50 Laws of Mommyhood

50laws1. Sleeping babies are contagious. By holding one, you will be hit with a sudden and intense urge to nap. Or maybe it’s just because you’re finally sitting still.

2. Kids are like cats — they whine at closed doors, bat at the shower curtain and want all the water faucets turned on.

3. Mommy math: Cups of coffee drank daily correlates in parallel with number of children acquired. (i.e. I’m up to about 3 cups). I won’t even try and do the chocolate calculation.

4. Want your kid to ask to go potty? Simply load everyone up in the minivan when you’re running late — as soon as you buckle them in: “I have to go potty.”

5. Many of the shows your children enjoy, you can see why. Perhaps the inner child in you enjoys them as well. Thomas the Train is not one of these shows.

6. Water out of mommy’s cup always tastes better.

7. If the children are awake — and not in front of you — “quiet” means trouble. And that the wall may be covered in marker.

8. With young children, it’s perfectly normal not to shower for 3 days.

9. Or change clothes.

10. Or leave the house.

11. But when you do want to leave the house, Target is the Mecca for sleep-deprived mothers. If you ever need a friend, a support group — or some cute, cheap yoga pants, head to the red bulls eye. If you don’t believe that it’s the Mecca for sleep-deprived mothers, why do you think they put Starbucks in all of them now?

13. If you want to talk on the phone in peace, give your toddler your purse to unload. Even better — your wallet.

14. When it comes to children cooperating, there’s a 1/3 law. As in, 1 out of 3 children will always be awake when the others sleep, be hungry when you’re finished feeding everyone, and have to poop while you’re waiting in line at Chick-Fil-A. [However, right now all 3 of my children are sleeping. I don’t know what this means for the universe.]

15. In a room full of chew-friendly baby toys, babies will find the one pair of dirty shoes in the room and suck on those. It’s just a fact.

16. What goes up, must come down. Or, in the case of my spit-up prone baby — the opposite applies.

17. Babies cry. Toddlers throw fits. Cats throw up on your carpet. All of which causes stress, which causes your cortisol levels to rise. Heightened levels of cortisol cause increased abdominal fat. There, I solved it.

18. If you want to calm a fussy baby, eat spaghetti in front of them. I’ve never tried this — but my husband assures me it has worked for him. Once.

19. People who tell you that they’re just going to teach their children not to touch breakable things instead of clearing everything in the lower regions of the house have never had children. I know. I was one of them.

20. Kids don’t usually know how to put on their own diapers. But they sure have a knack of taking them off. Especially when they’re full.

21. Don’t worry too much about potty training. It’ll happen when they’re ready. At least if they want to get a date.

22. If your child is a picky eater — and basically lives off nothing but yogurt, Ritz crackers, pureed squash and Flintstones vitamins, he’ll be OK.

23. If I were a CEO, a general, a coach or a survivalist, I would love to work with moms. I would know what kind of training they’ve had in stress-management, time-management, anger-management, choreography, flexibility and keeping everyone alive.

24. Reading out loud is good for the soul.

25. Wise woman say: There are not many things in life that cannot be solved with a snack.

26. A good lesson from Finding Nemo:

Marlin: I promised I’d never let anything happen to him.

Dory: Hmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.

Marlin: What?

Dory: Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

27. When watching TV or listening to music with kids, you suddenly notice all the inappropriate things you never noticed before.

28. Some day — earlier than you’re ready for — your kids will ask big questions about the universe. You’ll never be prepared to answer them. But it will teach you what you believe.

29. It’s tempting to say, “Cause I said so,” but explaining your reasoning works better.

30. If your children are crying on a plane, in a restaurant, in line at the grocery store — don’t be embarrassed. All of the people around you have been babies. Many have had babies. Most are empathizing, not annoyed.

31. On the note of apologizing — from blogger, Beth Berry (Revolution at Home):

“Feeling the need to apologize for the state of things upon welcoming unannounced visitors is like saying, ‘I’m sorry you have to see that we live in this house.’

32. Baby skin is bliss.

33. Do not be surprised if you catch yourself listening — and singing along — with children’s music in the car. Alone.

34. Children were designed for discovery. That is what they do. Every day they wake up with the subconscious goal to discover new things. This means: making messes, taking things apart, unloading drawers, tasting crayons, testing boundaries, and asking nonstop questions. I just expect this and then I am not annoyed.

35. If you spend too much time documenting the memory, you’ll miss the moment.

36. Avoid toys with lots of parts. I’m a fan of cardboard boxes.

37. Just when baby falls asleep, the dog will bark. The neighbor will turn on the lawnmower. The doorbell will ring. It is all part of our Navy SEAL training in patience.

38. It is irrational to think toddlers are rational.

39. No other group of people can meet each other for the first time and talk openly — and comfortably — about breasts, bowels and birthing — than mothers.

40. When all else fails, take everyone outside.

41. The amount of laundry greatly increases — while the desire to do laundry greatly decreases — with each child.

42. If a toddler begs to bring his toy to the playground, he will be disinterested with it when he gets there. I think Einstein said this.

43. It’s important to have a few silly songs up your sleeve.

44. If you can’t find it, there’s a good chance it’s in a pair of empty shoes.

45. Don’t be so hard on yourself. They will love you simply because you’re the mama.

46. TV is not a babysitter. But it’s a great form of distraction.

47. Coloring is good for the soul.

48. The great thing about being a mom: there are many who have come before us.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” — CS Lewis

49. It is the most important work.

50. Just when you think you know something, everything changes.