THE BLOG
04/27/2012 12:55 pm ET Updated Jun 27, 2012

40 Things Every Mom Should Have and Should Know by 40

Everyone says that time goes by so fast, but I never saw it pass... it just kinda did. In the blink of an eye, I went from 20 to nearly 40. If you're nearing, turning or past the big 4-0, here's one for you...

I so enjoyed Pamela Redmond Satran's amazing Glamour article, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30. Shockingly, I could check many of those items off my own to-do list. What's more shocking is that I'm not 30 anymore, not even close.

A whole decade has passed. Where did it go? A great husband, multiple careers, a recession, two incredible children and the blink of an eye later, I'm turning the corner on 40. There are many subtle yet life-changing differences a decade makes. So, here goes: (It may not be as elegantly stated as the original, but hey, I'm a humor columnist):

By 40, you should have...

  1. Access to a great therapist, a great dry cleaner, a great hair stylist and a great lawyer... but mostly a great therapist.
  2. Cellulite that you play with when you sit "criss cross applesauce."
  3. The knowledge that the position I just referred to was once un-PC-ishly called "Indian Style."
  4. Enough videos and pictures of your children to fill a credenza.
  5. A credenza.
  6. Worry lines from every bruise, bump and first day of school that you lovingly freaked out about.
  7. Gray hairs from every tantrum, debate and negotiation you lost to a toddler.
  8. A designer handbag that's so pricey you would sell it on Craigslist if you didn't think someone would murder you at the pick up.
  9. A designer for Target item, which you don't like and doesn't fit, but you wear anyway because you had to fight another woman for it.
  10. A drawer filled with mostly unsuccessful creams/scrubs/supplements for your cellulite, stretch-marks, dark puffy circles and increasingly dry skin.
  11. A cabinet filled with wraps/casts/prescriptions for your bad lower back, arthritic toe, irritable bowel, adult onset ADD or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  12. Broken capillaries from exfoliating hard enough to erase your crows feet. Freakin' crows feet!
  13. Laugh lines from being a total dork with your kids and spider veins that your kids affectionately compare to tattoos.
  14. Saggy boobs that have been blown up and deflated with each pregnancy, like a Snoopy in a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
  15. A great foundation (even though you swore you'd never wear one) that's not cakey and covers redness and freckles -- also known as rosacea and age spots.
  16. Enough success in parenting that you have faith you're kids will turn out okay (Well, maybe with minimal psychoanalysis.)
  17. A bathing suit or shorts that you should no longer be wearing. A fact everyone is aware of but you.
  18. The ability to pull off heels, flats or a ponytail with almost anything.
  19. A pair of jeans that are too tight that you refuse to throw away because those 5 lbs. you haven't been able to lose this decade will come off, you just know it.
  20. You've spent enough time chasing dreams to know that they can be caught. (Oh, I can be beautifully sentimental when I wanna be!)
By 40, you should know...
  1. When people call you ma'am, they're trying to be polite, even though it sounds REALLY rude.
  2. How to cook at least a week's worth of meals. (I mean, if someone had a gun to your head.)
  3. Enough about politics to have a position on healthcare and taxes, even if that position is to not have one.
  4. That you DID become your parents, even though you swore you wouldn't.
  5. How to throw together a bus stop/carpool appropriate outfit in under two minutes.
  6. That said outfit does not need to include makeup, shoes or a bra... yes, even pants are optional.
  7. How to make a man happy in five minutes or less. For your benefit... and his, but mostly yours. (Hello, there are reality shows to be watched.)
  8. At least one man who knows how to satisfy you... and hopefully you're married to him.
  9. That as your parents age, you need to start checking how much they tip the waitress.
  10. 40 is nowhere near as old as it seemed when you were 20.
  11. That most of the celebrities you wanted to be like in your 20s and 30s have things that are fake, enhanced or airbrushed.
  12. That said celebs are now nearing or over 40, themselves!
  13. That it's okay to have the fake hair, fake lashes, fake nails and any other falsie, if you so desire. (see 11.)
  14. Gas is still funny... maybe funnier.
  15. That your parents didn't know any more about raising children than you do.
  16. How to get kids out the door for school in 10 minutes because YOU overslept.
  17. That Spanx are like chocolate or cheese -- they make everything better.
  18. That you're just like you were in your 20s, only savvier and less bendy.
  19. That you can survive on two hours of sleep each night for six months.
  20. That you can't fight it anymore -- You are officially a WOMAN -- and that's not such a bad thing to be.

Much Love,

The almost 40, Jenny From the Blog (The Jen X Pert)

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