, it’s possibly stinky. True, blowouts are always a risk. And no matter the fashion it arrived, cleaning up a kid’s smashed-up dump is gag-worthy. But that’s it. Let’s face it: Diapers are pricey, but they give us freedom.

2. I’m Tired of Cleaning

Despite the fact that I’m in the bathroom what seems like all day long, my daughter somehow manages to wait until she’s off the toilet to go. I’m cleaning up puddles and wet undies. Pretty pink polka dots are tainted with what can only be described as a biohazard. This is beyond nasty. And between cleaning up the floor, couch and carpet, there’s an insane amount of laundry to do—tons and tons of tiny stinky undies, pants, and socks. And unless you want to own hundreds of these items, the laundry has to be done constantly.

3. I’m Afraid to Go Outside of the House

Would we make it through our errands? Is a playdate too distracting? Will she attempt to use a toilet outside of the house? Just the thought of an accident occurring at Target is mortifying, and an accident at my friend’s house is worse. I know these things happen, and I’m certainly not alone. But it doesn’t make it less embarrassing for me or less difficult to remedy. When I potty trained my son, I carried my favorite stain and odor removal spray with me wherever we went. My friends started asking me if I was a rep for the company. Nope, just paranoid.

4. Public Bathrooms

I don’t need to explain this one.

5. I Am Sick of Hearing Myself Talk

When I get brave enough to venture out, all I can hear is my voice. I’m not chatting with friends. I’m not singing with my kids. I’m not even talking to myself. I’m asking my potty-trainee if she has to go potty again and again and again…and again. Not only am I annoying myself—and my daughter—I typically end up talking myself into needing to use the restroom. Ugh.

6. I Still Don’t Carry a Purse

Forget the purse; it’s too risky. Instead of diapers and rash cream, I need extra undies, pants, and socks. I also tuck in a bunch of plastic bags for soiled clothing. I use Ziplocs since every other time I use the bag I forget about it and end up finding it a week later. If it weren’t for the sealed plastic, my diaper bag would smell worse than a porta-potty. Make room for the wipes, snacks, and cups, too. It’s a big load. Maybe I can dust off my purse next year.

7. The Potty-Trained Child Is Unpredictable

Occasional accidents are unavoidable, and they occur in places like your in-laws’ house on their fancy new rug. The potty-trained child “doesn’t have to go” all morning long until it’s a 911 emergency and you’re in the middle of the grocery store with a cart full of food. That sudden need to go occurs at the worst possible times—on the way out when you’re late, two minutes into a swim lesson, and when you’re bundled up for the cold. Sure, diapers aren’t in the budget anymore, but we pay in countless other ways.

It’s no wonder potty training is a huge milestone, and it’s rightfully more exciting for mothers. Once completely trained, the budget is free of diapers. The laundry is lighter and isn’t a potential biohazard. Errands and playdates reappear in the schedule. But getting there is equivalent to trying to go up the “down escalator.” I know that I’ll get to potty training my toddler. She needs to learn sometime, and it’s up to me. She’ll get potty trained. And she won’t go to college in diapers. Soon enough we’ll both be ready and my wash will be filled with dozens of smelly pink undies.