1. Laugh, cry and fart with abandon in front of your kids. This teaches your kids that you’re human, and they can be too.
2. A warm evening bath can slough away the most frustrating moments of the day. (But be sure to lock the bathroom door—otherwise your kids will smell your solitude and do their best to crash your bubble party.)
3. You don’t have to be a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time working mom. You can patch a life together that works for you and your family, and if it stops working, you can reconfigure it.
4. When all else fails, make nachos.
5. Allow your home to be the place your kids’ friends hang out. It might be loud and messy, and will surely bust your grocery budget, but you’ll know where your kids are and who their friends are.
6. Always have Ziplocs. You can use them to organize everything from snacks to important family documents.
7. Take your kids to see theater and music and movies. This buys you a fun night out while planting little seeds of culture in your children.
8. When your children are old enough, teach them creative cursing; if they’re going to swear, they might as well do it with flair. “Fuck a duck” and “cock swaggler” are good starting points.
9. Maintain a life outside of your kids. Go to dinner with your friends. Go to Europe. Go. Your family will appreciate you all the more when you come home, and you will be happier.
10. There is no such thing as too much when it comes to books, butter or bacon.
11. Enable strong relationships between your kids and other adults that you trust. These people will teach your kids things you can’t. They will also look after them so you can go take a nap, have noisy sex or travel to Europe (see #9).