Although I’m 25 (26 this year, oh dear God), I’m in absolutely no rush to have children. It’s in my life plan, I’d absolutely love to have a little one running around some day and it’d also give me a genuine excuse to watch Disney movies all day. Not the good old, “I wasn’t feeling 100% so I decided to take a self care day”. Amiright? With the world in the state it’s in, it genuinely does scare me to think about bringing a new child into it. I know that sounds lame but with so many social, political and environmental problems, what are we setting the adults of the future up for? However, I think our generation are fantastic role-models, advocates and hard-workers. Are we going to send our children into the world un-prepared? Hell fucking no.
* Clearly this elegant, beautiful child in this photo is me, it’s not some random kid
So, for my child of the future, whatever gender you are born or however you want to identify. Whatever you grow up to be or do or feel, this one is for you. Maybe you’ll read it one day; maybe my blog will still be alive and kicking when you’re old enough to read it. Maybe I’ll be a blogging sensation by then, earning thousands and thousands and living in my own Cath Kidston / Laura Ashley haven in Chelsea. Probably not. But regardless, here are some things I would tell my future child.
1. Learn early that illness isn’t always about physical pain. Recognize that you need to take care of your mind just as much as your body.
2. And know that if you’re ever feeling mentally unwell, you can talk to me about it. Without fear. Without judgement. And I will do everything I can and everything I need to do to help.
3. Don’t let any boy or girl ruin your childhood and teenage years.
4. Be kind to people. Unconditionally kind. And remember that just like you go through stuff, other people do as well.
5. You can play with whatever the heck you want, “boys toys” and “girls toys” don’t exist.
6. Sex and your body are not dirty subjects. You can talk to me about anything and I’ll answer you as best I can but all I ask is that you’re safe. Put your safety and well-being first.
7. Don’t let anyone bully you and get away with it. Tell me or tell a teacher and always, always, stand on the higher ground. Stun your enemies with kindness.
8. Read. Just read. I don’t care what you like to read but just pick up a book and show people that reading is cool. Reading and books are knowledge and life.
9. You can do whatever you want to do. Hobbies or a career when you’re older, you’re not limited by your gender or your abilities. I will do everything I can to ensure that you are treated as an equal and you’re able to do what makes you happy.
10. I know it’s probably annoying that you don’t have as much technology as your friends do when you’re younger but you’ll thank me one day.
11. Know your self worth.
12. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship or friendship, something doesn’t sit right with you or you’re not being treated how you think you should be, get out. It’ll hurt at first. It’ll really hurt. But a month of hurt could lead you to a lifetime of happiness.
13. And if you are hurting, I’m here. I’ll always be here fighting your corner.
14. Always wear a seat-belt. Don’t even question it.
15. The number on the scales and the number in your clothes doesn’t mean anything. No matter what the media or advertising tells you otherwise. Trust me on this one.
16. Self-love and self-care are really important. The earlier you can learn and practice this, the better. And yes, you can borrow my Yankee Candles for a relaxing bubble bath if you’re in need of some self-care.
17. Be passionate. Find your interests and embrace them with every ounce of your being. If other kids call you a nerd? So what. There’s nothing insulting about being interested in the world.
18. If it’s a phase, that’s cool. If it’s not a phase, that’s cool too.
19. Know that you have something to offer the world. You might not know what it is right now or for a very long time but that’s okay. Your gift will shine eventually.
20. I’ll always be your biggest fan. If nobody else believes in you and even when you don’t believe in yourself, know that you always have and always will have a biggest fan.