A messy handbag = a chaotic mind

Artwork: Charlotte Peach

5 (Small) Pieces of Advice for my Daughter

Dear Rae,

A lot of advice that’s written these days tends to focus on the BIG stuff. Like how to have a healthy body image, be happy, have a good, stable relationship and shape your own vision of success but I often find it’s the smaller stuff that it’s taken me longer to get my head around (and this is often the stuff that no one offers advice on). I know you’re only 3 but I think you might benefit hearing some of this stuff now whilst I still remember,


Here’s the kind of thing I’d have found useful (in my twenties)…

1.There IS a correct way to pull on your tights

When you pull on tights, make sure that you work your hands right into the foot ends first before attempting to pull them up over your legs. Hold them up to the light and make sure that they’re the right way round. There’s nothing more frustrating than going through all the faff of getting them on and then noticing they’re back to front. Putting tights on wet skin is a bummer so try and dry yourself properly first.

2. A messy handbag = a chaotic mind

Try and clear out the crap in your handbag at regular intervals. There is nothing more depressing than reaching into your bag and bringing out a Strepsils cough sweet stuck to a tissue stuck to a lolly stick. Sure okay….during the day treat your bag like a rubbish tip and chuck stuff in there willy nilly but try and make a habit of sorting it out. At the end of each day (if you can) chuck all the crap out. Make sure you have a tissue in there too (so you don’t have to wipe anything on your sleeve or worse still walk about with a runny nose).

3. If you’ve no money in the bank don’t go in a nice shop

This is a simple piece of advice but if you’re anything like me then just steer clear of nice shops as much as possible. In the future you’ll be wearing a virtual reality shop helmet and this advice will be totally redundant. In fact it’ll probably be impossible to avoid shopping as it’ll be projected onto your eyeballs whilst you sleep- a gallery of all your fantasy purchases available at the touch of one sleepy finger. Just in case this doesn’t happen, try and steer clear of nice shops when you’re super skint (it’s torture if you spend and torture if you don’t).

4. A nice smelly thing (gel/body oil/spray) can really work wonders

There are many times when I’ve felt like my life was cascading around my ears/relationship flunking/career in the toilet and actually all I needed was a nice hot bath with a scented oil in it (or a candle with a posh scent). These things don’t make you a frivolous, flipperty-gibbet.

These things make life slightly better when it all gets a bit shit. One thing though…don’t buy them ALL the time or you’ll take them for granted. Do you think the Kardashians look happy with all their scented nik naks? No because they have TOO MUCH of a good thing and can’t smell them  anymore (or maybe they are happy- what do I know?)

5. If in doubt, wash your hair

If you get up in the morning and stare at your hair, wondering whether you can get away with not washing it for another day well…you can’t. If you’re anything like me, your fringe will lie flat against your head and you’ll think people are staring at you and questioning your personal hygiene (they’re not- that’s another big learning – no one actually notices you unless you fall flat on your face).

Nevertheless, just like a tidy handbag and a nice smell, clean hair can make you feel like you’re in control…like everything’s right in your world. I have never regretted washing my hair (though hopefully you haven’t got your Dad’s hair as it’s very bushy and benefits from not washing at all).

One last small thing. If you eat a massive plate of food, you’re going to feel full up. You’ll feel uncomfortable and have to undo your trousers (or lie on the sofa rubbing your tummy and groaning).  I STILL COMPLAIN about how full up I am even today after forty-odd years of eating too much.

There’s a lesson in there; if you do something it’ll have some sort of consequence.  As long as you’re aware of the consequence when you’re doing the thing, you’ll be on the right path. I am old and still regularly forget this. What goes up must come down as they say.

Be happy my love.

Mum xx

Photo: Anniki Sommerville

Written by Anniki Sommerville for her daughter Rae. Anniki is Super Editor at Selfish Mother (where you can also read more of her brilliant work) or follow her on Instagram.


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