Enlightened Potty Pauses

Potty pauses are a perplexing occurance.  Some argue there is no pause, only change, and babies are the embodiment of change.  Frankly, for me I can relate to the term “pause” because it puts a neutral word to my experience.  Some use a more negative word, “strike”, as if the baby had some forethought into his lack cooperation about pottying and is holding out for a raise or something.  EC potty pauses create an opportunity for mommy to do some self analysis.  To be sure, the EC journey is not linear.  You will never see a steady improvement in catches and misses over time.  And never place the expectation on yourself or your baby that the more work you put in to EC, the more response you will see from your baby.  They can’t match your increased effort with increased performance.  Babies don’t care how much work you expend on EC.  A task oriented, productive mommy has to learn how to scale back on her expectations.  This isn’t giving up on EC, but rather stopping your brain from EXPECTING certain results.  If you expect a sunrise to look a certain way, and when the sun comes up it looks different than what you expected, you can miss the beauty of today.

I’ve written several posts about concrete ways to deal with potty pauses.  These are all very functional, task oriented tips.  See link below

 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication/message/84408

And these tips are VERY handy, all things that I learned from the EC yahoo list, and from my own personal experience with my daughters.  Having concrete solutions is very helpful with daily survival.  However, I really think that somewhere along the EC journey, the really successful EC parent has an enlightening moment of mental clarity in which the true purpose of EC and parenthood begin to settle into your heart and mind and then the EC parent becomes less of a “do-er” and more of a “supporter”.  EC isn’t something you do TO your baby, EC is a tool to support your child.  Suddenly whom you are taking care of stops being your “baby”, like a project, and she or he becomes their own individual self, and mommy frees that baby to be themself, and thus mommy frees herself to go back to being who she is and not just “Grace’s mommy”.  All of a sudden you are both free to be who you are.  You can then accept your real job in this relationship, to be loving and attentive, not to interpret subtle signals and attain a certain catch rate.  The danger is getting a mommy’s ego entangled with her child’s performance or behavior.  With enlightened EC you are in the moment, not fretting about past success or future failures.  You have to let the EC journey be your child’s journey and not so much your own, you are the supporting actor and your child is the star.  The journey will lead both child and mother to eventual success, but then mommy will have such pride in her child’s accomplishments because her ego isn’t corrupting it.

Gayleen

Enlightened mommy to Grace, 3 yrs old

and to Fiona, almost 22 months

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