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22 Things NOT to Say to Parents of Toddlers

As in, non-parents and parents with grown children who seem to have forgotten/don’t know what it’s like. Yes, you there, we’re talking to you. “We” as in myself and all of the other moms who contributed to this collection of things we wish random strangers and well-intentioned friends/family members would seriously. Stop. Saying.

This is for the rest of the moms (and some dads too sure), who might be reading this, nodding their heads in agreement. I know you’re out there, just like I know there are parents who overshare on Facebook about their toddlers’ bowel movements and the Instagram streams full of their kids’ hospital scares. One might go so far as to say the world could do with a little less of that stuff too.

After all, there is a whole website dedicated to the mocking of parents who overshare on social media platforms. I’ve heard comments from many of my non-parent acquaintances about how they wish parents would stop talking about their kids so much. Touché.

So I’m going to do us all a solid. I’m going to hope that this little series acts as a public service to us all. Perhaps this will ruffle some feathers, although I’m really not trying to pit parents and non-parents against each other. It’s just that Matt Walsh had to go and write this, which lit me up a bit. I think it lit up a number of people, given the article went viral.

A little satirical, a little bit true, these are some of the most popular things we parents of toddlers hear all the time that just make us laugh. Some of them? Some of this stuff we’re just really sick and tired of hearing…

  • Asking You Pretty Please… 1 of 23
    00-13

    Think before you speak...or something...

  • Strangers Are Weird 2 of 23
    01-25

    "Oh is she shy?" 
    No she doesn't know you and it takes her a few minutes to be comfortable in a new environment. 
    ~ Jennifer Harte

  • On Things That Are None of Your Business 3 of 23
    02-15

    "Isn't she potty trained yet?" 
    Exactly how old were you when you stopped pooping in a diaper?
    ~ me

  • On Little Boys With Long Hair 4 of 23
    03-17

    "When are you going to cut that hair?" 
    My son has his own (pretty darned cute) ideas about hair style and length, thank you very much.
    ~ Dory Smith Graham of Worthy Goods Textile and Worthy Goods
    Check out her blog too!

  • No Naps = Zombie Toddler. LEARN THIS. 5 of 23
    04-17

    "Oh, he can miss his nap - it won't hurt!"
    Oh sure, you won't mind babysitting them say from 5:00 PM onwards; getting them dinner and tucked into bed would you? However, Zombie Toddler will appear to eat your brains during these hours wherein their exhausted little brains and bodies cry foul.
    ~ me

  • SO TIRED 6 of 23
    05-16

    "I KNOW, me too."
    The response I got when stating I was tired to a twenty-something Barista with no kids. I just laughed and laughed.
    ~ Eden Hertzog of New Moon Kitchen and Adventures of Baker Babe
    Photo credit: The Little Paper

  • Babies & Toddlers Cry. KNOW THIS. 7 of 23
    06-16

    "Why won't she stop crying? What's wrong with her?"  
    Must be your face. Also? BABIES/TODDLERS CRY.
    ~ me
    Photo Credit: Melissa McCauley

  • So Funny! So Smart! 8 of 23
    07-15

    "Oops, I guess the littlest one was a surprise, eh?"
    Actually I had 7 miscarriages in 4 years. Would you like to know anything else about my child bearing history?
    ~ Carly Grant Haydt of Talking Myself Out of The Tree

  • Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire 9 of 23
    08-15

    "You know, MY kids never acted like that…"
    LIES. All LIES. Your memory sucks.
    ~ me

  • And It’s Your Business How? 10 of 23
    09-17

    "You're still nursing? But she's so old now!"
    Natural weaning is between the ages of 2 and 7. Yes 7. I nursed my first baby until age 5 and I plan to do the same with my second. Not sure why it bothers you?
    ~ Claire Naranjo Vargas of Stella & Dot

  • Ask a Silly Question… 11 of 23
    10-16

    "Does he/she always behave like this?" 
    Only when you're around.
    ~me

  • Organically Grown 12 of 23
    11-11

    "Oh twins!?! Are they natural?"
    Why yes they are 100% human, or are you asking if I used fertility treatments?
    ~ Emily Martin-Johnson of Life a Study

  • What’s Wrong With YOU? 13 of 23
    12-4

    "What's wrong with him?"
    HE'S TWO.
    ~ Aura Samara of Food Aura & Ambrosia Pastry

