As I near the end of my Mommy years, I've come up with a few thoughts on the process that may help young women. (Or send them screaming into the night.)
1. Drugs and partying are wasted on the young. Moms need it more than anyone. In fact, it's the only sane response to motherhood. Don't be afraid to get a sitter and tie one on. Two tips: One, make sure the sitter stays overnight so you don't have to get up in the morning and two, don't drink and drive. Undoubtedly, you have at least three appointments for each child the next day and who is going to drive them if you lose your license?
2. Children are a strange mix of egotism and insecurities, but that's the human condition and there's nothing you can do about it.
3. You can't stop genetics or curses. I thought if I just worked at it hard enough, my children would have none of my bad traits. But I've learned if you have two parents who have to get in the last word and love to argue, chances are, you WILL NOT have a child who meekly does everything you ask with no verbal response. In fact, I think that children end up combining everything bad about you and your spouse into one person. Remember that curse YOUR mother whispered fervently at the kitchen table? "I hope you have a child just like you?" Your spouse's mother said the same thing. That's a DOUBLE MOTHER CURSE, and as such, you are DOOMED. This goes all the way back to ADAM AND EVE.
4. No parenting book in the world is going to give you perfect children, (see number 3,) so you might as well just burn the books and roast marshmallows over the coals. The best you can hope for is that they will leave the house as fully functioning human beings and DON'T MOVE BACK IN WITH THEIR CHILDREN. If you manage that, you have done your job.
5. Make up with the man you married around the time the kids get old enough to vote. They're going to be leaving alone you ALONE WITH HIM soon and you might as well be friends when they do. Don't worry about being friends with him while the babies are young, he did this to you, after all. And the middle years are when you realize that old adage you learned in Kindergarten is true-- boys are dumb. But when the kids leave the nest, you discover that he still has the same traits you fell in love with, albeit less hair and more belly. ( And God knows, you don't look the same either.) So it's time to kiss and make up--might as well, you both survived the same shipwreck.
6. Work for that guilt free retirement. Be the best Mom you can be so when they leave, you can ride off into the sunset with a bigass margarita, saying, "Wow that sucked!" And you won't feel guilty about their choices. Save all the pictures, vacation memorabilia, museum brochures and event programs you can, so that if they do end up screwed up, you can reassure yourself that it wasn't anything you did or didn't do.