My Daughter Wears Diapers at School, and I’m Not Sorry for It

Family & kids
month ago

Recently, an elementary school teacher became upset after being asked to change a diaper for a 6-year-old boy. However, a working mom of four, Shona Sibary supported her choice to send her fourth child to school without being potty-trained as she prioritized her work over potty training her daughter.

Shona shared the difficulties of combining childcare and work.

Shona faced a crucial moment while juggling freelance writing and caring for her eldest kid, Flo, when she was six-month-old. During a home interview with a self-important celebrity, she had placed Flo in a door bouncer, expecting a short chat. However, the call dragged on, and Flo went from content to fussy.

Stressed, Shona tried to wrap up the call, moving to another room, but Flo’s fussiness turned into loud cries. Struggling between work and parenting, Shona couldn’t resolve the situation, even as Flo’s cries intensified, separated by closed patio doors. Despite her efforts, she couldn’t end the call.

With sweaty palms and a racing heart, Shona wanted to be with her baby. When she finally reached Flo, the baby had fallen asleep standing in the door frame, tears on her face. This distressing incident made Shona reflect on the struggles many working moms face—balancing work and childcare responsibilities, sometimes unable to fully attend to their children’s needs.

She admitted that potty training was difficult.

The mom found toilet training tough with her fourth child, Dolly. She even considered returning to work to avoid dealing with it. Thankfully, her au pair took on some responsibility but had a lax approach, letting Dolly go without pants in the garden, leading to accidents among the plants.

“As my youngest daughter is a late August baby, she started school just one week after turning four, and I’m ashamed to say she was still wearing night nappies at the time. Was this my fault for focusing on work and not spending my days encouraging her to sit on a potty? Guilty as charged, I’m afraid. But that was my choice.”

Realizing the need for childcare while working, the mom saw the potential to outsource some less engaging aspects of parenting.

Nannies don’t always solve the problem.

But neither the assistance of au pairs nor nurseries seemed to match the level of care Shona believed she could have provided if her day wasn’t consumed by other commitments. Consequently, her children continued to struggle with nighttime incontinence well into their fourth year, a probable consequence of the voluntary delegation of parental responsibilities. This set them apart from the majority of other working mothers who fiercely strived to actively participate in every developmental stage of their children.

A school becomes a stress relief for many working parents.

Acknowledging the struggles faced by career-oriented women, Shona emphasized the high price paid at the end of each exhausting day, when household chores like emptying lunchboxes and doing laundry still awaited attention.

“For many of us, school comes as a blessed relief because it allows us — by law and general acceptance — to get on with our jobs with far less hassle and expense. There are no complicated childcare arrangements to organize and no guilt to contend with,” she says.

Despite sending all four children off to school equipped with spare pants in their backpacks, the writer admitted feeling a surge of guilt, realizing none of their children were adequately prepared for this significant milestone in their lives.

Shona acknowledges her shortcomings as a mother: “My many failings as a mother tore at my heartstrings then, and still do 24 years later as my brood fly the nest still not wholly prepared for the world that awaits them.”

Despite the struggles, the mom found solace in a certain success — aside from the occasional nights, none of their children are dealing with issues like bed-wetting today. It’s a modest achievement, but an achievement nonetheless.

Although potty training is a difficult thing, there’s a couple who assert that they successfully transitioned their baby from diapers at just 2 weeks old. They’re sharing the unique method they employed to achieve this early success.

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