Did I Remember To Tell You?

I was paying bills and going through my files one afternoon when my son came into my office and asked why the school didn’t teach them “this stuff”?   “What stuff are you talking about?”  He said “The real stuff, the stuff I’ll have to do when I’m older, when I have a full-time job – dealing with an apartment or a house, a family, a doctor’s appointment”.

That was the moment it occurred to me that I won’t be here forever. How will they know what to do, the small things not the big ones? I answered my own question by admitting that I hadn’t know either. I learned for myself over the years but it would have been so much easier if someone had told me a few basic concepts.

Life is hard enough. As adults, we all know this, and while I am here now to answer any questions either of my children may have, what happens when I am not?  If you ask me what concerns me the most about the future, it would be not being here if my children needed me.

 Have you ever gone away on vacation, or even just an overnight trip, got halfway there and remembered what you forgot to tell your son or daughter?  That’s what this blog is about.
What if I forgot to tell them something? As insignificant as it might seem, that’s what I think about and that is my biggest concern.

So one day, I started a list and decided that every time I thought of something that I had forgotten to tell them, I would write it down. And I would leave it somewhere they could find it if the worst should happen. But the list took on a life of its own. It started to include things I would not have had a reason to tell them yet.  And after speaking to many other mothers, there was so much more to add, things I hadn’t thought of either. The initials and first names you see after some of the thoughts are from many of the moms who contributed.

So I like to think of this as the best of the best advice – ideas, basic information, and thoughts that occur at the strangest of times but that may someday prove valuable to our children.

Personal

  • Always remember: you matter.
  • Be there for your brother or sister, no matter what.  It will make me happy (wherever I am) to know that you are there for each other. Please!
  • Learn to be with yourself before you commit to someone for the rest of your life. It will not be their job to make you happy. You have to understand who you are before you can expect anyone else to.
  • You do not owe an explanation for how you feel. You’re entitled to your feelings whatever they are.
  • Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
  • Do not assume anything. There is an old saying that “if you assume, you make an ass of you and me” – just something to keep in mind.
  • Start your day off fresh.  It may be late the night before, but try to finish what you’re doing, whatever it is.

Health and Wellness

  • Start your day off fresh.  It may be late the night before, but try to finish what you’re doing, whatever it is.
  • Move! Sitting still too long is unhealthy.
  • If something smells bad after your shower, it may be your towel. Just because you use it when you are clean doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty. Wash it!
  • Wash your face – yes, twice a day; and use moisturizer. Trust me, it will help you 20 years from now.
  • If you are wearing contacts, always keep an extra pair in your bag. You never know when you will need it. 
  • If you are wearing glasses, carry a lens cleaner. Seeing clearly is important 
  • Change your razor regularly. 
  • Change your toothbrush every few weeks: it’s going in your mouth (or should be!) a few times a day.
  • Change your sheets at least once a week. OK…maybe stretch it to two, but no more than that.

Medical

  • If your doctors can’t work out why you don’t feel well, get tested for Lyme disease, just in case.
  • If you have to ‘pee’ a lot, call the doctor and ask for a urine test, just in case you have a bacterial infection. If you do, they will give you an antibiotic.
  • Always ask for copies of everything (blood work, tests) before you leave the doctor’s office.  Keep a file for yourself so when you do need your medical history, you don’t have to chase it.
  • Always have your medical history with you. Keep a condensed version of it that includes your blood type, the medications you are taking and the surgeries you have had. You never know when you will find yourself in a position when you need to advocate for yourself. It will be very helpful just to hand someone a piece of paper with all of your history on it.  If you have any previous tests that may apply to an appointment you are going on, take them with you so the doctor can have a baseline.
  • Be careful with Q-Tips. Sometimes the end is not covered with cotton. Always look before putting it in your ear.
  • Make the doctor see you as a person, not an insurance claim.  Step out of your comfort zone if you have to.
  • Not one question about your health should be embarrassing. If it is, you are speaking to the wrong doctor – get a new one!
  • If you’re coughing a lot, or having any problem breathing at all, don’t assume or let a doctor assume it’s bronchitis. Get a chest X-Ray.
  • Doctors should not be practicing Voodoo.  Some of them actually think they can see what’s going on under your skin. If the problem persists for more than a few days, get an X-ray, CT Scan or ultrasound to find out exactly what is going on.  
  • Follow up on annual tests/labs.  Only YOU are responsible; do not rely on a doctor to tell you when you are meant to go. Keep records and mark dates. Something insignificant can change drastically in six months or a year if you don’t follow up.
  • FILES again! Keep hard copies (that is the actual piece of paper, in case you missed that) on everything. Take a folder (old-fashioned folder with a tab on top), put the subject on the tab and file the folders alphabetically in an old-fashioned file cabinet. Trust me, when you are looking for things, this is the best way to keep organized and to find them.
  • If you are taking a medication that you need daily, then it’s a good idea always to have a couple of extra pills with you just in case
  • If you find out you have mononucleosis, you CANNOT take any antibiotic with Penicillin in it. 

