44 Things my sons should learn before they are adults

44thingsRaising kids is a tough and silly job to have. No doubt about that. In the span of one day I am a princess being saved by my sassy four year-old super hero and then ten minutes later I am explaining why we don’t hide cars in the dryer.

While I make my way through the often confusing but wonderful maze that is a day in the life of a small kid, I am always thinking about the end result of all this mom effort. What will my kids be like when they grow up? Will they remember important lessons like how powerful good manners are or how special and important they are even when they feel small and frustrated? Will they be kind? Will they appreciate the small things that my husband and I work so hard to provide for them?

I don’t know. No mother ever knows. So I trudge on in the daily lessons to raise good men. These are 44 (of the 36,487) things that I think my sons should learn before they are adults out in the world making decisions for themselves.

1) Women are your equals. Treat them well.

2) I don’t care if you are straight or gay or some shade in between.

3) There is a difference between there & their, than & then, your & you’re.

4) Books are to make you smarter.

5) Smart is beautiful.

6) Being bossy is not the same thing as being a leader.

7) Put the seat down.

8) And wash your hands.

9) Try to master not announcing your amazing poops in the morning.

10) This is a kitchen. This is a recipe. This is a dishwasher.

11) Money doesn’t grow on trees.

12) Neither do college funds or retirement plans.

13) There are some kinds of romantic relationships that are just for fun.

14) And some romantic relationships that are forever.

15) You gotta know the difference between fun and forever.

16) If you smoke a cigarette I will kill you.

17) Same goes for drugs.

18) I can look the other way at some indiscretions, but not until you’re like 27.

19) No means No. End. Of. Story.

20) I will always worry about you.

21) And I will probably keep embarrassing you until the day I die.

22) I’m not raising your kids.

23) So wear a condom.

24) You can’t move back home after college.

25) So get a job.

26) A backbone is not the same thing as a wishbone.

27) Kindness is free and always in style.

28) Drink water, get sleep, move your body.

29) Swearing has its place. Don’t abuse it.

30) Always be curious.

31) Don’t get lazy.

32) Let boredom lead you to new fantastic things.

33) Don’t forget my birthday.

34) Or Mother’s Day.

35) Stand up for what you believe in…even if you’re the only one.

36) Respect your parents. We raised you.

37) Religion is sort of your own personal deal, kid. I won’t judge.

38) Unless you join a cult.

39) My love is unconditional.

40) Leave home and travel the world for a while before you settle…on anything.

41) Or anyone.

42) Save your money and stress and just elope. But tell me first.

43) I don’t care what your father says; you will always be my baby.

44) Learn to pair wine appropriately. Also, ladies love wine. Remember this.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.