This is a collection of useful tips given by mothers who have seen it all and done it all before us. Let their well-meaning words guide you gently on your journey through life.
Always be financially independent from a man.
If you are going to spend money on children, make sure it’s on well fitting shoes and outdoor coats. Then it does not matter what the weather is like, they can still play outside.
Contribute, either through money or effort, but do your fair share.
Have a running away fund.
Your education was not just for results. It was so that you always have the option to go somewhere else if you need to.
Never lend money you can’t afford to lose.
Spend your money on good shoes and a good bed because if you’re not in one you’re in the other.
If you find a pair of shoes (or trousers) that are perfect, buy multiple pairs.
It’s better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but rich and miserable is better than poor and miserable.
Don’t marry a man who can’t cook, clean or look after himself. He’s expecting you to do it for him.
Pay close attention to how a man eats as it reflects what he is like in ‘other areas’.
The first time your husband hits you is the last.
If you are going to get married then marry someone who treats you like an equal.
You shouldn’t be asking if you can live with him, but if you can bear to live without him.
Never go to bed on an argument.
It’s hard enough when everything’s right and impossible when it isn’t.
Marry a man you like to talk to, because when the excitement dies down you’ll still be talking.
You’re good enough for those who like you and far too good for those who don’t.
If you have children, remember they are only on “loan” to you for about 18 years – but this marriage is for the rest of your life, so make sure you look after it.
Make sure you have shared values and (legal and financial) commitment before you have children with that person.
A friend is only a friend if they treat you like one.
You will only make a handful of real, true, friends over your lifetime. Cherish and invest in these friends and don’t spend energy or time on people who don’t give 2 hoots about you. Be nice to everyone though!
Friends and acquaintances will come and go throughout your life but in the end,you can count your true friends on one hand.
You are judged by the company you keep.
They are not babies and children for long, make the most of them before they leave the nest.
Don’t walk away from your dreams, no matter how hard it is to achieve.
Be who you want to be and never dream small, your children will learn from you.
Don’t let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.
Nothing gives you more freedom than education.
Don’t cook if you’re angry.
Make sure your hands are cold for making pastry.
Grow a garden. Even if it is just in containers.
Don’t use biological washing powder.
Do a washload a day otherwise you’ll spend your whole weekend washing.
Tidy up as you go.
Don’t put it down, put it away.
Put newspaper into wet shoes.
As a last resort if guests arrive unexpectedly – plump up the sofa cushions, bung bleach down the loos, and spritz the lightbulbs with some perfume – so at least everywhere “feels” tidy and fresh.
It’s OK to break the rules sometimes.
If you accept an invitation, that’s a commitment. It’s fine not to accept, but if you’ve said yes, you go.
Be kind to animals.
Remember that most people are idiots.
Never lend anything you don’t mind not getting back.
Keep calm and make a list.
Don’t worry about things you can’t change.
Never, ever give in to peer pressure.
Don’t be swayed by people whose good looks far outweigh their personality.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Work, but part-time when you have children.
The world is your oyster. You can do anything.
Be good and if you can’t be good, be careful.
Take it one day at a time.
Some things are down to fate and you can only do the best you can. Just be thankful.
Always say something sympathetic to a bereaved person. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, they are too sad for you to make them any sadder, they will appreciate that you made the effort and didn’t avoid them.
Just do your best – it will be good enough.
Respect yourself, and others will respect you.
If it’s not good fix it; if you can’t fix it change it; if you can’t change it accept it.
Don’t worry, don’t hurry, take it easy.
I will keep adding to this list as I go – and if you have some pearls of wisdom that you would like to share with others, send me a message or pop it in the comments.