  • Such a Zealot 14 of 23
    13-1

    "You must have a lot of time on your hands to be making such healthy meals from scratch all the time!" 
    I've got to give my kids some sort of material for therapy when they're grown, don't I?
    ~ me

  • For The Single Parents 15 of 23
    14-2

    "You don't need to date, you need to focus on your kids until they're out of the house."
    You need to focus on your words before they come outcha mowf.
    ~ Melanie Stormm (and her adorable twin boys!)
    Check out her amazing young son Callum's artwork for The Elephant Sanctuary, Save the Elephants as well as the Autism Treatment Network!

  • Just NO 16 of 23
    15-1

    "I used to spank my kids and they turned out just fine!"
    Says YOU.
    ~ me

  • Don’t Talk To Me About Magic! 17 of 23
    16-1

    "Ok -- I know there's a ton of them... ok - here's one; I am always kind of amazed when my kids are in meltdown mode, throwing full on tantrums, I am completely dishevelled and / or crying, and we are in public - usually eating at a cafe or something and some older woman (who has forgotten everything or never had kids) says, 'remember this time forever. It's magical. You are so lucky.' GAAAAHHHHH! In fact, ANYBODY who says this to parents of young children should stop doing so. First of all, we do NOT need MORE guilt for thinking of our children as tiny dictators at times, and second - we KNOW it goes fast, we KNOW it's a magical time, but it feels and looks like the army when you're in it. A look of sympathy and maybe helping put my kids' boot back on would be more helpful."
    ~ Sandra Dumais of Moon and Sparrow

  • And Your Point Is? 18 of 23
    17-1

    "Psh! We never had the luxury of screens (iPad, iPhone, whatever), when I had kids!"
    That's right, because they didn't EXIST. Also? My toddlers are doing yoga up there. I WIN.
    ~ me

  • On Co-Sleeping 19 of 23
    18-1

    "It irritates me when people tell me not to let my son sleep in my bed. It's our special time to cuddle, he feels safe and secure, it builds our relationship. That is what is important to me!"
    ~ Kristy Mitchell

  • I WILL Respond Ridiculously… 20 of 23
    19-1

    "Aren't they a little too old for breastfeeding?"
    Oh no! I plan on keeping it up till they are at least 10! Don't you know how much it boosts their IQ and builds up their immune system from catching stuff like a cold or the measles? I mean, this is especially important since we chose not to vaccinate… 
    ~me

  • And We Have a Tie For The #1 Choice Piece of Commentary That Moms Hear About. Breastfeeding and Co-Sleeping. NATCH. 21 of 23
    20-2

    "I'm with the breastfeeding comment. 'Are you STILL breastfeeding?! Oh My God!' That and, 'you know she's WAY too old to be sleeping in your room, right?' I just stopped citing research/odd North American cultural norms not followed by the rest of the world and started lying. 'Oh, we stopped breastfeeding all right' and 'had to pee' during any conversation surrounding sleeping habits. I suspect there's lots of lying and well regulated bathroom trips going on for those with young children."
    ~ Amber Pelletier

  • Surprise, Surprise, Yet Another Thing That Isn’t Your Business 22 of 23
    22-

    "To all of the people (basically, well-intentioned strangers), who keep telling me, 'You need to have more kids!' - First, think of all the reasons why someone might only have one child. Next, ask yourself how many of those reasons are any of your business."
    ~ Dana Ruprecht of Ashes To Roses
    Photo Credit: Trevor Connell Photography (Dana's husband)

  • Wine Preferred Over Advice 23 of 23
    21-

    "I could do without the, 'enjoy this moment in time' comments from people when my kids are making me want to move into a bottle of tequila in Mexico. Yes, I get that they are precious little gems, and that surely, someday, I will look back and miss this time. Except not THIS time. Not this exact moment in time when they are making me think how possible it might be and how badly it might hurt to just put them back where they came from. When my kids are obviously causing me extreme frustration and embarrassment, the words you are looking for are '.....' (that would be silence, maybe accompanied by a gentle smile and you handing me that thing they just threw past my head) or, 'Wine?'"
    ~ Jill Krause of Baby Rabies

___________________________________________________________________________________

More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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