Do you remember when you were in your early twenties, and you would see people at the age you are today? Didn’t they all look as though they had their shit together, with their sensible footwear choices and conversations about superannuation. Weren’t they something to aspire to. Something to work toward achieving, with their kids, and their grown up jobs and mortgages. A goal to work towards, a long long long ways down the track. Once you were done with those 3am kebab nights wearing impossible stiletto heels.
Remember when you were in your twenties and thought the ageing process took much longer than it actually does. As though it wasn’t even something to worry about because it wouldn’t affect you for like, ages?
Do you recall when you could drink one too many cocktails, then back it up the very next day because you were young and your cells were kind and not trying to f*ck you over for your bad life choices. When you would look in the mirror and not be visually reminded that the hands of time have slapped you around a bit, especially in and around the crows feet area.
When you were young and convinced there was plenty of time to do all the things you want to do in life. Then you meet your partner and fall down the rabbit hole of growing up, commitment, starting a family, and being very very tired all the time.
I wanted to create a cheat sheet for my daughters, a bit of head’s up for the future. Based on my experiences and things that would have been helpful to know when I thought I knew it all.
10 Things I Want My Daughters To Remember About Getting Older
- None of us know what we are doing. As I look around the school gate waiting for you guys to come out, there are many adulty looking adults standing around. We all look the part, but if they’re anything like me, they’ll all admit they’re anxious. I don’t know what I’m doing. I know I’m meant to and all that, but life is bloody scary. It’s a hold onto your seat this is going to be a bumpy ride kind of unknown. My only advice to you in order to stay afloat would be to be flexible in your expectations on what your life should look like. Shit is going to happen. My goodness some days it will rain so much shit on you that the clouds in the sky all look like arseholes. Wait for the rainbow. It will come. Peaks and troughs though. You need to endure a bit of rain to get to that rainbow. I’ll be here for you when you need me. I can’t protect you from it all but I can be there with you every step of the way. I’d like to wear a raincoat though.
- Establish what you are good at before you start having kids. This morning, your father left for work. He is career driven and his job fulfills him and makes him a better person because his cup is full. This morning, I vacuumed rice bubbles off the bed, and picked up three different species and varieties of faeces all before my first cup of coffee was empty. Now while having you kids was the best thing that has ever happened to me, this I will never deny, there is much more to me than the mundane. Let there be more to you also. So on those days where the boredom challenges your mental health, which it will give it time, you can challenge it right back. Have something that ignites your fire so you can fall back on the core that fills your cup when you feel as though you need to refill it with vodka.
- Don’t have all of your self worth tied up to your looks. I just trimmed my eyebrows with the nail clipper because two unruly hairs wanted to go rogue on me. I applied three different kinds of eye cream and my face still looks like it could do with a good iron. I’ve just attempted to dye my grey hairs with food colouring because I’m out of the proper stuff. Unless you have a ton of money to spend on cosmetic procedures, the ageing process will kick your arse. It will come as a shock as well. As though all those birthday’s you had were just for the cake, not for the notches on the belt of time. My point is, if all of your worth is tied up in your appearance, and those looks fade, which they absolutely do, you will question your very being. Be more than just pretty. So when the day comes that your once tight skin has more lines than a zebra crossing, you won’t feel as though a whole school of kids has trampled all over your worth.
- You can’t party like you used to. Trust me on this one. I recently tried to tap into my younger party ways and ended up horizontal on the shower floor of a hotel room in a very non distinguished manner. Thank goodness your father had already put a ring on it because the “for better or for worse” clause in the contract finally worked in my favour that night. Drink more water. Women pushing 40 apparently can’t have endless cocktails in the sun without being fully hydrated. They’re also going to need more than 8 hours to recover. It’s been weeks and I still feel like I have a hangover. Not cute.
- You’ll grow apart from people. The thing about life is, that sometimes growth creates distance. People either grow apart or they grow together. God willing, life is long and you will cross paths with many people. Some people will hurt you and you will feel as though your heart has broken into a million pieces and will never be the same, this is true. You will never be the same, and this is a good thing. Every trial in life will help to shape you into the kick arse person I know you are going to be, if you are anything like your mother of course. My only advice is to surround yourself with people who don’t drain you. Surround yourself with people who are happy for you when you are happy, and who will stand by you when you are not. Remember to try to be that person for someone else too. It’s not always about you. It will bode well for you to remember that.
- Marry someone like your father. I’m not saying be heterosexual, because hand over heart I really don’t care about sexuality. What I mean is marry someone with core values. Someone who loves you and treats you right, and can handle the criticism when they aren’t treating you very well and is willing to improve. Marry someone who is open to change, a long marriage will see many twists and turns and if you marry someone too stubborn to adapt, you’re going to be in a world full of hurt. Treat them well also because whoever you choose to be your partner will literally be your partner in life. Sometimes it’s a respectable doubles team, sometimes it’s a tag team wrestling affair and you’re Mr T.
- Play lotto or learn to live within your means. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. F*ck the Jones’. I don’t even think the Jones’ can keep up with themselves so that’s a very dangerous and miserable game to play. Live within your means, enjoy those said means and be proud of them. Live simply. Don’t get a credit card, you don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. Although if you do win lotto, remember who paid for all those birthday parties, drum lessons and fidget spinners.
- If you end up having children your body is going to change. Of course it will you are growing a human. Expect this. If you don’t mind the extra insulation then good for you. The bigger bra sizes are an awesome perk. If you don’t feel good in your own skin, then have the courage to do something about it. Don’t get too caught up with what you think you should look like, just go with the flow of life. Some times you’ll be motivated, some days you won’t be. Eat the pizza, drink the wine, but also have your veggies and sweat a little. Aim for health not vanity and you’ll always have a glow about you.
- Stick together. I feel so alone in life. I don’t have a village, I am an island. Between the five of you children, be a village and support each other. As long as you have each other, you will be able to handle anything life throws at you. Strength in numbers. Be there for each other. Make sure you keep each other accountable. Don’t allow your brother or sister to sink. Be a lifeline, be a guide. Be a vessel of support. Remember to hold each other’s hands through life and share in each other’s victories and burdens. Use each other as babysitters so you can go out with your husbands for the night. I worked out that if all five of you had two children each, I could potentially be baby sitting ten children at any given time.
- Be kind to yourself. You will be your own biggest enemy and your harshest critic at times. Treat yourself the way you would your own child. Yell at yourself if need be and put yourself in a time out, if tough love is what you need. Life is a journey. If FB memories are anything to go by, you will have some very cringe worthy moments. You will grow and get wiser with age. Just remember to look around every once in a while and savour the moment. Before you know it you’ll be pushing forty and your “cool”music will be playing over the loud speaker in the supermarket while you’re shopping for breakfast cereal fortified with fibre.
Do you have any advice you’d give your children?