Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheWooOfPoo #CollectiveBias
Parenting is TOUGH, Y’all. In our house, we JUST decided that “Hey, you know what would be fun? Trying to force the tiny potty on our kid who just turned two,” because, hey! What else should I be doing while simultaneously reorganizing the entire apartment, purging all the unnecessary belongings, flying around the country for weeks at a time for work, and trying to give my brand a massively needed jumpstart for 2018? Wanna ask how many times I’ve cleaned pee off the floor while my toddler informs me that, “is messy”? So please, don’t judge the fact that I may or may not be hiding out in the bathroom, writing this post. At least I didn’t bring the gummy bears with me…. not that I didn’t consider it.
While there’s no definitive guide to parenting – despite what that one perfect-mom frienemy might try to tell you – I’m pretty sure I’ve found an epic parenting resource in one of the least expected places: the loo and the book The WOO of POO: Change Your Life In The Time You Take A Sh*t.
If you aren’t familiar with Poo~Pourri, or their Before-You-Go® Toilet Spray, then it’s a safe bet you’ve never been my Secret Santa/Snowflake/Valentine/Bunny/Pumpkin/We-Just-Wanted-A-Reason-For-A-Random-Gift-Exchange buddy. I love this stuff. I give it away like candy. I make it rain Poo~Pourri. I mean…. not in the LITERAL sense, but more in the Oprah and free cars way.
Poo~Pourri Before-You-Go® Toilet Spray is an all-natural blend of essential oils that creates a film on the surface of the water to trap odors before they even begin. It smells amazing, works like magic, and is proudly made in the USA. It saved my – ahem – butt when I worked at a store with a tiny bathroom in our tiny stockroom/breakroom, and I’m pretty sure my coworkers deeply appreciated it as well. My sister saw the bottle hanging out in my bathroom and just said, “Ugh. Man. I love this stuff.” The magic is real, Y’all.
Suzy Batiz, the mastermind who brought us Poo~Pourri, has written what I can only describe as the “realest accidental parenting book” on the market and I can’t get enough of it. In The WOO of POO: Change Your Life In The Time You Take a Sh*t the First Lady of the Loo, the Wonder Woman of Washrooms, the Princess of the Privy, shares some stories behind the success of Poo~Pourri and bequeaths us her magic (literal, Universe Woo magic) in the form of 10 amazing rules to live by.
Real talk: These rules – while framed in the book in the context of business – are epic parenting advice and applicable to just about every aspect of life and I definitely have a few favorites.
Woo #1: Relax and Unclench
This chapter (and first Woo in the book) should be mandatory reading for anyone currently wrangling a human (or humans, may the force be with you) between the ages of 2 and 18. Not only is there an amazing breathing and relaxation technique described, but raising kids stretches our limits six ways to Sunday and keeping an open mind is key to the survival of our sanity. The chapter reminds us to stay open to new ideas or ways of looking at the world. The Take a Shift exercise at the end of that chapter reminds us that Do we want to be right, or be happy? We can’t always be both.
When it comes to parenting, I have found this to be one of the most important lessons I have learned. Whether it’s in conversations with well-meaning but misinformed friends and family, to moments when my toddler is being LESS than adorable keeping the lines of communication open and honest (and using language like, “Help me understand why” makes all parties feel respected and supported and able to move forward toward a common area of understanding. Even if they’re arguing that macaroni and cheese is an acceptable year-round hair accessory. I’m looking at you, Penny. Everyone knows it’s only ok to wear mac and cheese after Labor Day.
Woo #3: The Universe has your Backside
Who DOESN’T need to be reminded of this? This Woo is meant in the broadest (and also the most personal) of ways. Very few people WANT to see you fail just as you don’t want to see other people fail. This chapter has my FAVORITE exercise, and one I’m tempted to keep on a post it in my purse. The ten ways to help the Universe help others is basically an easy crash course for kindness (I’m paraphrasing them):
- Smile at a Stranger
- Put back a stray Shopping Cart so it doesn’t ding someone’s car
- Place recyclable trash in the recycling bin.
- Strike up a conversation with an elderly person. Compliment them/Ask them about their day.
- Let a family with kids or someone in a hurry cut in front of your at the airport or the grocery store.***
- Let another person have the parking spot you saw first.
- Let that person in when sitting in traffic.
- Over-tip. Frequently.
- Do a funny dance in front of a security camera. Someone somewhere is watching in a lonely room.
- Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them.
***As the recipient of this from time to time (especially on one of those days when everything is going wrong and you feel like the worst mom in the world), I’d like to personally hug Suzy for including this. It is such a simple act of kindness that makes an immediate and positive impact.
I found that when I started doing these and explaining to Penny WHY we were doing them, I started finding other ways to act out of kindness on behalf of the Woo of the Universe. I believe that kindness has a ripple effect; the more we act out of kindness, selflessness, and doing “the right thing”, the more others feel compelled to do so, too.
Woo #4: Doo it on Purpose
Friends, I am SO guilty of ignoring this rule, and it’s the chief change I’m looking to make in 2018. Sliding through the first two years of parenting without intention or focus has left me feeling lost in “Mom Fog.” It’s a real thing; I’m not making this up.
My professional goals have fallen by the wayside. My house is full of “stuff” that doesn’t fulfill a purpose. My gym bag is gathering dust in the closet while my membership eats a hole in my wallet. Activities and events I’d love to attend with my kid come and go without me even attempting to take P.
This is NOT how I want to live or how I want to raise my kid. Mindfulness. Gratitude. Intention. Parenting with purpose brings great joy. The adage is “the days are long but the years are short,” I don’t want those years to slip past with nothing to show for them. So from here on out, I’m planning the playdates. I’m making sure to visit special seasonal events and doing my best to curate a childhood filled with wonder, laughter, and new experiences.
Woo #7: Trust Your Gut
The book reiterates that “gut feelings are a real legit thing,” and boy – oh – boy does parenting put that to the test. How many times have you been working on something when your lizard brain springs into action and says, “it’s way too quiet. My child is about to get into troubl—” CRASH. Oh… just me? You’re all a pack of liars.
Our intuition – our gut – is one of the strongest tools we have as parents. We need to listen to it more. Whether it’s a quick mom-hack for a daily fight we have with our kids to something more serious like just knowing something is off and insisting our pediatrician check it out, our parenting intuitions are always at work to keep our kids safe and us sane.
We’ve stopped cultivating our guts, and Suzy and the Poo Crew remind us exactly WHY we should continue to tend to it. Who knows, the next million dollar idea could be yours… but like… call me, too? Because I DID tell you to read this book, so I’m entitled to at least $60 and a cupcake. The $60 is negotiable; the cupcake is not.
This book is staying put. Inevitably, I’ll need a refresher (possibly as often as I need the Before-You-Go® Toilet Spray, amirite?) and reminders to stay focused, present, and open as I move through 2018, potty training, and beyond. Come visit, and maybe it’ll inspire you, too. Or better yet, click the image below pick up your own copy on Amazon and inspire yourself asap.
If you’d like to know more about the minds behind this book, definitely hit up PooPourri.com and marvel at their amazing viral videos while you’re at it. And don’t forget the amazing limited edition “Woo” scent here. It smells like ginger, neroli, and true inner peace.
You’ve got this. Parenting isn’t easy, but with the Universe behind you, nothing can stop you. Can you master parenting in the time you take to sh*t? Flush yeah.
Speaking of flushing, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear my kid knocking her entire play kitchen on to the floor…. So… Until next time, my commode compadres!