I’m Jamie. Life liver and kid lover. I’ve been an advocate for children since I entered Social Work 10 years ago. This is when I learned the beauty of potty training children and the amazing, powerful growth in them learning this skill. I’ve helped thousands of parents potty train their kids because I BELIEVE IN OUR CHILDREN and I’m happy to share all the knowledge I’ve picked up along the way. I believe children are capable of more than we give them credit for. I adore seeing the look of pride on little faces when they tell me: I did it! I BELIEVE IN MAMAS. I know your love is so deep and you want only the best for your child. I believe you can do this.
I believe in rhythm and routine and magic. My passion for this work springs from a supreme love of life with kids and how magical each little journey we make with them is. As a Mom myself I deeply understand the struggle and fear parents can have about this milestone. You can count on me to tell it straight and with love. I don’t want to waste your time, which I know is precious…for the scenic route of how I came to be here…
The Long Story
Well, first off, this isn’t what I wanted to be when I grew up; a potty trainer. I wanted to be a pirate. Yeah, well. You know how that goes. Anyway, let’s take the scenic route to how I got here. I’ve always been the Pied Piper with kids. You know, the one who’s got the kids at the weddings, doing the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Pokey; which btw, IS what it’s all about. I first majored in Elementary Education and student taught but quickly discovered the bureaucracy of public schools was not for me. I did love the kids though. I also discovered I was meant for the stage. I spent my 20s and early 30s doing theatre and circus all over the globe. Was it fun? Oh heck, yeah; hard work but overall, very cool. I was about 34 when I realized that my rotator cuffs probably would come in handy as I got older so I retired from that. I had a good run but it was time for something new. At 34 I figured it was time to get a grown up job. I like helping people so I gravitated towards social work. I took a job with a particular focus on Moms and Kids. I had the opportunity to work with a very diverse population and it was there that I began to form what I now call My Own Parenting Philosophy. I taught parenting classes and duh…a very hot topic was potty training. Mind you, I wasn’t a parent at the time so I approached this simply as a problem to be solved, not as a potential bomb. I developed a way to potty train that didn’t use fear or rewards/punishment. I styled it this way as way to potentially teach a different parenting style. I worked with parents who had a lot going on and only knew how to parent as they had been parented…which was not well. Keep in mind, I wasn’t a rock star or anything. This was part and parcel for the job. As a professional, you do what you are being paid to do… Moving on…Well, then at 38, I found myself preparing to be a parent myself. Within a year, I had my son and moved across the country. Not only did my new social service job suck but I found that being a parent made this job too heartbreaking to do. That wasn’t working for me. So, I did what any sane person would do. I opened my own business; which is not sane at all but way better than having a boss. I opened a second-hand kids store and this is where it all started to get interesting. Business was growing quickly. I got to meet just about every parent in my community. I got to see how everyone was doing this thing called parenting. Most importantly, I got to see how everyone but everyone makes choices based on what they think is best for their kid. And I got to see how much we all want the world to know that we are good parents… All right. So. Here I am working my business and my son’s around 22 months. K. Time to potty train. All my like- minded mom friends think I’m a whack job…”Too early! A Boy! No way!” I was like, whatever. This is when you potty train. Bingo. Said and done. No big deal, right? Well, at this point, they no longer think I’m whack job. They think either I’m a genius or my son is. I assure you, neither is true. So I start thinking, what the heck and I offer a little class just to my friends. Bingo again. Then I offer a class at my store. More bingo. Now people are emailing me and calling the store asking for the class. It gets bigger and bigger. I can’t get the information out there fast enough and I’m limited by time and space in my store. I want to help as many people as I can with this. But, I have a child, a business, and I just can’t be everything to everybody all the time. I decide to write all the information down. One of the most frustrating things was that people wanted a sound bite. What’s the trick? How to potty train in 140 characters or less. Funny enough…this was all before Twitter hit it big. I didn’t and still don’t have a sound bite. I wrote down the process. And it’s a book. So then, what the heck? I have a book here. I make a janky website and start selling the book online. No advertising, no hype, just word of mouth I guess. Turns out there’s a HUGE need for this book and people who bought and applied it were having great success with it. Around this time I become obsessed with the WHY of potty training. Where did it all go wrong? Why is it so hard? It wasn’t this hard a generation ago. And so, Voila! You have my fancy website, my book, my blog and my musings on this subject. To be fair, I do spend an inordinate amount of time breaking down all the minutia of potty training. I like analogies a lot. I’m always trying to see what’s up in a certain situation and how to fix it. I’ve come across just about every scenario. But hey! If you think you got a new one for me, feel free to share… I’ve learned that even though we all say we don’t want it, there’s a lot of competition in parenting today. I’ve learned that our generation has different needs and wants for our children. I’ve learned that we’re all doing the best we can and we often beat ourselves up for not being enough. You are a good parent. I am a good parent. This is your new mantra… Randomness: I’m compassionate. I cry at commercials. I’m understanding and I think the competitive stuff is bullshit. I believe in community and the law of attraction. I love my son and I especially love him when he’s sleeping. Constructive criticism is an oxymoron and is always someone else candy-coating their shit just for you. On the other hand, vanilla ice cream is totally underrated. I could kill the guys who thought 1000 pieces was a selling point for Playmobil. My house is kinda clean, most of the time. I have 7 pairs of underwear. So does my son. This is how I’m forced to do laundry on Sunday night. My kid sometimes eats red dye #40 and high fructose corn syrup. Rarely, but he does. ‘Cause I can’t be that mom every hour of every day. Parenting is exhausting enough without this veneer of perfection. So. Let’s play nice. No hitting and please share. Peace.