It is safe to say that most people have heard of the terrible twos. Most people realize that parenting a toddler can feel like a roller coaster ride at times with all the extreme highs and lows. I probably don’t have to tell you that toddlers are moody, energetic, temperamental, bossy, and sweet all at the same time. They are constantly pushing the limits and testing their parents and caregivers to see just how far they can get. This can be a particularly challenging time for parents. There so many parenting guides and books out there with tips on how to deal with a spirited child, how to potty train, how to deal with childhood anxiety, how to discipline your toddler, and so on and so on. It can be very overwhelming trying to take it all in. I don’t know about you, but when I was parenting my first toddler, I had no idea what to expect.

Now, I am parenting my third toddler…and the most difficult yet! All those guides can be great and give practical advice on how to deal with many early childhood issues, but in my opinion, it is best to just come to terms with a few things right off the bat…save yourself some frustration and agony.

If you accept a few things early on, it might just relieve some stress down the road.

Your toddler owns you. Just accept this fact.

Pants are overrated. If they want to spend the day pant-less, just let them.

When sitting next to a toddler, be sure to be very aware of your face, eyes, crotch, groin, or any other part of your body that would hurt when getting punched, pinched, or poked.

Swimming lessons totally count as a bath.

Their car seat will never be clean. It just isn’t possible. Give up on that dream early on. 

They bite. Hard. And it will hurt you.

Don’t bother arguing or reasoning with a toddler…you won’t win.

If they want sour cream for dinner, just let them. Throw in a vitamin and call it a meal.

Keep wipes everywhere. You’ll need them.

They can make a mess with just about anything they can get their hands on.

Sleeping with your toddler is like you would imagine. There will be cuddles initially, but then it is like getting beat up all night long. You might even bleed. They won’t stay in their beds. They will come up with 100s of excuses of why they won’t go to sleep.