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My mother and the 5 pieces of advice I’m glad I didn't listen to

Friday 16 November 2012
I was looking through a back issue of Glamour magazine ( Yes I am one of those girls who keeps a number of issues- a good number of issues- stacked away, until eventually I decide to throw them away- sorry I mean recycle away!
In one issue was an article on 5 good pieces of advice from our mothers we should have listened to. Well, I mean I love my mum to absolute bits, but I present to you-
My mother and the 5 pieces of advice I’m glad I DIDN’T listen to:
1.       Stop drinking tap water- Saddam Husain has poisoned it.
Ok, slight twist on her actual words, but I kid you not, back in 2003, when we declared war on Iraq, the predictable sensationalism in the media kicked followed, and one such report said that one way Saddam would target us was by poisoning the water system.
Now, one key thing about my mum is that she is the most over dramatic person ever. So she took this to heart, immediately went out and bought trolleys worth of bottled water and declared we were only to drink that.
Should I have listened? I think this morning’s coffee, yesterday’s coffee and the past 9 years coffees say no.
2.       Why not be a bin lady? We all need bin ladies.
My mum is what I call a proper mum, or maybe traditional is a better word. She sees her role is family first and to support her children in whatever makes them happy. However the negatives of this are my mum is not into what I’d call social mobility. She was raised very traditionally- family live close to each other, men are the breadwinners etc. How we are related is life’s great mystery sometimes! She practically had a breakdown when I up and moved to London on my own age 19.
I asked her about her views and in doing so I said ‘would you really support me even if I wanted to be a bin lady?’ to which she honestly said yes, and that we all need bin ladies, so why not.
I’m glad I didn’t listen otherwise I wouldn’t have my ambition.
3.       Saturday knitting club will be good for you
Armed with 2 pointy sticks, I furiously tried to weave in out, in out with neon wool, aiming to produce a scarf. 10 weeks later, I took home a ‘Woollen Christmas bauble’. In other words, a tangled ball that the staff had attached a hook to.
Every girl should know the basics of sewing- it’s a life skill was my mum’s justification for dragging me out of bed on a Saturday morning, embarrassing me whenever I spotted a classmate leaving when leaving the leisure centre.
Should I have listened? Certainly not! I might have ended up a 21 going on 65 year old! Although it might have prevented my next extracurricular activity choice of Judo and the A&E incident...
4.       It will all work out.
This might sound slightly odd, but what I mean by this is that I like to have a plan, or at least if something unexpected happens, I will immediately assess and work out what I need to do to adapt.  Sometimes this of course is easier said than done.
For example, last year during my placement, when I first joined, I just wasn’t getting any meaningful work. It was frustrating, and frankly I felt like I was wasting my time. I tried tactfully to say something but it wasn’t working and it was running me down. My mum’s advice was to ride it out.
It’s the same now. She’s in a similar position, yet her approach is to just deal with it rather than cause confrontation.
I’m glad I didn’t listen, I fought hard to be taken seriously, and I’m so glad, as I got involved with some huge projects and I really achieved something.
5.       You don’t need another pair of heels
Errr no! Just no!

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