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What to Say to a Mom of a Toddler

Being a mom to a toddler is rewarding, but it does require a little extra patience, understanding and energy. It also requires the ability to not be annoyed by the unnecessary, judgey opinions of others. As moms of toddlers, we brace ourselves for comments of all types and try our best to not take something that someone may have not even meant in "that way" personally. But, let's be real, they totally meant it "that way." So instead of flippantly ruining our day with dumb or unnecessary comments, why not support our sanity and try saying some of these lines.

RELATED: 10 Things to Say to a New Mom

1. It's OK. She is just being a toddler.

It is universally known that toddlers are a handful. Yet, somehow people still find the need to make you feel like your toddler in particular is abnormally rambunctious, a terror and the worst. Instead of throwing a grimace or raised brow at junior's mommy, or a snide comment that is only bound to escalate the frustration, how about flipping the usual script and offering some words of encouragement? You never know, this may be just the thing that mom needed to hear to get her second wind.

2. Let me open that door for you.

You just became a saint in our book: Saint Door Holder.

When you are pushing the stroller with one hand and holding a surly, determined toddler who is using every little muscle in his body to break free of your hold, little things like going through a door seem like climbing Machu Picchu. When you utter "I'll get that door for you," you may not know it, but you just became a saint in our book: Saint Door Holder.

3. I totally understand that you would rather sleep.

When you are a mother of a toddler, you are expending energy to mother that toddler at marathon runner rates. Any opportunity to sleep is valuable. So, forgive us friends, if sometimes we need to cancel our dinner plans because we are just ... zzzzzzz.

4. Let me babysit for a few hours.

This will bring tears to her eyes while she does the end zone dance. You just gave this mom the opportunity to refocus and regroup. She can do whatever she wants, all by herself, even if it's just for an hour — even if it's simply to hear nothing but the sound of her own voice (and maybe the guy from "Bejeweled" saying "Excellent.")

5. Let's just order in.

You just added three years to my life.

6. You are a good mom.

It's so easy to think you are doing everything wrong.

Honestly, this is one of the kindest most appreciated comments one could make to a toddler's mom. As a mom, it's so easy to think you are doing everything wrong. The fruits of your labor are not always obvious and may reveal themselves much later in the game. To hear that you are good at being a mom can have you smiling from ear to ear.

7. Excuse me, you have toilet paper hanging out of the back of your shirt.

When you are trying to get things done whilst wrangling a busy toddler, weird things happen. Yes, sometimes our dignity is hanging on by a thread. Help a sister out.

8. I love her energy!

Thank you for seeing the glass as half full. Because we were about to fill the other half with whiskey.

9. Who cares when you decide to potty train?

Thank you for not caring whether my daughter still poops herself or smears it all over the urine-splashed public toilet. You know as well as I do that with or without diapers, we will both go on.

10. It's OK for you to cry.

Or scream. Or fold up into the couch bed. Thanks for giving us permission. Or at least make us feel like we're not crazy for wanting to do it.

11. It's your prerogative when and where your toddler sleeps.

When it comes to parenting, and toddler sleep issues in particular, what works for one mom may not work for another. My toddler currently sleeps in my bed and kicks me in the head throughout the night. This may not work for you, but it doesn't really work for me either, but I'm cranky so only say nice things. Get it?

12. At least he's eating.

Instead of asking, "Are toddlers supposed to eat like that?" ("that" being a handful of Teddy Grahams and a hot dog) or saying, "Wow, he's a picky eater" (translation: "It must not be important to you that he eats good food, look, you let him get away with eating Teddy Grahams and hot dogs"), how about acknowledging that the youngster is taking time to put the food in his mouth and not down his pants or up his nose.

13. She's a great kid.

Moms of any aged child love to hear this one. Because she is a really great kid, even if she just put lipstick on everyone on my screensaver.

14. Toddlers cry to blow off steam. It's cool.

There is nothing more stressful than having your toddler melt down in a crowded public place.

Toddlers invented the temper tantrum. They frequently lose their shit. And we don't need strangers giving us side eye and talking smack in the middle of that loss of shit. For a parent of a toddler, there is nothing more stressful than having your toddler melt down in a crowded public place. But it does make it better when it happens around someone who understands the woes of parenting a toddler.

15. Can I do anything to help? (Instead of can you please control your kids?)

That question alone was help.

16. You are not doing anything wrong.

Why isn't my toddler sleeping? Why won't she eat? Why is she obsessed with throwing things in the toilet? It's easy to feel guilt and battle the constant worry that you are doing something wrong at this point in the parenting game. It's nice to be reminded that this stage is challenging and downright brutal sometimes. And no matter how hard you try, how strict you stick to schedules and rules, your toddler will be a toddler.

RELATED: How Having a Toddler Is Like a Scary Movie

17. Remember, it does get easier.

The toddler years are tough. The phrase "the terrible twos" wasn't coined simply because of its catchy alliteration. Toddlers are amazing. They are learning, growing and developing mentally and physically in leaps and bounds, but they are also kicking our asses. It's nice to know and be reminded that it will get easier.

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