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Potty Training for Freelancers


I have a good friend from high school who recently moved back to town for the first time in nearly a decade. We’ve always gotten along quite well, so I was pretty excited to see her. Add to that the fact that her son is a mere two months younger than my daughter, and it was only natural that we would immediately start scheduling play dates like suburban mothers gone wild.  

We shall call this friend of mine “Supermom.”  

Supermom is a stay-at-home mother who loves what she does. (I say that because I know plenty of stay-at-home mothers who do it out of guilt, not love.) Her son is an adorable little toddler with whom my daughter just happens to be madly in cahoots. Supermom cooks, she cleans, she’s always upbeat, she looks stunning whenever I see her, and her not-even-two-years-old-yet son is potty trained.  

Take the opposite of each of those characteristics, and you have me. 

With the help of her sage advice, I have started an intensive potty training session of my own. The basic premise is this: just buy the underwear, make my daughter excited to wear it, force her sit on the little plastic potty every half hour, praise anything that comes out of her dear little body (no matter where it lands), and hope for the best. Although I refuse to mention how long Supermom had to do this before her son caught on (okay, five days—five freaking days!), I have been going strong for a week now with only mildly visible results. 

I didn’t mean for this to turn into a post on poop, so here’s my point: I’ve been finding eerily congruent themes in my approaches to potty training and freelancing. Think I’m crazy? Check this out. 

Just buy the underwear.  

Lorna and I did it—we up and bought the underwear. Granted, it was partially forced upon us by the company that laid us off, but we just stopped our professional lives as we knew them to begin this freelance writing business of ours. We didn’t slowly wean ourselves by building up a client list. We didn’t get our marketing done first and then test the waters. We plunged in, full force, no looking back. 

Make my daughter excited to wear it.  

This is Lorna’s job for sure. I get a little down on our company when I start to feel frustrated or irritated. The regrets start seeping in and I make back-up plans to being a freelance writer. Then Lorna steps in, getting me all excited again. She makes plans for our future, she sees opportunities everywhere, and she forces me to look really hard and appreciate how far we’ve come. 

Force her to sit on the little plastic potty every half hour. 

Sometimes, I’m really jazzed when I wake up in the morning, and the productivity practically sprouts out my ears. Other times, I have to force myself to step away from the television and type, even if it’s only in half hour increments. (Is anyone else a little bit grateful for the strike? Just think of all that extra time I’ll have without my shows to watch.) But regardless of whether I want to or not, I have to get on that seat and do my business. 

Praise anything that comes out of her dear little body (no matter where it lands).  

Some days, I’m at the top of my game with writing and editing. I can churn out several blog posts to use for a rainy day, I can get ahead of my schedule as far as clients go, and I can even do a little personal writing for myself. Other days, the stuff that comes out of my mind is crap (pun intended), and I can’t even get a good proposal or query in place. But even if I have to go back and revise the previous day’s work, or if I don’t like what I’ve done and just scrap the whole thing to start anew, it’s still pretty darn good that I wrote. Nobody is perfect on the first try (Supermom is, but that’s a whole bone of mine to pick), so nothing that I ever write is a waste of time. 

Hope for the best. 

Eventually, my daughter will be fully potty trained. Even if I suck at teaching her and she’s one of those four-year-olds getting precariously close to wearing adult diapers, she will someday figure it all out. Granted, I have high hopes of being footloose and diaper free by next month (just as I have high hopes of being incredibly successful and rich in that same time frame), but I’m confident that even if I don’t meet my immediate goals, we’ll get there in the end. It’s all a matter of perseverance and practice.  

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    On November 28th, 2007 at 4:33 pm, Lis Garrett ~ a writer's woolgatherings said:

    So good, Tamara! I am happy to report that today is one of those days when all my poop is landing square in the potty - woo hoo! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who occasionally misses. LOL!

    On November 28th, 2007 at 9:05 pm, Courtney said:

    Having just (somewhat) successfully trained my oldest, this article had a special meaning for me. :)

    Thanks for the well thought out analogy and great post.

    On November 29th, 2007 at 10:12 am, WAH(web)Mommy said:

    Wow - now that is a great analogy, lol!

    We are planning on potty training our daughter early 2008 - she’s showing signs that she’s ready (I think…) ;)

    Anyway, that is such a perfect analogy! Being so close to potty training, and in the transition to hopefully becoming a full time freelancer soon, I completely understand it, lol.

    Good luck with the training! I hope you get through it quickly. :)

    On November 29th, 2007 at 12:17 pm, Laura said:

    Your title definitely captured my attention. You’re right about perseverance!

    Good luck with the potty training.

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    1. 5 Killer Reads from eMoms and eDads - eMoms at Home - The Internet Home Business Blog for Moms & Dads on November 29th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

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