It has come to my attention that, despite being an actual fully-fledged grown up (I’m in my MID THIRTIES now, which according to the news is adult territory), I don’t actually know everything there is to know about everything.
Which is a shame because when I was a kid I truly believed I’d arrived at some arbitrary age – say, 28 – and suddenly be filled with all the important life lessons I’d ever need.
Let me tell you, me of 8 years old, this is FAKE NEWS.
Lucky for me, I’ve discovered self-improvement is one of the best things we can do (isn’t it wonderful to realise there are no limits on just how GREAT we can be?), so I no longer stress about the fact I’m 33 and don’t feel like an adult yet. At least that’s what I tell myself each and every time feel intimidated when I sit across from my children’s teachers at parents evening. Or when I walk past a Police Officer and worry whether or not I’ve done anything naughty that day. And the times I eat nothing but a bowl of Rice Krispies and a glass of red wine for dinner.
Cereal meals aside, I’ve actually clocked up some pretty good learnings in the years I’ve been pretending to be an adult. And because I’m the kind of person who writes all the (non-) important things in life down, I’m going to dispense the most useful of these bits of advice here.
Go forth and enjoy the changes fried gnocchi will bring you…
Important Life Lessons I Have Learned
– Don’t make any big decisions about your hair when you’re pregnant or pre-menstrual.
– Fried gnocchi is hugely superior to boiled. Boiled gnocchi tastes like slimey potato-flavour papier mache, but by frying it you elevate the slime to mini-roast potato status. You’ll never go back, guaranteed.
– Nobody will care if you listen to a podcast through your headphones when you take your kids to the cinema. EVERYONE will care if you try to look at Instagram on your phone when you take your kids to the cinema.
– Speaking of the cinema, don’t bother unless it’s the summer holidays and you will otherwise go mad with cabin fever. The tickets are expensive, the bags of Maltesers cost a massive £3.50, you can never park conveniently and the adverts are boring. Save 50 quid and watch a movie at home.
A day I felt like actual arse. Until I went to see my friends.
– There will be days you feel like actual arse: the bummiest of my days mostly happen approximately 48 hours after the start of my period.
But whatever you do, if you have plans with friends don’t cancel them despite only wanting to burrow into bed with the covers over your head: get dressed in something lovely and head out to socialise, you’ll forget about that arse feeling in seconds (and by seconds I mean after a glass of wine and experiencing the feeling you get from a delicious in-joke with those women you love the most).
– Team work makes the dream work. Your partner should be your lover, your best friend and your closest confidante: you need to be your entire whole and proud self with them, no holds barred.
– Go to bed as early as possible: don’t drink coffee after 3pm. Your eye bags will thank me.
– And while we’re on bed (still, as an adult, the best place to be), a mattress topper is always a good idea. I have this one: it’s not mega soft but it just makes things that much cosier. And it’s machine washable for those odd occasions a child will wee in your bed. Because, at some point, a child WILL wee in your bed.
– Cleaning your oven is a real pain but it’s much better to endure the process than cook your food in a dirty one. My tip? Pay someone to come and clean it for you. Job done.
– Money does not make you happy. The only thing that will make you happy is yourself, and that process of acceptance and self-love comes from deep inside.
Be friends with the competitive parents but don’t get sucked into the nonsense. Competitive parenting is EXHAUSTING and, ironically, nobody ever wins. Especially not the kids.
– Ban slime from your house. Just do it.
– Wear the silk and the cashmere, despite the worries about the amount of snot or porridge you will end up also wearing: you spent a lot of money on your fancy clothes so get your maximum wear. It’ll make you happy!
– Raising kids will mean you’ll really want to be a good person. It’s scary but necessary and all kinds of wonderful when you can look back at the drinking irresponsible mess you were ten years ago and see how far you’ve come.
– Your child can keep you up for 48 hour straight, vomit all over you and you’ll still take a bullet for them. It’s madness.
– Be friends with the competitive parents but don’t get sucked into the nonsense. Competitive parenting is EXHAUSTING and, ironically, nobody ever wins. Especially not the kids.
– It is utterly pointless to feel crap about things, especially those outside of your control. Unless you’ve forgotten a birthday or accidentally kicked someone’s puppy: 98% of everything else can be fixed.
– READ BOOKS!! Listen to podcasts. You can never take in too much information. Including everything you’ll discover from multiple franchises of The Real Housewives (though if someone could summarise Beverley Hills’s PuppyGate for me that’d be wonderful. I’m confused).
I’d love to hear any important life lessons you have for me, Baz Luhrman-style. Dispense the advice below!