I’ve wanted to write some advice to my girls for a long time. Not because I don’t plan on being here to tell (nag) them in person. But because by the time they reach an age where they really need the benefit of my wisdom (haha), I’m pretty sure all the gin I’ve had to drink to actually get them to that age, will mean I’m a bit, erm, wisdomless. So, here are some things I would like them to know.
Never let anyone make you feel you need to fit in. If you’re feeling this, then it’s because the people you’re trying to befriend aren’t YOUR people. It’s as simple (and as hard) as that. Keep looking until you find those friends that totally get you. Accept you. And love you. Friendships shouldn’t be hard work. And they shouldn’t have ulterior motives or agendas.
Don’t pluck your eyebrows. I mean it. They’ll never be the same again. As you get older they get thinner. There are other ways to tame them. Which is why I am removing all tweezers from the house NOW. I haven’t forgotten the time you cut your own hair, Beaver. And then got to work on your sister’s.
Choose the best university you can. And do not base your decisions on any of the following a) proximity to current boyfriends b) proximity to hobbies you can’t bear to leave c) proximity to me (you really don’t have to go to Scotland to escape me, if the teenage years have left us less than friendly).
Travel as much as you can. Work abroad if you get the chance. New York would be good. Because then I can come and visit. And live vicariously through you. I’m kidding. (I’m not.)
Have faith. In yourself. And your own destiny. Don’t worry if the road you walk isn’t always straight or free of fog. Don’t worry if others around you seem to know where they’re going and you do not. You’ll get there when you get there. And it will be wonderful.
Never underestimate the power of experience. Everything I am lucky enough to be doing today, is down to having experiences. Mainly as a result of having you, actually. (Thank you.) So embrace the good ones. The bad ones. And never be too stubborn or scared to learn from them.
Take on board other people’s criticism of you. As long as it’s coming from a good place (you’ll know the ones that are and quickly filter out the ones that aren’t). Sometimes, there is no greater value than seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes. And if you aren’t evolving and becoming a little bit more self-aware than you were yesterday, you’re standing in your own way.
Always follow your instincts. They have rarely let me down so trust yours. They will see you through some tricky decisions that neither your heart nor your head can resolve.
If you marry, marry only for love. Nothing else. Because marriage is hard and if you don’t have that solid foundation of love, it’s much easier for the walls to crumble.
Become a mother, if that is your will. You will experience the purest, most unconditional form of love there is. And as hard as it can sometimes be, there isn’t anything else I’ve done in my life that has shown me more about myself than raising you. Or anything I’m more proud of. Don’t wait too long (there’s never a perfect time). And don’t worry about being a perfect mother. If I’ve done nothing else, I hope I’ve at least shown you that doesn’t exist. Instead? Love your children. Say sorry when you mess up. And be brave enough to carry on.
I will always be here. So never add me to your list of things to worry about. (But please. Try not to worry. It’s a waste of energy and rarely constructive. Plus? I’ll probably be lying awake at night and doing enough of that for all of us.)
There are another 3,521 things to add to this list, possibly more. As always, feel free to like, comment and share. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram. Sharing pictures of motherhood (it’s not actually that bad, I just make it look that way).