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Dear Teenage Rae

Being a single working mum is a piece of piss, said no one, EVER.

I literally don’t know where the last few months have gone. I feel like my time off work was soooo long ago, and don’t ask me what I did with my days because I can’t remember (I know I wrote more blog posts than I do now….). I do know I hated work when I first went back. Really, truly hated it. I wanted to cry every morning. But I’ve got back in to it now and it’s not so bad. It’s just non-stop. Once work is over its baby time, and then normally bed time not long after that. Then it starts all over again. And getting ready in the mornings to leave on time with a nearly two year old who still doesn’t want to watch TV is no easy feat. But it’s all fun and games and I’m still loving every minute.

The other night I watched One Born Every Minute (or OBEM to those in the know) and there was a 16 year old girl having a baby. She looked like a baby having a baby. I’m not saying she won’t be a good mum because I don’t know her to make that judgement, but it just got me thinking about how hard her life is going to be and how much she’s going to miss out on. This led me and a group of my girl friends on to the topic of what advice you’d give your teenage self now we’re fully grown adults, regardless of the fact we all still feel like we’ve only just left our teenage years…..

So Teenage Rae, here is some advice from me and your honorary¬†Aunties. I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to follow it or not, but they all turned out ok so it’s good stuff to follow (although if you read some of our whatsapp conversations you might question that last sentence).

  • When I asked the girls to send me their advice unsurprisingly a lot of it was about boys. As a teenager you will probably get your heart broken more than once and it will seem like the end of the world. But if a boy has hurt you then he doesn’t deserve you. Know your worth and don’t ever let a boy bring you down. Be strong enough to walk away and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. (Plus Mummy will hunt him down and show him what it’s really like to be hurt, so don’t worry about that).
  • Stay away from the bad boys. They might be very appealing at your age but trust me and your Aunties on this one. We could write a War and Peace on our reasons why you’ll be wasting your time.
  • You’ll more than likely hate school, but trust me when I say there’ll be one day when you wish you could go back and do it all again. You’ll spend your teenage years wishing you were older but before you know it you’ll have bills and a mortgage and all these responsibilities that no one warned you about and you’ll be wishing you were young and carefree again. And don’t waste your education, you might think there’s 101 better things to do than study but if you don’t get the best out of your education when you’re young you’ll spend your adult years trying to catch up and it’s a lot harder then. But saying that don’t stress over it, the results of an exam do not define who you are as a person. As long as you try your best that’s good enough for me.
  • Everything happens for a reason. There’s no mistakes in life, just lessons, and everything you go through makes you who you are today. There’s no point having regrets because at one time it was what you wanted, so learn from your experiences.
  • If you have a dream go for it, no matter how small. You don’t know until you try. Work hard and don’t let anyone put you down for what you really want out of life. You only get one chance so you might as well make it worth it (and don’t worry if you mess up, that’s what mums are for….to pick you up, brush you down and tell you to try again!)
  • Dont get a loan or a credit card, save up and pay for what you want! You’ll feel very proud of yourself for doing this, and living in debt is never going to end well.
  • Know what suits you when it comes to fashion. Don’t just wear something because everyone else is. In the words of your Auntie Charl – don’t try and cram yourself into a dogs skin just because the magazines say it’s fashionable! Oh and buy lots of shoes, shoes make you feel good.
  • Invest in a decent hairdryer. In fact Mummy will have bought you one long before you read this as it took her 33 years to work out that this makes A LOT of difference when drying your hair, and the way your curly mop of hair is currently growing I should be a pro at styling it by the time you hit 13. Either that or you’ll be wearing a lot of hats.
  • Treat others how you want to be treated. Kindness goes a long way and a smile costs nothing. You don’t know what someone’s going through behind closed doors so be kind to them and you might just make their day a little better for it.
  • Keep hold of your friends. You don’t realise how much you’ll need them throughout your life. I’m very lucky to have some amazing friends in my life and I only hope you’re as lucky as I am.
  • Do a job that you enjoy. You’re going to be doing it for a very long time so it makes it easier if you actually like what you do.
  • If you want to travel then travel. Before life weighs you down with all those responsibilities go and discover the world (as long as you know I’m coming with you)
  • Don’t be scared of change, try new things, life will be pretty boring if you don’t.
  • Although DONT try drugs. I will literally lock you in your room and throw away the key if I have even the smallest suspicion you have. You’ll just be wasting your money and risking your life for something that seriously isn’t worth it. And walking around with a swinging jaw is honestly not a good look.
  • Dont take things personally. Not everyone is going to agree with everything you do in life but that’s their problem, not yours.
  • Mum knows best – you may completely disagree with this one right now but trust me on this. At the age of 33 I still call your Nanny before making any decisions, or just to get her approval on whether I should buy a new pair of shoes. As long as Mum says it’s ok then it’s ok. It’s not until you become a parent yourself that you fully appreciate what your parents did, and still do, for you (although DO NOT get any ideas about doing that any time soon, I’m not old enough to be a grandma yet).

And finally be proud of who you are, because if 13 year old Rae is anything like 2 year old Rae you’re going to be an amazingly beautiful young lady. So just be you, but be the best you you can be.

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