lashes and little ones Image 3
Fulham mum Alex Geddes is our new regular columnist. Read on for her insights and observations about beauty, fashion and parenting.
The Jubilee weekend has made me feel quite sentimental for all things family, and has got me thinking about how I want Fifi to grow up.
I want her to be proud of her heritage and do her family proud every single day. She is so little, and can't understand what is going on in London at the moment, but I wanted to write down ten things that I hope she grows up to know and believe, partly so she can reread them one day (and assess whether I have done an ok job!) and also to remind me what values really matter when raising children.
1. Be brave
I am the biggest wimp in the world. Mr. G is forever ridiculing me for having 'issues' with everything that crosses my path. But being afraid of things doesn't matter. I want Fifi to learn that being brave is being able to look your fears in the eye and not let them beat you. I know the dark is scary, spiders are terrifying and ghosts lurk in every corner, but everytime my little girl needs me to run upstairs in the dark or get a spider out of the bath, I put my fears aside and get on with it. I never want Fifi to be held back because she is too scared to try.
2. Cool is great, but clever is better
In a society that idolises emaciated women and people famous for getting drunk, I hate to think how hard it will be for the next generation to ignore the appeal of being 'cool' or 'hip', and realise that being smart, reading books and learning as much as they can fit in their heads is so much better. Looks fade, bottoms get saggy and hairstyles date very quickly, but knowledge is timeless.
3. You can do anything
I have spent the majority of my life feeling inadequate, never the cleverest, prettiest or best at anything (I don't even think I ever won pass the parcel), and I let that hinder me. I can only pray that Fifi has the confidence to follow every dream, even if people tell her she won't make it. I wanted to study law, but I was told I wasn't clever enough, and spent years regretting it. I should have ignored the critics and followed my dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to.
4. Wear good shoes
No, I'm not talking about Louboutins, but metaphorical shoes. I read the most inspiring quote recently, from a mum to her
children; 'don't look for the easy paths, but wear strong shoes, so when the road gets stony you can get along'. When things get tough, don't turn back, keep on going and have faith.
5. Look after your skin
Hair and nails grow back, your skin is there for the long haul. Always take your makeup off, moisturise, and think twice before you pierce or tattoo it. Have a look at your mummy's tummy if you want evidence!
6. Take pride in your uniqueness
All I ever wanted was to be the same as my friends. Instead I was super tall, had funny hair and a name that meant everyone thought I was a boy. Cherish your individuality, it makes you special, even if you can't see it now. I now know that being tall isn't the worst thing in the world, have come to terms with my hair and actually love my name. The ugly duckling became a swan and Elmer the elephant is definitely the best.
7. Cherish your friends
Your friends are there for you through thick and thin. Be grateful for them everyday. Share your joy with them, and listen to them when they need you. One day you will need them more than you know.
Grudges are easy, anger is obvious, forgiveness is the biggest challenge I can think of. People can be cruel, selfish and stupid, but holding a grudge only makes you sad and unhappy. It fixes nothing, even though at the time you feel better. Anger and resentment eat you up; shake it off and take the higher ground. Mr. G has a saying I tell myself when I want to shout and scream at people; the eagle suffers little birds to sing. Be an eagle and soar above.
9. Move on from your mistakes
We all make mistakes. I've made some massive ones. Everybody has. Learn, accept and move forwards. Don't forget, always apologise, but don't dwell for long. Guilt slows you down, and doesn't make anyone else feel better. Resolve to do better next time.
10. You will always be loved
There is nothing that my children could ever do to make me stop loving them. I might get cross, and may even shout a little, but they will be loved every second of every day. I hope that every step that Fifi takes, is safe in the knowledge that I will be behind her, catching her if she stumbles and cheering her on to wherever the finishing line may be.