The other day I realized that at this moment in my life, my universe revolves around poop. Between potty training with Hudson and introducing solid foods with Brooks, I seriously must think about it at least once an hour. Whether I’m cleaning it off a child or the floor, wondering when the last poop happened or might be coming or what consistency it is… poop is always on my mind. I never expected to find myself here and to be clear… it’s not what I want to be thinking about, but thank god I have Jamie’s book to help me through this strange, gross, and challenging stage. I heard about her book before I even had kids. Some friends said it was their savior, and I locked that nugget away knowing it would come in handy at some point later in my life. I’m so glad I did. She has actually made this potty training process bearable with her 1-2 punch of practical advice and outrageous sense of humor.
You might say she’s a bit of a legend in our house so I was honestly a little starstruck to have her on the show. So what really stuck with me after our interview wasn’t just how knowledgeable she is, which believe me with her years of social work and coaching hundreds of families… she knows more about this crap than I ever will — pun intended, but how human and real she is. Just like all of us, she shared her doubts about whether she’s making the right decisions in the moment and how hard it can be to repair your relationship with your child when you make the wrong one. She reminded me that we’re all trying to do our best for our kids, and I hope you enjoy how she keeps it real and funny.
Watch + Listen to the whole conversation:
When Jamie was a social worker, she was desperate to help her clients teach their 4 and 5 years olds how to potty train. She went to the “experts”- her mother and friends to teach her the tricks. When Jamie became a mom and potty trained her son at 22 months, she couldn’t figure out why it was such a big deal. She realized the moms in her community were wildly misinformed about potty training and moms were desperate to get her help. She offered potty training classes, but couldn’t keep up with the demand. Now the author of the #1 best selling potty training book, Oh Crap! Jamie keeps it real and funny AND she gets you through that dreaded stage of parenting.
How did you become a potty training expert?
I was a social worker and that’s actually how I got my chops as a potty trainer. I was in San Francisco and I worked with dual diagnosed moms- meaning they had substance abuse challenges and mental illness. I was not a mom at the time. These moms needed help potty training their kids so I just kind of asked a bunch of moms my mom’s age and then I started to teach it at my job. I didn’t think anything of it. It was just a part of my job.
So how did this become your career?
I ended up having my son and I moved back to Rhode Island. Pascal turned twenty-two months and so I decided to potty train him. But when I mentioned it to my mom’s group, I was hit with this wall of- you can’t potty train now. You have a boy! All of a sudden I was like hit smack in the face with this potty training rhetoric. There were so many misconceptions about potty training that just weren’t true. So I trained Pascal and then I’m not kidding- He was famous. So we lived in Providence at the time and we would go to Whole Foods and people would be like, is that the baby that’s potty trained? It all started from there. I started running classes, and then online forums, and finally wrote my book.
What advice would you give to your pre-mom self?
I’m fifty-two. I’m going through menopause and I’m definitely not going to have another baby but I feel like I’d be the best mom now because I just wouldn’t care so much. I would put that kid on my back and I live my life exactly as I live it now with a teenager. So that’s what I would advise. I would buy like seven onesies for a newborn and that’s it and like a couple pairs of socks because they lose them but not buy or do any of that crap. I would just live my life.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.