If we—meaning you, my gentle readers, and I—were to gather all together in a bar (ZOMG HOW FUN WOULD THAT BE?!), I’d imagine we could sit down, order a few cocktails, and commiserate over our many past (and maybe some present) terrible relationships. There are precious few of us who get through young adulthood without at least one tale of how we once intimately connected ourselves to a horrible person who brought out the worst in us. (If you did manage to avoid this: Congratulations! Please write a how-to book and share your secrets. It shall earn you the tearful gratitude of legions of people and probably millions of dollars.) But as we began sharing our tales of headaches and heartbreak, I can assure you that most of the stories we would tell about our unspeakably horrible exes could just as easily be about some completely jerky thing my kid did recently. The context might be a bit different, but the fact remains: Having a toddler is very, very much like being in a dysfunctional relationship.
Just so we’re clear: I think my children are completely amazing. 95% of the time they are loving and sweet and smart and fun. That other 5% of the time they are manipulative, volatile little goblins with ice water in their veins and a fire in their belly. It’s in those moments where I’m like, “Is this real life? Is this actually happening? Because if you were someone I was dating there is no way in hell I would have put up with it for this long.”
Here are some of the ways that having a toddler is like being in a relationship you needed to get out of, like, yesterday. (Disclaimer: Unlike most people with whom you're in romantic relationships with, your kids are almost assured to grow and evolve into amazing people, thus the reason why we stick around to take all the sh*t they throw our way, bless their hearts.)