Social

  • Do not walk away from anything that you are drinking in a public place. If you have to go to the bathroom, get a new drink – preferably one with a twist-off top so you can hear the seal break.
  • Look people in the eye, even if you don’t like them.  Especially if you don’t like them!
  • Most people can’t and/or won’t change.  It is not your job to change them. You will lose part of yourself in the process; trust me on this.
  • It is your job to worry about protection, sexually or otherwise. It would be nice if the other person did too, but do not rely on that.
  • Yes, there is the ‘heat of the moment’. It’s ok in some circumstances, otherwise, get over it! The heat of the moment can lead to a lifetime of moments that may not interest you.
  • No, a baby will not fix your relationship!
  • No, a vacation will not fix your relationship either!
  • Never drink the punch, there is no exception unless you have made it yourself and it has not left your side.
  • Be true to your word, do what you say you will do. There is a book…The Four Agreements, very good advice, you can always put yourself in check if you ask yourself the four questions.

Financial

  • Check your bank accounts daily; know your balances.
  • When you’re in a very public place, use your card as a credit card, NOT a debit card. There’s no need to put your PIN in so that everyone can see.
  • Keep old-fashioned files. Yes, hard copies and originals, because your computer WILL crash. Remember that!
  • If you write a check (assuming they still exist), make sure you have money in the account to cover it.
  • Always have emergency cash with you…in case the card doesn’t work.
  • Take pictures of your credit and/or debit cards, front and back, just in case you lose them

Business

For this subject, I reached out to other moms, I asked what advice they would give a young adult entering the workforce, I wish I had known a few of these when I started out!

  • Always ask for a business card, you never know the information you can get. Anon
  • Listen carefully, dress for success and be respectful!!!!!! Oh, and be punctual!!!!!! ASM
  • Eye contact most important. Always be early. RSP
  • This is the first job of many…build bridges! JF
  • Dress for the job you want. Not the one you have. MWC
  • Take the nose and tongue rings out. Don’t chew gum or blow bubbles. JB
  • Start your 401k asap. AF
  • Don’t be afraid to take a job you don’t really feel excited about. Experience prepares you for something better down the road. DSK
  • Keep your mind open to every opportunity. Do not be held back by change.. you’ll be amazed by the path your life will take. YES, invest every step of the way.. time moves in a blink you won’t believe it at 19/22/26 but at 34 you’ll be amazed where you are. Above all, do not allow the significant other BF/GF to hold you back. KG
  • Get a mentor in the field you are going into. Someone you either admire or who has been doing the job successfully. SM
  • Appreciate the opportunity. Be open to learning new things. Don’t be scared to make mistakes – all the most successful people have. That’s the best way to learn. But also ask for help whenever you need it. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. JP
  • Have goals, but no expectations. If you are expecting something you may not be open to the unexpected, which could be more fulfilling. LR
  • Take the initiative and be creative in solving problems. If you see a problem, think of a solution and suggest it to management. Always think of new and BETTER ways to do things…just because it’s been done this way for so long, it doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient way to do it! Anon.
  • Be curious. Show management that you can think “outside the box”. Act in a kind and professional way.LFC

Misc…

  • Trust your gut feeling. It’s usually right.
  • Always get – and write down – the name of the person you speak to, no matter what it is about. That way, someone is accountable and if they know you have their name, they are more likely to do whatever it is they said they would do.
  • Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
  • Always keep your old passports. I’m not sure why, but your father said so!
  • First write the email, then address it! Don’t hit “send” by mistake to the wrong person.
  • When you bite on a pitless olive, assume there is a pit in it or you might crack your tooth. Not fun!

Driving

I remember when each of my kids took the car out alone for the first time, I bombarded them with ‘advice’ and then waited patiently (not really patiently) to see them come up the driveway. So after the first few times of wondering if I left anything out, I asked other moms what is your best advice you give to your kids when it comes to driving? Below are their answers, unedited with the exception of the first one; that is from me.

I know there will be water bottles in your car, probably in the cup holder. When they fall out because the cup holder is stuffed with other stuff, be careful not to let them roll under the pedals while you are driving.

