The concept of writing a letter to your 16 year old self has been floating around for a while now. I think its a great idea, if only it could have actually happened, as for me, the 16 year old Liz , was a very troubled, intense person, working full time as an apprentice and still trying to maintain the friendships that meant so much to me with my girlfriends. Throw a few dropkick boyfriends, nights our that ended in drama ( Mums new mobile getting stolen from a friends house , and much MUCH more) and the never ending feeling of self doubt that fills a teenager, and life was not at all peachy!
I've kinda got to thinking, especially now with 4 beautiful kids, at the tender age of (nearly) 27 , and many of my friends and old school friends just having their first babies, what would I say to the childless Liz? The BC Liz ( before child) ?
But oh where to start!!
So here it goes;
"Dear childfree Liz ,
Firstly, damn girl, book yourself into the dayspa. Go on, do it! Pedicure, manicure, massage, whatever tickles your fancy! Primp and preen to your hearts content, hell you have the time!!
Secondly, get a hobby! One day, you will have more kids than hands , and there will be not so much time for doing something just for the fun of it! Life will be about necessity and time management! So for now, do anything and everything that you have ever wanted to try! Start scrapbooking, sewing, photography classes, take out a gym membership or even learn to fly a plane or sail a yacht! Why the hell not? Its your verses the world!
Now, don't forget the movies. Go there, anytime, day , night, mid day when its not your kids sleep time and you have a million chores to achieve when you can. Night when you can choose the late time slot and not have to worry about the babysitter or Grandparent being out too late! Don't forget to buy the popcorn, drink, malteasers and icecream, before your wage is non existant, halved or share between a family of 5 or 6!
Holiday!! Book it!! Anywhere, anytime, and mode of transport. Go to Venice before you have to do it with a toddler and carry a stroller OVER EVERY SINGLE SET OF STAIRS! Go to Bali, when you don't have to fight hundreds of motorbikes for your space on the road to push a pram. Go Bora Bora, hire a hut over the ocean and fish watch, drink cocktails and read a book. The whole book, and nothing but the book!!
Appreciate the time you get to spend with your partner/husband. Just the 2 of you. Quality, romantic, solitary , uninterrupted time. Talk. Without having to shout over crying babies or tanti chucking toddlers. Take meaningless Sunday drives, go for coffee in poky (non pram friendly) little trendy cafes, and just bond. Make that relationship as strong as it can be. Soon enough, you will have a eating, sleeping, pooping little person putting enormous strain on your relationship. For such vulnerable little beings, they sure know how to pack a punch and knock around all you thought you knew about life and your relationship with your partner.
I could go on. The list is endless. But really, you know what? Nothing can't be achieved with a baby. Nothing. One day, you will travel Europe with a toddler, run a business with a 2 year old and twins, go on camping trips when the porta cots and pram takes up more room than your luggage and equipment and live a happy, full and amazing life!
So pre-baby and children Liz, come on. You don't know what you are missing out on! Being a mother is the best gift a woman can be given!"
Do you agree? What would you say to your pre mother self?
Next up, a letter to the 'Mother of one baby Liz"