Janine Smith
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A letter to my 15 year old

I can’t quite believe it but today you turn 15. It really doesn’t seem long since I was cradling you in my arms experiencing both fear at the huge responsibility of being a parent and feeling a love I had never felt before. You made me a mother and you have given me some of the happiest times of my life and now you are growing up and getting ready to experience some of the happiest moments of your life.

I haven’t always been the greatest mum – I have been impatient, I have shouted, I have nagged, I have lost my temper but I have always tried my very best and I have always loved you.

You have grown from a wonderful, inquisitive, energetic little girl to a beautiful, brilliant, bright and funny young woman, who I am incredibly proud of. Recently, we have had our battles, and we will again as I try to guide you, support you and parent the best way I can and, as you begin to experience the world without me, there some things I would like to say to you…

  • believe in yourself – you are awesome
  • work hard – nobody gets anywhere without putting in some effort
  • listen to you – go with your gut, do what feels right
  • don’t be afraid to dream and to have ideas – they don’t have to be big
  • everyone feels lost sometimes – find something to cling to until it passes or until you find your focus again
  • treat others how you want to be treated – be the better person, be kind, be respectful
  • live, laugh and love – everyday try to find something to be happy about and try to find something to be grateful for 
  • fear and nerves are normal, don’t let it stop you doing anything great – feel the fear and do it because sometimes new experiences are good
  • ask for help and accept help when you need it – but also be prepared to help yourself as well
  • don’t rush to grow up – being a grown up is hard work and it will come soon enough, enjoy being a kid for a bit longer
  • try not to make yourself vulnerable – there will always be someone who wants to take advantage so look after yourself
  • the world might seem confusing and a bit fucked up – take it one step at a time
  • make mistakes – but try to learn from them
  • always remember that you matter
  • always remember that I love you


Love mum xx

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