It takes a village to raise a child so I've been asking bloggers and friends to write a letter to my girls. Each week I publish a different letter. If you're interested in contributing, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week's letter is from a fellow Adelaidian, Jen from Semantically driven. She is the mum to a gorgeous boy, takes beautiful photos and her Twitter handle says she plays the ukulele.
I'm writing this for your mum to pass onto you. You're lucky that your mum has thought of this to do as I think all the letters that she's collected will be a great read for you all one day. Your mum loves you - Never Forget That.
I'm the oldest of three girls. Sometimes this was really exasperating as I always thought the youngest one was the most spoiled but now we're great friends. Even though sisters can be a pain in the ass when you're young, when you get older hopefully you can rely on them for help. If you ever have a fight with one of your sisters when you're older just take some space to breathe and then get over it.
I'm a mum, and I'm a mum of a boy. To be honest I never thought that having a kid was in my future because I'm not the mothering type but when he happened I knew it was right and I also somehow knew that having a boy was my destiny as he's taught me so much about the opposite sex.
While the mothering gene pretty much escaped me I knew that I would try like heck to raise my son so that he's not a 'bad boy'. Bad boys leave you hanging, literally in my case once when I was dangled over the side of a second story pub balcony and he thought it was a joke. I think he fancied me, but what a way to show it.
I wish I'd learned earlier that trusting my instincts was a good thing to do, especially when it comes to men. It's taken me far too long to learn that I should have thought more of myself to trust that I could make right decisions and be able to choose guys that would treat me in the way I should be treated. If you start going out with someone and things don't feel right, then they probably aren't. Move on. It hurts at first even if you know you've made the right choice, but it gets better and you're worth so much more than a bad relationship. You'll get through it and you can talk to your mum about it, or your friends.
Do what you love doing. If there's something that you love doing then then that will shine through and other people that also have a passion in life will be attracted to you. Who would you rather hang out with, the woe is me person, or the I'm really happy with my life person? Try to become the latter.
Step out of your comfort zone and try things that don't feel safe. And by this I don't necessarily mean dangerous to your life things, I mean things that you might normally say no too. Maybe it will be going out by yourself one night, or travelling overseas by yourself. It might mean public speaking, or performing music in front of strangers. You might always do well, but hey, at least you tried and you'll have no regrets later on.
Raising a child isn't easy because there's no manual on how to do that, and I'm the only parent present in my son's life. That's not easy either, but it's manageable. Hopefully you never end up raising kids on your own, but if you do, get a support team around you. People are more willing to help than you probably realise. Don't be too proud to ask for help. Actually that applies to everyone who needs help.
I could rattle on for ages but I've got to sign off now except for one last thing - try not to sweat the small stuff.
Jen from Semantically driven has been blogging for over eight years. Her photography has evolved along with her blog, but unfortunately her ukulele playing hasn't. She's the sole parent of one boy and an aging dog. You can follow her on Twitter (@jenseeya) and Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaycee/) and of course her blog (http://semanticallydriven.com)