Vicki Moore

Dear 18 year old me .....

written by Vicki Cockerill

  1. #parent
  2. #nicu
  3. #baby
  4. #pregnant
  5. #mother
  6. #toddler
  7. #advice

I have so much to say, so much I wish we knew then.

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I miss you 18-year-old me, because chicken, stuff gets real in a few years or so. Also we had a cracking figure back then.

You become a mum, yes, you give birth to an actual human from your actual tutu. (Also remember they said it never goes back to normal? Don’t worry it does, well sort of).

I know, I bet you can hardly believe it; you’re a mother. Well you know that guy from that band? The one with the crap hair? 8 years later you’re still together, engaged, and have a child! His hair is marginally better too. You think the drunken arguments outside the job centre are the be all and end all right now, that you don’t really know what to do with your life and are working in a crap shop and have it so, so hard. It’s not the end of the world, it really isn’t, something huge will happen. Worse than anything you have ever been through. It will be tough and it will leave a mark on you. For a very long time.

Your baby will be born with a heart defect; he will need surgery. It’s hard, but you all make it through, he will be okay.

Elijah in the NICU

Remember how low we were when Grandad died? This will cut you far deeper. It will hurt like nothing you have never experienced. It will be a strain on your relationship with everyone. It will be okay I promise; it will make you a better person. A more honest, open, confident and charitable person. Yes, you become quite the charitable Samaritan. (I know, right?).

Your days currently consist of being hungover, drinking and being hungover some more. You’re currently a bit of an arse love, as most 18 year olds are. You are wholly self-involved. I would like to say make the most of this while you can, while you can still go to the toilet in peace. But, there are a few things you should take stock of.

Right now you feel like you have to rebel. Against everything and anything. That’s why you drink so much, that’s why you seem to be drawn into the things that are really not a good idea. This is at a cost to your friendships. You put your time and effort into new fickle ‘cool’ friends, let me tell you they are not there anymore. You haven’t spoken to some off these people on years.

However, your true friends, they are still there for you. Coming to the hospital when your child is put in NICU, to take you to Great Ormond Street Hospital when he has surgery. Please don’t push them away, they are the best friends you have ever had and after 13 years, they are still here.

18 Year Old Me

You feel so hard done by don’t you? Parents are not around, you lost Grandad and it’s like a switch has been flipped. You are in self-destruct mode. You don’t eat, you take god knows what and barely function. You are really ungrateful; you cannot see what is right in front of you. Some amazing friends and family.

You know how at times you get annoyed with Nan? Don’t she is doing her best, she raised you the best she can. She has been the best parent anyone has been to you. She will be there to help you become a mother. She taught you everything you know about being a mother. Your child will love her; just like you did when you were little. When she baked you rock cakes, spoilt you rotten and gave you god knows how many pink wafers!

I wish I could shake you right now, just as you're about to drop out of Uni, as you are ‘depressed’. Honey, you don’t even know the meaning of the word. Wait until you have to watch your child come out of surgery with a chest drain stitched into him, after being opened up. What you are feeling, it's nothing. What you’re feeling is jealousy, self-pity and you are attention seeking.

Did you think taking all of those tablets would make Greg love you more? Guess what it didn’t. Bad move Sherlock. You will grow up a lot in the next few years but there is always that "oh woe is me" act we seem to have got down to a 't'. It stopped us really enjoying life, we missed out on so much.

You deserve a kick in the crotch, for messing up the holiday you take to Greece. For not going out and really enjoying yourself, as you just wanted to get wrecked, as you were so worried about well, everything. That really didn’t matter. You will soon learn what is important in life.

I don’t think you will even recognise us anymore. I accepted who we were. I am not ashamed anymore. I have confidence, and guess what? You become a supervisor in an office, where 99% of the team are older than you!

Being a mum is amazing, don’t worry we have not repeated past mistakes, we are the opposite of what our mother was. It's tiring though, blimey sleep now, as you will not get much when bubs comes along.

We are a Mummy now

Toddlers are like wild animals, a bit like when Ramsay the cat came back from the RSPCA adoption centre. There are things we have done you would never imagine in a million years that we would do. Change 'Poonami' nappies, catch sick in your hands when the baby is ill, oh and sucking snot out of his nose when he is bunged up!

Also you know how you worry that Greg will see you if you poop? And you wait for him to leave the house? Hells bells honey, he will watch a person emerge from you.

It doesn’t matter you don’t know what to do with your life, and it doesn’t make you a failure. We still don’t. The imaginary weight gain you think you’ve put on? Really? You’re a size 6, you wait until we are pregnant and in wide feet sandals and wearing Greg’s clothes. It does not matter.

I know I can say all this as I have lived it, but I wish you just knew a fraction of what we do now. We may not have frigged so much up. On the other hand, we somehow managed to get where we are today; 8 years on. We are doing okay. It’s just, we wasted so much. Watching your baby go through a life threatening operation, will change your perspective. It will make you think about the past, about regrets. Hindsight still remains, a wonderful thing. Suck it up kiddo, things could be worse. You will learn this.

As Elsa once said (you just wait for this!) "Let it go". Go Beyoncé the hell out of the next 8 years, also pay attention to that pelvic floor kiddo.

Love 26-year-old me xx

P.S Oh, Greg’s 24th Birthday? Don’t go behind that shop to pee. You will fall flat on your face, have your head glued together and have three eyebrows for 5 years.

P.P.S Jump on the 'Orange Is the New Black' bandwagon when it first comes out. That is freaking amazing.

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