You’ll be making your appearance into the world and our lives in about 7 weeks. That’s pretty scary – it’s so much easier to take care of you while you’re in my belly!
You were a surprise, but a very wanted surprise. Your daddy and I always wanted you, and I guess you were in a hurry to get to us. We’ve always known you were “meant to be”. I’ll explain that to you when you’re older.
Being pregnant with you has been pretty easy and wonderful. The best part is feeling you move and trying to figure out which part of you is pushing through my belly. You’ve got a strong kick, or a strong elbow, that’s for sure. Oh, and the selfish part of me kinda loves the attention that gets bestowed upon a pregnant woman.
I’ve prepared myself for sleepless nights, difficulty trying to get you to feed, explosive poo, and being freaked out at the slightest sniffle or cough, but I tend to think too far into the future and the thing that freaks me out most of all is wondering who you’ll be as a teenager. Those are the crazy years – trust me, I know what it’s like. I hope you’ll allow me to guide you away from repeating the same mistakes I made. Sometimes you need to make a mistake in order to really know yourself and your capabilities; sometimes a mistake doesn’t need to be made to know that the outcome will be bad. I hope that you’ll listen to me on both counts. I’d love it if you took my advice on the following…
LOANS AND DEBT: When you get a job and start earning money it’s exciting. You can buy the things you like and it makes you feel independent. Some of the things you like, though, cost more than what you earn, and this is where you can fall into trouble. NEVER GET A LOAN. You end up paying more than the cost of the item (say, a car), and I cannot tell you enough how much stress you bring into your life trying to make repayments on a loan, especially if you fall into the position of no longer having the income that qualified you for the loan in the first place – how can you pay a loan back with no money? The best thing you can do for yourself is to live within your financial means, save your money for the thing you really want, and owe nobody. Pay your bills on time, prioritise your money. I’ve spent most of my adult life in debt and it is a constant source of stress that I don’t want to see you go through.
RELATIONSHIPS: You’ll probably have an interest in boys (or girls, if you prefer, but in this example we’ll go with boys) early on, but your dad and I will be encouraging you to focus on school first. I had my first boyfriend when I was 17, towards the end of high school, and that was a good time for it. Regardless of your age, love is a tricky thing, and mistakes will be made. This is one of those situations where sometimes you have to make mistakes yourself in order to know yourself. However, I want you to remember that you should always be treated with respect, kindness and love. Pay attention to actions, not just words – if a man tells you he loves you but then displays behaviour that you don’t think a loving person should do, chances are he’s not the one for you. Never, EVER, allow a man to hit you or verbally abuse you – there is no reason in the world for that to be necessary, and if you’re ever in that situation you need to get out of it, immediately. You’ll find the guy for you when the time is right. You just may have to deal with a few less than perfect guys first. Believe me, I know.
BULLYING: This topic is rather prevalent in society now, especially with the invention of social media (I wonder what it will be like when you’re old enough to use it). Bullying is the act by a person (or people) to make you feel bad about yourself, whether it’s by physical attack or verbal abuse. Social media has seen the spread of online bullying – it’s easy to do because you can be anonymous. It’s a very cowardly act. If you get bullied at school or online, I want you to remember that the people who do this are doing it because they may feel insecure about their lives and want to take it out on others, or they’re just assholes. You need to remember that you are loved and that these people do not define you. They’ll be gone from your life soon enough. I wish I could say that it goes away once you’re an adult, but unfortunately it doesn’t. You need to develop the skills to ignore it, if it happens to you.
WORK: Getting a job is important. I hope you can find something that you’re passionate about and can make a career out of (yes, there’s kind of a difference between a job and a career). You could be led to it by studying, or it could just fall into your lap. I haven’t found my passion, yet. I hope I do soon, but everyone’s journey is different. My work ethic has been a bit shaky in the past, but now my priorities have changed and all I want is a position to be able to help support our family. It’s not just about me, anymore. If I could do some things over again, education and career is what I would focus on. I didn’t want to go to university because the idea of more years of study was not appealing when I was 17, but guess what? The years will pass, regardless, so do something with them. I’d be in a much better position if I’d realised that back then. Don’t be like me. Don’t be put off by time and effort – both are required to get anywhere in life.
Well, I think that’s all the wisdom I can dispense right now. Of course, you won’t read this for a long time, if at all, but hopefully I can look back on it as a guide to the sort of parent I want to be.