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9 People You Need in Your Squad to Help Raise a Toddler

Photograph by Andrea Wada Davies

It takes a village they say, to raise a child. Sure. That's a given. But ideally, that village would include a group of highly and specifically trained individuals to help you survive the toddler years. Shockingly, we do it on our own, most of the time, and we also manage to keep our children alive—even happy and healthy! Sure we may emerge from year three looking like the walking dead and hanging on by less than a thread, but who wouldn't?

Toddlers, as doggone cute as they are, are an expert level challenge. It takes calling upon a wide range of skills and taking on several different roles to properly raise one. Moms do it all themselves, but if we could be specific about the people we really need in our squad to help us raise a toddler, our list may look a little something like this.

1. Doctor

Toddlers, with their Level 100 energy, curiosity and big heads, are magnets for skinned knees, goose eggs and a plethora of other injuries. Sometimes there is real hurt and sometimes there is pretend hurt, but either way, a doctor in the house would be SWEET! You'd have immediate access to medical care, but also and perhaps even more importantly, sound, science-backed medical opinion. You know, the kind that wasn't the result of a FB poll or a Google search that left you 100 percent certain that your daughter's hangnail had now turned into full-blown flesh-eating disease. Imagine how many hours of FREAKING OUT we'd avoid. Oh and yes, how many toddler boo boos would be properly and immediately handled.

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2. Handyman

Every toddler household needs a resident handyman. And by "resident handyman" I don't mean the husband who says he will "fix it tomorrow, I promise" or you who hates having to spend some of your limited amount of time fixing the spring mechanism in a Nerf Gun. No, you need a real, legit handyman who has all the right tools and skills to basically just follow your toddler (aka World War III) around.

3. Entertainer (but not a clown)

Because you just can't pretend to be the Boots to your daughter's Dora or the Twilight Sparkle to her Pinkie Pie all those hours every day.

Sure, you have the iPhone in your entourage, but that's not a human being (not yet, anyway) and too much screen time is no bueno. You need a full-time entertainer. Because you just can't pretend to be the Boots to your daughter's Dora or the Twilight Sparkle to her Pinkie Pie all those hours every day. Sure, an outside act wouldn't be the first-rate Vegas headliner entertainment you no doubt currently provide. But all you need is someone who can captivate and hold your little one's attention for a few hours a day. It could even be someone from Reno. It just can't be a clown (nightmares).

4. Psychiatrist

This person is needed to stave off that nervous breakdown. After the rugrat is asleep in bed, the psychiatrist could come in and reverse all the damage. Imagine all the money we'd save on wine.

5. Personal Trainer

We need this person to keep us in tip top toddler chasing shape. Chasing that Tasmanian Devil around daily is like running a marathon. Or cage fighting. On second thought maybe all we really need is a cage. For us. To take a nap in.

6. Martha Stewart

Because she's the only one who could handle the level of crafts that our toddlers are seeing on YouTube tutorials and demanding us to help them make for them. Kid crafts today scoff at pipe cleaners and macaroni. If you can't make a Disney princess out of bologna, two olives and a bay leaf, well then, you need to find someone who can!

7. Yogi to calm the nerves and free the whatever

When your patience is completely gone, and you're about to blow, the live-in yogi would step in and help you OMMMM it out. He'd be on the ready, lotus flower and Rumi quote in hand. And you'd exhale and be new again, shakras fully aligned. Actually, it doesn't even have to be a yogi. It could be a motivational speaker, or anyone who wrote a best-selling self-help book, really. Hell, on those really bad days, it could even be Steve Harvey.

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8. Personal chef

One who is able to make vegetables look like chicken nuggets or other beige-colored foods.

9. Housekeeper

And he or she would have one job only: to pick up every LEGO block or Shopkins toy before a bare human foot steps on it.

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