Pass cyclists with at least three feet of space. If you can’t, then wait. BH

Carry flares, blanket, and water. SG

Parking their car directly across from a driveway. That’s my pet peeve and such an easy way to get hit.  LR

Use your mirrors…be aware of cars behind you…stay over to the left when making a left turn so others can pass on the right…use the passing lane on the highway to pass and then move back in…! MR

Loud music gets you pulled over. AF

If there isn’t a seatbelt for that person they shouldn’t be in the car. TP

Silence your phone before you turn the key in the ignition; there’s no room for distraction KG

Be very aware of your surroundings…JF

It’s good to know how to check oil, coolant and change a tire. It’s also good to have roadside spares for all of these things. Also, if you are stuck in snow or ice in an emergency your floor mats under the tires will get you out of most spots. SY

When you are sitting in your car, check the square stickers bottom left. In case you forget, those are your registration sticker and your inspection sticker. Check the dates. Renew them when they are going to expire.

From Other Moms….

I did an informal survey and asked women what is the most impotent piece of advice you would give to your children. The women were very generous with their responses, below is a variety of those answers unedited.

Love yourself first, be honest no matter, keep the door & path open to all that life has to offer you’ll never regret it & may be so surprised each one brought you to where you are for a reason meant only for you . KG

Be kind, be humble, follow your dreams, face your fears, believe in yourself, every day thank God for all the good in your life and try not to blame for the bad. Be happy! YTZ

Follow your heart and instinct. AF

In the end only kindness matters. LFC

Stand up for yourself! PGO

Find a career for which you are passionate. We spend most of our waking time at work. Make it something you enjoy, not tolerate. JWS

Love and respect yourself first…LJ

The Golden rule. MM

To thine own self be true. SM

Don’t be afraid to try something new. JDL

Life is a journey, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the ride! LR

Be honest, have integrity, and live simply DPS

Be kind! JS

LOVE EACH OTHER, DONT FIGHT OVER THINGS.  GCB

Live life to the fullest!! LN

Be kind, honest & treat others as you would want to be treated.. have respect for yourself & others  SGP

Dare to be different. TP

Always take the high road. GAA

Love yourself first,be honest no matter, keep the door & path open to all that life has to offer you’ll never regret it & may be so surprised each one brought you to where you are for a reason meant only for you . KG

Be kind, be humble, follow your dreams, face your fears, believe in yourself, every day thank God for all the good in your life and try not to blame for the bad. Be happy!  YTZ

Be safe, be smart and have fun.  LH

Make new friends and keep the old ☘ Make an effort to maintain your friendships❤️. Allyn F

Love. Chirstine CZ

Don’t forget to call your mother. Tina EP

Make the best of today and make tomorrow better. Marge SDR

Work hard, play harder. Michelle OW

Plan on getting your Master’s degree as well. Loretta DM

Trust you gut, call your mom, don’t skip class. Erin O’K

This is your chance to re-invent yourself if you want because it’s a whole new ballgame. 
Have fun but be careful. Yes, you can do both
. Janet HG

Get a part time job – on-campus jobs are great – even if it’s a few hours a week. You will learn to balance your time and it looks good on a resumé. Maria W

Check your emails several x a day. Check in with me every day
or I will with you. Enjoy! These will be the best days of your life
. Terry CM

Smile. Be smart. Surround yourself with good friends who will help you & build you up. Nice matters. Grace AA

Keep it simple…be true to yourself…call mom every day! Jennifer F

Remember your roots but branch out. Kathi A

Use your common sense and gut reactions to situations. Diane GB

Your parents r always there for u. Joyce B

If going to college, go talk to your professor so they can put a name to a face. Take a morning class. When your friends are in afternoon classes you can study. If your parents have a points system card for groceries, use their points with a duplicate. Stacey M 

Take advantage of all the formal and informal learning college has to offer. Bonnie C

Learn to balance a check book! Michele WC

Remember that you represent your faith, and your family. Learn from your mistakes, never allow them to define you, no matter how bad they may seem at the time!❤️🙏 Diane B

Taking a cooking class or just learn to cook. Don’t waste money on always eating out! Lisa C-M

Make time to stay connected to and with your family, even a 2-minute call, or a 3 word I love you note…you’ll be surprised at the end of a year what a profound difference it makes. Bea RK

I put this in blog for so that I can keep adding to it, What would be your advice?

2 thoughts

  1. This is an amazing list!! Many I have shared with my kids through the years, but many I never even thought to. Good job!
    Xx Melanie

    1. Thanks so much for reading Melanie, this was a fun list to do and I put it in blog form so I we can continue to add to it…there are so many women with great suggestions!!

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