This is one of those topics that makes me think I’ll never make it as a SAHM. I’ll end up being one of those mothers who locks her kids in a room with a tray of food and a single toy. In my case, my kid will be in the bathroom.
Sweet Pea potty-trained months ago, and for months, she was having bowel movements every 3-5 days. It was often hard, and it troubled her, but we could see it coming, help her get to the potty, and she was so happy afterward. Then all of a sudden, a month or two ago, things started going downhill. She went 10 days twice in a row between BMs. We put her on Miralax, and things got explosive and she started having crazy, yucky accidents. She had one last week that spilled out her diaper (we put her in a diaper after the first yuck happened) and she was SO distressed by it that I vowed not to give her the medicine anymore. But after another five days, I started giving it to her again. Three-days in a row, half an adult dose, and she still hasn’t had a BM. (Maybe she just has a slow digestive system?)
When she goes this long, she gets cranky. And I get cranky. And tonight we were both so frustrated, and I wound up telling her she could go poop or go to bed. And I put her to bed an hour early, in part just so I wouldn’t do anything worse than that. Eventually, after she heard the message 5 times after she’d gotten out of bed, she sat on the potty and tried. Or at least, appeared to try. After that, the evening got better, and she went to sleep.
I was so angry and frustrated, and I got online. It is obvious from a simple Google search that this is tremendously common. And not a dang thing that I read made me feel any better.
- “Change their diet, cut out dairy.” Okay, I’m supposed to make this better by cutting out my child’s favorite food group. Great. She already eats a fair amount of fruits and veggies.
- “Miralax, Miralax, Miralax.” When the label says it is for “occasional constipation” and “Stop and ask your doctor” after one week of use. I’ve a problem giving it to a child daily (some doctors recommend up to a year or more!). And besides, it seems I’m not the only one experiencing the explosions on the stuff.
- “Let her be in control” Yes, my daughter is a control freak (much like her mommy, who is trying to learn to let go) but at what point is her holding her bowels just going to make her sick?
- “Some kids can’t control their bowels until they are 5/6/8 years old.” Fan-fricking-tastic. I feel SOO much better knowing this.
- “Put them in diapers.” So, the girl who has barely had any accidents for 6+ months is now supposed to go back to diapers? This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
- “Enemas work wonders.” But you need your doctor’s permission. And who really WANTS to do that to anyone, much less a strong-willed three-year-old who is supposed to love and trust you? But it sounds like they work…
It is dilemmas like this that make me think a few things:
- Parents deserve research grants for attempting to navigate the barrage of information about kids and their health, what’s normal, and what’s not.
- I’m too uptight. (I said I am a control freak.) Maybe I should just let my kid be and not worry so much that she hasn’t pooped in 10 days. Maybe that’s just NORMAL for her. (Of course, then we’ll find out she has something really wrong, and then I’ll be an awful parent for not doing anything about it…). I have been totally laid back during both my pregnancies about the pregnancy. Perhaps I should carry that over to their childhoods. Or just keep them in the womb.
- Some situations just don’t have happy answers. You just try to hold your tongue, grit your teeth and get through it.
Someday, moving her bowels won’t seem like moving the pyramids. Until then…
- The Pantie Chronicles: Part Deuce (theaslinttrap.com)
- Potty Training in the Dark (mycrackedpot.wordpress.com)
- You know you are a mom when… (mommyhoodactivated.wordpress.com)
- Constipation in children can become a vicious cycle if not treated (utsandiego.com)