As a 40-something mother of seven, I have learned some good lessons recently.

First, even though a brown Sharpie does cover gray hair remarkably well, those hairs will later break and fall out — and you will be left with a mohawk up the center of your head.

Yes, I learned that one the hard way.

Here are more tips for 40-something moms:

1. Keep your wallet empty. (If you have cash in your wallet, your children will inevitably ask you for it. If you don’t have any money, you can’t give it to them, and after a while they’ll stop asking).

2. Buy a good stain remover.

3. Hysteria will get you nowhere.

4. As soon as one of your children turns 16, lower your insurance deductible to $100.

5. Never wear high heels if they make you grouchy.

6. Never compare yourself with other moms — it’s a waste of energy.

7. Bribes work.

8. A happy family is more important than a clean house.

9. When getting your picture taken, put your hands on your hips. If there is open space between your arms and your body, it makes you look thinner. (Trust me; it really works.)

10. No matter how cool you are, your teenage daughter will find you embarrassing, so don’t take it personally. Continue to be the real you. Later on she will appreciate your confidence.

11. Thirteen is too late to put them up for adoption.

12. Mop slippers and music are a great way to exercise and clean the floor at the same time. (Your children will think you’re crazy, but that’s not a bad thing.)

13. Hide your candy in your underwear drawer because kids won’t look there.

14. Don’t take responsibility for stuff that is their responsibility. Make sure they know which stuff is theirs and you aren’t doing it.

15. Growing a fuzzy beard is normal after 40.

16. Don’t shave your beard. It will only make things worse.

17. Nervous breakdowns are just nature’s way of saying “Take it easy!” So schedule some “me” time and relax. (Today is as good a time as ever.)

18. Raising children is an exciting adventure that will be over before you know it. So lower your standards, open your heart, laugh often and don’t take anything too seriously.

And last but not least …

19. Know that you don't have to be a perfect mom to be the perfect mom for your kids.

Kimberly Sayer Giles is the founder and president of and was named one of the Top 20 Advice Guru's in the country by GMA. She is a speaker and life coach.