Last Updated on March 20, 2018

This “potty-training thing” that we like to call it, was becoming excruciatingly redundant. Every single time that stench fumigated our rooms and shot down all carefully placed potpourri fragrances, I’d find myself cringing. Then, there goes momism number one. It would just come flying right out of my mouth.

“Kerissa, how many times do I have to tell you to ask for the potty? We boo-boo in the potty!”

“I boo-boo in the potty?” she’d ask with sunken eyes. I often wondered if she thought the potty was her pull-up. Maybe she thought she was already doing the right thing.

“But no darling, the pull-up is not the potty.” I’d walk her to the bathroom. “This is the potty.” I’d point at it. “You see!” Maybe I should name it something else. “It’s the toilet,” I added. “And this is where you make boo-boo. Not in your pull-up.”

Potty-training my oldest daughter was a drag to say the least. This one momism slipped out every time we dealt with that. But, that wasn’t the only time. I could hear myself stressing it on many occasions.

“Son, how many times do I have to tell you to flush the toilet and wash your hands?”

“How many times do I have to tell you to pick up your toys when you’re done?”

“How many times do I have to tell you to stay in your bed?”

And then one day, my four year old answered. “Five!” I wanted to scream, but all I could do was laugh at his sarcasm. His little toddler mind had a valid point. He was probably tired of me asking “How many times…,” and rightfully so, since its something that I so often say. And when I do, I’m probably on the edge of a minor breakdown– completely spent, tired and wondering why is this happening to me? Why won’t they just get it the first time?

Parenting toddlers has taught me something huge. You will repeat yourself– probably a million times. And it doesn’t matter how frustrated or “tired” we get, we’ll continue to say it until they get it. Now how long will it take them to get it? That depends on each child. But eventually, whatever they are in the process of learning will come to light for them and they’ll finally get it. So mom, don’t take it personally. They aren’t trying to drive you nuts… they are just trying to figure it out… just like we are.

This reminds me of how gracious God is with us. How many times does he repeat himself for us? How many times do we have to walk through the same experience until we “get it.” I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful he’s gracious with me. I pray to learn how to become more gracious with my children and less frustrated over the little things. It’s all a part of training for us– theirs and ours! May we always walk in love and grace with our blessings!

Am I the only one who has said this more times than I can count? Leave a comment and tell me I’m not alone! (And if this isn’t one you say, what momisms do you quote to your children?)

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  1. You are definitely NOT alone! Thank you for reminding me that God is gracious with me (EVERY single Minute!). Sometimes I wonder if the kids teach me more about life and God than I teach them?

    1. Lindsay, I am almost certain my kids have helped me learn more about God, life, and myself!

  2. My kid’s not old enough for me to bother telling her anything, but this does make me think about how I’ll handle those moments.

  3. specialmom says:

    Guess what! It doesn’t end when they get out of toddlerhood, or elementary school….At some point we realize that there are some lessons they will just have to learn on their own, not because we haven’t told them (a thousand times, at least) but because experience, unfortunately, is the best teacher.

  4. Oh my goodness, I say that a lot followed by the thought, “I sure do sound a lot like my Mom”. Haha! But I am trying to remind myself often that God is so gracious with me, the hard-headed wife/mom/daughter that I am, and I need to extend that same grace to my children. This was written perfectly for me, thank you!