1. You are a hero for your kids. You are. You're a go-the-distance, fight-the-dragon, face-the-challenges hero for your kids. Taking a beating makes that more true. Not less.
2. We all struggle. Every parent. Everywhere. We all second-guess ourselves. And we all want to quit sometimes. Hold the good times close, and when things are tough, remember, "this, too, shall pass."
3. Finding the funny may not save your soul, but it will save your sanity. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, look for the humor and embrace the crazy. Laughter is a lifeline.
4. Every day, you will feel like you have mishandled something. Like you've been impatient. Like you've misjudged. Like you've been too harsh. Like you've been too lenient. You may be right. Apologize if you need to and then, whatever. Seriously. Just whatever. Let it go.
5. The crazy, the crying, the cuddles. The screaming, the sacred, the scared. The minutes, the magic, the mess. It's all part of it. And it's all worth it.
6. Family is the best. Even when it's not perfect. And it's never perfect. Ever.
7. At the end of organization, at the end of patience, at the end of perfection, we die to ourselves. And then love rises from the ashes. It sucks. And then it gets better. And then it sucks again. Still, love rises.
8. You will never regret parenting. Except for the teeny, tiny tons of times when you secretly wonder if you maybe regret it just a little. But, overall, never. And overall is what counts in the end.
9. Parenting is like climbing the big mountain. Look for the base camp. That's where you rest, meet other climbers, take in oxygen and acclimatize. Base camp is what makes summiting possible.
10. You are not alone in this strange, vast, parenting ocean. Even in the dark of night. You are not alone. You're not.
11. Kids know the way to magical and they'll give you a free pass to come along. Breathe in the magic as long as you can, because that same kid is going to poop his pants in just a minute.
12. There's a very fine line between enjoying the chaos and barely surviving. Actually, there's no line at all. It's all mixed up together. That "fine line" thing is a lie.
13. If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.