1. If your children are quiet, something is wrong -- extremely wrong. Early on, you will hope for, pray for, and worship moments of silence, until you realize that these moments mean your freshly painted walls have now been adorned with toddler scribbles. Toddlers have the surprising stealth of a ninja. You've been warned.
2. Barney, Sesame Street, Dora, etc. are all viable sources of entertainment. Sure, Kristen Bell, doctors, and your well-meaning friends will tell you that t.v. will rot your child's brain. But I'm pretty sure none of them have seen the giant pile of laundry that needs to be washed at my house. Use the t.v. -- to get the laundry done, to wash your dishes, to maybe take a shower (okay...that's laughable), to try and regain whatever is left of your sanity.
3. No matter what others may tell you, it is perfectly acceptable to lock yourself in the bathroom for a much needed break. Be forewarned, this tactic will last three minutes tops before your children hunt you down. You will never brush your teeth, shave your legs, or shower alone again (See Rule #2.) Seven years into this motherhood gig, and I am still peeing with an audience.
4. Never ask a five year old a rhetorical question unless you want an honest answer.
You: How many times have I told you not to...??? (insert whatever ninja move your
kid has just successfully pulled off)
Five Year Old: 436 times.
5. Don't spend your time preparing a gourmet meal. The meal that requires the most planning, preparation, and effort is the one meal that your children will refuse to eat. Believe me. Stick with the mac and cheese. You are a pro if you manage to throw in a veggie. Bonus points if your kids actually eat said veggie.
6. Nap time is a necessity -- maybe more so for us than them. Therefore, under no circumstances should nap time ever be missed. Seriously. This is non-negotiable. Besides, when else are you going to find the time to "pin" all of those awesome and intricate Pinterest meals that your kids will never eat?!
7. If your child asks you a question that starts with "What if I..." they have already done whatever follows. To date and in no particular order, this question has lead to me finding paint in a sibling's hair, a pair of new shoes in the freezer, a Barbie Doll floating in the toilet, and me questioning why I do not follow Rule #1 better.
8. If you want anything done right, do it yourself. Props to those of you who have the patience to instill a sense of responsibility in your offspring. I have tried with my own. Really. I have. But "cleaning up your room" turns into "shove everything into the closet and under your bed." And "pick up your toys" translates into "pick up everything but the Barbie shoes so that your unsuspecting mother will impale her foot on one of Barbie's six-inch stilettos."
9. Sleep when you can. Okay, this is a lie. You will never sleep again -- at least not a "Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes" kind of sleep. Invest in some good make-up and some strong coffee.
10. Laugh. Smile. Love. Rinse and repeat.