Constipation in Kids: When Poop Gives Mama Trauma

I’m not secretive about this little fact about me. I talked openly about last week. I kind of freak out around poop–especially when I have to clean it up.  And not just a little bit. This is one area my kids have given me ample opportunity to practice overcoming my OCD-freakout tendencies.

I’ve posted a couple of articles on constipation in kids and how to help your child deal with it. This week I want to share a few tips on how to help YOU deal with the trauma sometimes associated with childhood constipation.

Sanity Saving Strategies for the Germophobe Mom

I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve dealt with as a mom is having numerous occasions where my kids make a big mess and then being smacked upside the head with the realization that I’m the one in charge of cleaning up the unspeakable mess . Whether it’s your child peeing in their own face, catching puke in your hand when your child has the stomach flu, scrubbing poop out of carpet or disinfecting a tub that’s witnessed a diarrhea explosion, being a mom will push you past your limits.

Here are a few tips on dealing with disgusting drama:

  1. Take a breath. Unless it’s really stinky. In which case, go outside and take a really deep breath. As soon as you start taking some deep breaths, your body can go from fight or flight response and move into “gotta deal with it” mode.
  2. Rubber gloves. These are a lifesaver when you’ve gotta go in and clean up a disaster zone.
  3. Disinfectant wipes. Give me rubber gloves and disinfectant wipes and I’m nigh invincible! Make it easy (and sanitary) to clean up messes.
  4. Cry and scream and rage in private. I normally don’t tell moms to hide tears and frustrations from your kids. It can be a great teaching experience, and we want our kids to feel safe expressing their own emotions instead of bottling them up. Childhood constipation, however, requires an entirely different protocol. A strong reaction to a poop accident when your child is dealing with constipation can aggravate the situation.  It’s very important to stay calm and collected as possible when cleaning up messes. (Repeating steps 1, 2, and 3 can be very helpful in staying calm in the face of a poopy mess). Call a girlfriend. Vent to your husband when the kids have gone to bed.<

     

    I’m going to say this again: It is vital that you keep your cool around your kids when helping clean up and helping your child to retrain their bowels.


  5. Fill your own cup. Make sure you take care of you. Relieve some stress. Exercise. Read a good book. Take a bubble bath after the kids go to bed. Chat with a girlfriend. Get some extra rest. It takes a lot of energy to work with a constipated child and get things cleared up. Make sure you’re recharging your battery so you’ll have something to give your kids.
  6. I hope you find some of these tips helpful. I’d love to hear your experiences.

    Are you a bit of an OCD germaphobe? What grosses you out most? How do you deal with it?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Kirsten

     

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