You’ve finally reached that perfect pee-free place during the day where you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s bodily functions besides your own. They are tall enough to reach the sink in the bathroom, they can tie their own shoes, and they are starting to get embarrassed by your fashion statements. Life is looking up for you and your big kid. That is until they go to bed.
Because that is when you can be ripped brutally from those amazing dreams you were having about Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo by an ear-splitting shriek of, “Mooommm!” (Nobody in my house can seem to remember that there is also a dad that lives here.)
You get up. You strip sheets. You comfort a kid who knows they are getting too big for all of this. It’s miserable and you both want to cry.
I have been there, so here are some tips for not going insane when your big kid is still wetting the bed:
I have learned the trick of layering blankets and waterproof sheets so that in the middle of the night, when you are stumbling around, taking cues from the cast of The Walking Dead, you can simply strip one layer off and…voila! — this is life-changing, people.
Your kid needs to be able to know that they can come to you with all of their feelings and all of their wet sheets or else you will find stinky laundry stashed in places that will make you want to cry. Kids are usually smart, but for some reason, they never think you will find those sheets hidden in the back of their closet creating new ecosystems.
3. Talk to Your Siblings and Other Parents
Guess what, bedwetting has been shown to be genetically linked. So the fact is that someone in your family has probably dealt with midnight pee parties before. And it’s even better if it happened to you. Kids love it when embarrassing stuff has happened to their parents — trust me.
4. Step Into Your Inner Elsa and LET IT GO
If you obsess, your child might feel more anxiety around the situation. It’s really common and not that big of a deal. Yes, I know doing the laundry sucks. But the more your kid thinks it’s not a big deal because of how you are acting, the more they aren’t going to be a wired-up stress ball about the whole thing. Chill, mama.
5. Have a Plan of Attack
Feeling a little sense of control in this situation helps, for you and your kid. There are a million little tricks you can do to help you both feel like the pee machine has not taken over your lives. like establishing a bedtime routine that includes reminding your child to go to the bathroom before they go to bed.
6. Remember What Made You Feel Better
Reach deep down into that inner child of yours and think about how you felt as a kid. Did your mom or dad get frustrated with you? Did you feel like you had no control? What helped you?
7. Realize That It Won’t Happen Forever
Bedwetting is actually a developmental issue that children grow out of in time. Your kids won’t go to college wetting the bed. Probably.
8. Nightly Namaste
You want to be annoyed, but you just…can’t. If you are actually annoyed, just fake it like you aren’t. Your child and their bladder and their future therapy bills will thank you.
9. Celebrate Milestones (But Don’t Bum Out About Setbacks)
Take yourself out for a cocktail with some friends. Oh, and I guess get your kid an ice cream or something. But really, be a force of positivity during the whole thing and your child will take your cues. They don’t want to be bummed out about the whole situation. And if it gets bad enough, talk to your doctor about next steps.
10. GoodNites Bedtime Pants
Just accept them. Embrace them. They are going to be a part of your life. They are discreet and easy to use, and they’re designed for kids like mine who need extra nighttime protection.
So, good luck out there pee-party people. It’s not fun, but it’s not forever either.
To learn more about bedwetting and hear tips from other parents and pros, visit GoodNites.com.