1. When something is really irritating you, ask yourself this: "When they are grown up and gone, am I going to care that they _____________? Or will I look back and wonder why I made such a big deal out of that?" Then decide if it's really a big deal or not. Answers will vary.
2. Seventeen years pass astonishingly quickly.
3. The cliche about how different your children are from one another is a cliche because it's true. They are not all little yous or little your-husbands. They are unique combinations of DNA and eternal souls. Pray every day that you can treat them as such.
4. It was worth it to get a dog.
5. The hermit crabs? Not so much.
6. Beverly Cleary understood children. So did E.B. White. So do the people at Pixar. And Jeanne Birdsall does, too. C.S. Lewis did. L.M. Montgomery did, too. And Maud Hart Lovelace. Melissa Wiley gets it.
7. If you think stay-at-home moms don't need planners, your vision of stay-at-homeness is sadly askew.
8. I have mixed feelings about having my own swingset.
9. The best weapon a mother can have in her arsenal is other moms who knows what it all feels like. Find them. Talk to them. Cry to them. Laugh with them. Buy them ice cream.
10. Although your children are not mini-yous, they will have some of your and your husband's strengths, some of your weaknesses, some of your moods, some of your talents, some of your good days and some of your bad. They, like you, will be imperfect. Life will keep coming at all of you at breakneck speed, but you'll make it through if you keep leaning on God and each other.
11. I'd rather be underscheduled than overscheduled. We are all happier when we have "found time" and aren't shrieking at each other to get somewhere on schedule, especially if it's someplace we aren't genuinely excited about being in the first place.
12. Motherhood is full of so many ways different ways of looking at things.
13. We should all skip more often.