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Why moms of toddlers need mommy friends

Sarah Walker Caron is an award winning journalist, freelance writer and editor. She lives a happy life in Maine with her two children, where they love to hike, visit the beaches and have lots of silly fun. Check out her food blog at Sara...

Moms of toddlers need their girls

It’s been a rough few weeks in my household. We’ve hit the dreaded terrible-twos... Or as actuality may have it, the terrible-threes, since my son is right around the corner from his third birthday.

Moms of toddlers need their girls

There are days where I feel like I am failing miserably as a parent. For days on end, my son will test me at every opportunity, just to see if I will cave on the time outs or relinquish the three more bites rule. I try to remind myself that it's a stage, but it doesn't always work.

That's why I was so relieved when a friend IMed me about her son's tantrums and behavior the other day. Our boys are about six months apart. Hers has always had a stay at home mom, my son had one for but a year and a few months when his sister was born.

>> Terrible twos: A reflection of mom? | Real Moms guide

Hearing that her son was going through something similar was like an ACE bandage on my legions of mommy guilt. How could I be failing if she was enduring similar struggles? It's times like this that I am so glad to have friends who are in the same stage of development with their children. No matter how much any parent loves their child, there comes a time when the child just pushes and pushes and pushes until you feel that your grasp on sanity -- and reality -- is bound to disappear forever. (Don't worry, it won't.) That's why you need mommy friends.

Through the ups

With any luck, your mommy friends were there with you through the glory days of firsts-- first smile, first coo, first crawl. Sharing these developments with someone in the know is priceless. Only they can understand why you might be giddy over a gas-induced half-grin, or beside yourself when baby coos to wake you.

Those happy calls are like the wedded bliss of the honeymoon period. They're uber-bubbly and happy-overdrive.

>> Rebecca Romijn talks about twins' terrible twos

Through the downs

Then it happens. You discover that the sweet bundle of joy won't be that eye-batting, perfect child forever.

As any parent knows, a child's life isn't all ups. In fact, there comes a point when it's downs too . . . Like when your son takes permanent marker to the wall (Will hasn't, knock on wood . . . But the couch is another story). Or when your daughter paints her room brown with . . . Well, you know. On those days, there is nothing more comforting than someone who can say, "I understand -- my baby did XYZ too."

It is just a stage

Seeing my son revert to his normal, happy-go-lucky self after a good day does help me rebalance and remember that this terrible-twos or terrible-threes behavior is really just a phase. And if it's a phase, then we will survive -- especially with the help of my mommy friends.

Next up? Preschool.

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