As I sit here (topless because my post-baby flab retains too much heat), I am reminded of all the things I took for granted in my youth. That is, largely, before I became the mother of monsters, and, by definition, Mother Monster.
1) Get your legs out love! They’re so long and slim! More importantly, your thighs don’t yet touch so you don’t have any of that awful itching where it kind of looks like you could be scratching your lady garden.
2) Don’t panic that you don’t have boobs like the singers in girl bands! One day your boobs will be so bloody massive that they register on NASA’s radar – and it’s not hot. They’ll be used for one purpose only, and, lovie, it ain’t sexy, it’s milky. They’ll have travelled so far south that failing only the pencil test is the stuff of dreams – you could hold a whole fucking pencil case under those bad boys. And just to drive that point home – monster minor will attempt to latch on to your stomach, used to his dairy goodies being on that latitude. That’s right, love those B-cup lady lumps whilst you have them. (And whilst they’re not lactating.)
3) No one cares about your qualifications now. Once you’ve found a place within the rat race (or anywhere further than where you currently are), no one cares whether you got an A or B in GCSE Textiles (I was the latter – see previous post, Hobbies, for further proof). No one cares whether you pranced around a black-box theatre for your A-level Drama or whether you studied Chaucer for your Key Stage 2 SATs. It’s all about talking the talk and walking the walk. It’s about contacts and people in high places. It’s sometimes about what you wear and how you shake hands*. Yes, you may have to look good on paper too, but it’s not the bottom line. So please stop torturing yourself, agonizing over text books, and go get some sleep. Because one day, sleep will be as important to you as your F.R.I.E.N.D.S. boxset is now. And future you will thank you for understanding its value.
*or shag, if you want to be an actress.
4) Wear sun cream when on Fistral Beach, Newquay. Future you burns. Bitch.
5) Keep up regular dentist visits. Dentistry is expensive. Unless you’re having a baby, but that isn’t a contingency plan (trust me, we’ve tried). Whilst you may be a little squeamish, it’ll hurt a hell of a lot less than root canal pain at two in the morning, when there’s a ten month waiting list for the nearest NHS dentist. Oh, and don’t be a dick; wear your bloody brace like the orthodontist says. Your wedding photos would have looked a hell of a lot better if you had.
6) Be a bit nicer to your parents. One day you’ll look back and think, ‘bloody hell, they must have really liked me; I wouldn’t do that for my kids!’ One day they’ll be older. One day you’ll realise they’re not immortal and they’re human. And that’s such a tough pill to swallow.
7) Respect your body and make sure others do too. ‘Nuff said.
8) Don’t just say stuff, do stuff. You won’t remember that conversation you had about how cool it’d be if you learned to surf, but you will remember feeling like you were going to drown when you fell off your surf board. As you get older, you’ll see people’s true values by their actions, not their words. Be a doer, not a sayer.
9) Slow down. It’s a cliche but it’s a cliche for a reason. Life passes you by, and before you know it, you’re slumming it in a nursing bra, waiting for your monster minor to wake for his first (of many) night feed. And yes, it’s fun , but no where near as much fun as you could be having now. * Husband dearest says this sounds like I don’t want my monsters – I do, they’re my world, but I wish I had appreciated my unmonstered world too.
10) Stop taking yourself so seriously and wishing others would. One day you’ll lust after a time when you didn’t have to be so grown up. Others will be serious and expect you to know your shit. And you have to pretend you know your shit. And most of the time you have no idea where the shitting hell your shit is meant to be. So enjoy having no one expecting you to have any shit together. ‘Cos one day my love, there will be shit everywhere. And boy, it’s stinky.
Edit – 11) After 2006, Britain will have crap summers.