04/06/2015 09:38 am ET | Updated Jun 06, 2015

31 Things You Learn By The Time You're 40

Elaine Alguire

  1. Being tired and ready for bed at 9 p.m. is more than OK.

  • The days are long but the years are short -- and any time in the doctor's office with kids feels like years and days.
  • A well-fitting bra is important, and should be off your body no later than 9 p.m.
  • Actually, 5 p.m. is good, too.
  • When in doubt, don't buy -- especially when it comes to shoes and lipstick.
  • Sometimes you take your kid to "Disney on Ice" because you know he or she will really love it, not because you will. And certainly not because you like paying $7.50 for that souvenir mug of tepid hot chocolate.
  • Stale popcorn is also very expensive at "Disney on Ice."
  • You can totally do your own pedicure, but it's much more relaxing to have someone else do it.
  • Chores for kids are a really good idea.
  • Exercising is essential, but so is eating a bag of kettle corn popcorn occasionally. It's all about balance.
  • According to your kids, the "good old days" are any of the days that were pre-Internet.
  • Red paint takes three to four coats.
  • Mirrors are kinda dumb, but good for convincing children that you have eyes in the back of your head.
  • Cookies are not dumb at all.
  • However, laundry is the dumbest.
  • The size of your house does not matter, but the size of the love inside its walls does (cheesy, but true).
  • Marriage is no piece of cake. But it is worth it to get to taste the anniversary cake.
  • You are old enough to be the mother of the cute lifeguards at the pool.
  • Having babies is a big deal, but raising them to be adults you admire and respect is a much bigger deal.
  • The term "low-rise" on clothing can be translated to "no buy."
  • Mom jeans (my version is jeggings) have their merits.
  • Eating an entire pint of cookie dough ice cream on the first day of your period is totally acceptable. And if it isn't, TOO DAMN BAD!
  • Your period can sometimes feel like the devil.
  • Being yourself is the best person to want to be and to actually be.
  • Drop-off birthday parties are the best.
  • It's better to have your husband talk to your pre-teen son about the "hair down there."
  • Writing your thoughts down right away is a really good idea, because otherwise, they could be gone in less than the blink of an eye.
  • Wrinkles are sneaky.
  • A good hairdresser is key.
  • Quality time spent really listening to your loved ones is priceless.
  • And...

  • 40 is just a number.
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