It feels like yesterday that my eldest daughter was learning to walk, learning to talk, finding her way in her own little world. I blinked my eyes, I turned my back, and all of a sudden she is rolling her eyes and sighing at me, fielding phone calls from boys and astounding me with her wardrobe choices. She knows it all, so much more than I did at her age, and all she wants to be is grown up. She craves the independence, the flexibility and the privilege she believes adulthood brings, so I thought I would put pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard) and set her straight!
Slow down Baby Girl, being an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be. One day, that expensive uplifting face cream you pinch from my bathroom cabinet will have far more importance than smelling nice on your pre-pubescent breakouts. Bra’s in public will be mandatory, not optional, (if you’re built anything like your mother) and those tiny little clutch purses will become a black hole of a handbag, complete with tampons, kids snacks, hair ties, backup baby clothes and an assortment of plastic toys. The euphoria you feel when you finally buy that cute little jacket or new magazine with the money you “painstakingly” earn from the menial and minimal chores you do now will be replaced with the depressing sigh of complacency when your pay packet only just covers the power bill, the food shopping and petrol in your car. Your money will never, ever be your own, no matter how hard you work for it, constantly being sucked back into the perils of responsibility, on excitingly unexpected treasures like car tyres and vet bills.
Yes, you can go to bed later, but you won’t want to. You will crave the days when you were actually encouraged to have a lie down. You will resentfully stare at your own children as they nap on the couch, sick with a bug that they have generously shared with you, and get on with the housework or your “work” work, knowing that if you don’t do it, there’s a very slim to none chance that anyone else will.
Make the most of the versatility of your wardrobe. Your clothes will not always fit you perfectly, you will not be able to buy whatever looks good on a store mannequin with the guarantee it will look just as good on you.
Enjoy your Saturday mornings of cartoons and endless cups of Milo, a time will come when you will need hard drive recorders to catch up on your favourite shows and your capacity to function will rely on endless cups of coffee. Make sure you run and play as much as you can, because being an adult comes with the automatic downside of being completely devoid of energy.
Eat all the junk foods you want right now baby, as you are genetically predisposed to having those hot chips and chocolate bars end up on your arse and thighs. You will not always have the time, the energy or the pelvic floor muscle elasticity to jump on the trampoline straight after dinner, or swim in the pool until you resemble a water logged prune. Soak it all up now honey, don’t be in such a hurry to get here and wish life would just slow down.
But most of all, my not-so-little girl, slow down for me. Because as much as I can’t wait for you to experience all the excitement life as a grownup has to offer, trust me when I say, being a kid is a hell of a lot more fun!
Clancy Briggs has been “learning on the job” since becoming a Mum 11 years ago. She struggles daily with her role in the home as well as in the world and is a self-proclaimed “sporadically irresponsible” parent! She lives with her 3 gorgeously feral children, her long-suffering husband and their domestic zoo, is seriously addicted to chocolate and the idea that someday she will find her inner enlightenment and everything in her life will run smoothly!