EXCERPT: 'Permission Slips: Every Woman's Guide to Giving Herself a Break'

But even if you'd rather be finishing the dishes, take the apron off and give it up. Sex is the glue that can hold you two together when you can't stand each other.

Mark my words, over the course of a fifty-year marriage, you will have moments when you hate each other.

Also sex, like classical music, calms the savage beast, and sometimes that's all men are. If he wants to do something kinky, and it's legal and within your moral comfort zone, try it once.

You might like it, and even if you don't, you get points for being a good sport.

We wives get so bogged down in completing chores and taking care of the kids that we forget to take care of the biggest child in the house, our husband. Learn from my mistake. Every so often, let the dishes rot in the sink, put the kids to bed without a bath, shut down your computer, and go get with your man. Chores will always be there, waiting for you, but he might not be. If you're single, write yourself a permission slip to wait until you're ready. If you're married, put away your permission slips, put on a black slip, and finish this book tomorrow. What are you still doing here? Go!

Sherri Shepherd: 'Permission Slips'


Going from wife to mother is a game changer. (Or girlfriend to mother. Or one-night stand to mother. No judgments here; things happen.)

We moms are backed into a corner. We want the best for our babies, and there's no end to things you can do to make your child smarter, healthier, happier, and more successful. Here are just a few things that can freak you out during your pregnancy: mercury in tuna, hormones in the water, Baby Einstein--yes or no?

Plastic bottles or glass ones? What causes autism, ADD, ADHD, and asthma? How come pregnant women in Europe get to drink wine every day but I can only drink it once a week?

Fifty Web sites will give you fifty different answers. It's not enough that you sacrifi ce your body and your life, now you gotta get an advanced degree in biology--while you're throwing up.

And the kid ain't even born yet.

Before you forget, write yourself a permission slip to give the baby tap water, from a plastic bottle. When we become moms, we become more responsible. When men become dads, they stay the same, which means they actually become less responsible.

For example, let's say no one does the laundry for a week. At the last minute, your son has to wear dirty underwear to school.

You feel like a bad mother. But your husband? He thinks it's funny, and he'll convince your son it's funny, too. Men have a lower threshold for what's disgusting. So if the laundry piles up, guess who's doing it at 2 AM? The parent who doesn't think it's hilarious to wear filthy underpants--you.

Write yourself a permission slip to wash only your and your child's laundry. If your husband thinks it's so funny to wear dirty briefs, let him.

And the worst insult is that no matter how great a mom you are, at some point your children will hate you. They will even hate the good things you did. In fact, when your child becomes a teenager, all the good things you did as a parent will be used against you. Are you a stay-at-home mom?

"Mom, you were a terrible role model! I'm never going to be like you!"

Are you a working mom?

"Mom, you put your career fi rst!"

Do you work two jobs so your kid can go to private school?

"Mom, you were never home when I needed you!"

Did you quit your second job so you could be home when your child needed you?

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