Ah, those heady days, responsible for no one but yourself, spending your mornings lying in bed until Supermarket Sweep was on and then rolling into the uni bar early evening for some much earned rest and relaxation. Oh to be 18 again!
Regular readers may be looking suspicious at this point.
“Hang on a minute,” I hear you muttering, cogs turning, “didn’t you have a baby when you were 17?”
Yes, I did. My 18 year old self did still watched Supermarket Sweep, but in the company of a small yet perfectly formed toddler. At 18 I would have been finishing off my A-levels and looking forward to a year off before university, during which time I would hang out with Bee, (the aforementioned toddler), work part-time looking after the two small, hyperactive children who lived in a pub down the road from me, and take GCSE drama, just for the giggles.
One of the things I would say to myself at 18 would be ‘what the hell do you think you’re doing going swimming on your own with a baby, a three year old and a seven year old with ADHD when you CAN’T EVEN SWIM? Are you mad?!?’ It’s sheer chance that no one drowned, but a good example I think of how at 18 we feel indestructible.
To me at 18 though it was simple, I had all of these children to look after and I didn’t want to spend all day hanging out in a flat above a pub – it never occurred to me not to take them all for a day out on my own to Wookey Hole caves. (Yes, the smallest two were terrified and I did have to carry them both.)
Other than wishing I’d got myself on the property ladder, I try not have regrets about my life. I certainly don’t regret having been a mummy already at 18, far from it, and I’m a firm believer in the idea that events in our past shape us into the people we are now. I’m pretty happy with things right now, so what’s to regret?
Of course it’s nice to imagine sometimes that we could have a second go at things, with the benefit of hindsight, so I asked the good people of Twitter what they wish they’d known when they were 18.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 18?
@mummyblogger that I shouldn’t chose my university purely on the basis it was closest to my boyfriend at the time, doh!
— Fritha Quinn (@Tigerlillyquinn) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger I wish I’d known to make the most of travelling the World when I was 18, it’s more expensive when you’re older and have kids!
— EvansCrittenMum (@claireyfairey) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger Being myself was ok and to worry less what others thought.
— Catherine Harper (@cathsharper) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger find your own style. Don’t try to be fashionable, be classic
— Jen (@smilerjfs) April 2, 2015
— Alittlebitlikeme (@alittlebitlike) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger Live your life as it goes so quickly!!
— Rachel B (@TheRealMrsBash) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that I would only have my mum for another 3 years. Sorry to depress everyone
— Tracey Murphy (@traceymurphy05) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that being in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy isn’t worth your time or energy. xx
— Mel Burt (@raisethewaves) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger the name of the baddies off the moomins
— John Young (@_John_young) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that life won’t turn out as planned, it will be fine and you won’t care that you didn’t plan for it
— Fawkes (@Hornets_Nest13) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that the issues I was having was because of autism, not just me being crap :)
— Rachael Taylor (@copperhobnob) April 2, 2015
— Lee Dalton (@Leedalton1) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger That I didn’t have to be bullied by a succession of inept bosses.
— Raul Duke (@Dr_RaulDuke) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger confidence is a decision you make! And the more you practise it the better you get!
— Sal’s Kitchen (@Sal_Godfrey) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that life won’t end if you’re not married with a degree, a career and a baby by 25!
— Hannah – hibabyblog (@hibabyblog) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger you should have gotten out when your brother did!The repercussions of your parents inaptitude will stay with you a long time!
— silly daddy (@markusj75) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger that passing or failing college wouldn’t be the be all and end all of life.
— Tammy (@Me_andthe_tiny3) April 2, 2015
@mummyblogger If you finish a night out with lettuce in your hair, he’s probably not the one for you.
— Vicky (@OwlandAccordion) April 2, 2015