Daughter , I talk much nonsense but please listen to me on this one thing….

Today my eldest daughter turns 14


She has a fight and a zeal and a drive that terrifies me and makes me envious of her in equal parts.


She is fierce and strongminded and passionate as well as kind and compassionate- all I ever wanted my daughters to be .


I’m proud and in awe of her absolutely , I just wish I could get her to listen to me on just one tiny piece of advice.



Dear S ,


I know that I give you ‘mums little life tips’ very often. Possibly too often , but the thing about being an old lady such as me is that you’ve made lots of mistakes and learnt lots of ways in which you could have improved a situation or avoided a mess and I just want to help you maybe navigate some of those pitfalls without having to actually go through them.


Mum messed up so you don’t have to!


So if you listen to nothing else , just maybe listen to this one :

(Disclaimer – the sex , drugs , boys and rock and roll stuff ALL still counts , you know the basics of mum lecturing. This is an added extra NOT a replacement for the big ones)


This is my one pearl of wisdom for you though :

Choose your battles.

That’s it . Simple eh?


I admire your spirit S I do. I wish I could be like you in so many ways . There is such a raw determination in you and I know that eventually it’ll serve you well. It will aid the success I am certain awaits you.


There are times though that holding your tongue , taking a breath and thinking is the wiser choice than opening your mouth. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m giving out mixed signals here. Don’t I always tell you never to let injustice pass you by?  Never be a quiet bystander when you see something happening you know is inherently wrong .


I mean that too , honestly, don’t be the person who joins in with bullying. Don’t be the one who doesn’t challenge friends who use racist or sexist or homophobic language. Be the woman who builds other women up , not someone who gains enjoyment from pulling your fellow women down. Be a good human. Those there are the basics.


The bits that can be let go though , your brothers not bringing their pots out of their rooms or leaving the toilet seat up? You can leave those rows for me to have. Honestly I’m an old hand at this , don’t waste your precious energies on them. When you’re told off by your teacher but it wasn’t you talking. Don’t get into dialogue about it in front of the whole class , that won’t end well for you ! Hold your tongue and maybe talk to that teacher calmly afterwards. Don’t waste your clever comments under your breath on me when we’re disagreeing. All that gets you is your phone taken off you , you know this !



As a woman you will have big battles to fight.

You’ll likely have to fight to be heard.

Fight for your right to take up space.

Fight to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman.

Fight for your fellow women who don’t have their own voice.



These things are worth your fury and your rage and your fight. Unleashed and uninhibited. The full force of you S at an injustice , it doesn’t stand a chance.


Save yourself for the big things. Let me say here though I am in no way belittling your sense of what is big and what is insignificant. I can’t do that. Should I ever not take your concerns as seriously as you want , please do pull me up on it.Calmly . I hope I am never dismissive of your opinions but I know sometimes as a single mum of 4 children sometimes I’m not listening as intently as I should or I miss things and that must be frustrating. You know how we have our time just you and I every night though ? When small girl is in bed and the boys are playing the Stupid Football Game in their rooms. That’s my listening time , if I’ve annoyed or frustrated you by being distracted come to me then , let me know. Talk things through.


I have no doubt S that you have it in you to change the world. I’ve known it since you were a matter of months old. Changing the world takes energy though , lets ensure that we have enough in the bank . The boys smelly socks or an irritating person at school aren’t worth that precious spirit of yours.


Know this though, when you do have a battle to fight or an injustice to highlight. When you feel your voice needs to be heard and you need to stand up and be counted. When you’ve considered that actually this is a battle you’ve chosen needs fighting ,  I’ll be right there beside you, female solidarity at it’s finest. If that ends up being about the boys bathroom habits or you approaching school about the lack of girls sport  or if it’s you’re standing up for someone not being treated how they should or you needing to take on Theresa May ? Well if you’ve thought about it and find it worthy of your energy then S I am with you , without question.


Love Mum


Here’s my Facebook page 

One Messy Mama

Burnished Chaos

Rhyming with Wine

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36 thoughts on “Daughter , I talk much nonsense but please listen to me on this one thing….

  1. Just wow. My daughter is 3, so I’m a whole from this yet, but EVERYTHING you have said are things I hope to pass on to my daughter. More than anything in the world, what more could we want for our children?! That’s some serious power you’re equipping your daughter with, she’s a lucky lady. Love love love this. X #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it. I think this is one of the most important lessons a person needs to learn to lead a truly happy life. Especially important with all the teenage drama that is out there now. So much harder than when we were kids. #fortheloveofblog

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! My father always told me to choose my battles wisely, and it’s advice that’s stuck with me all these years. That and “You don’t get what you don’t ask for” are probably the two most important things I learned from my parents. #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad used to also say “you don’t get what you don’t ask for”… I drove him nuts as a shy quiet person!!


  4. Such wonderful advice in such a gorgeous letter. Picking your battles wisely is such good advice – the not feeling they have to take on all the battles like telling brothers to bring dishes out of rooms and put the toilet seat down – we have the same conversations in this house about how I’m the mum let me do the mum battles! Taking a breath before responding is also excellent – so hard but so wise! In fact I could do with taking that on board more as an adult! #TweensTeensBeyond


  5. I can relate so much to this. My daughter is almost 9 and I KNOW she rolls her eyes when I start to give her the Mummy Download. But I have So.Much.To.Tell.Her! Funnily enough- you seem to have the same things to say to your daughter 🙂 I’m bookmarking this for a few years hence! A beautiful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such beautiful words and advice Kelly. I am sure we all echo your sentiment with our own daughters. So hope they listen though or, I wonder, is it something they have to work through for themselves and experience. And then learn to listen? We will get there! Really lovely to have you here for the first week of #TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point, somethings you have to figure out for yourself… Otherwise we’d all be super wise by now I suppose…. and I’m certainly not there yet!


  7. Kelly this is outstanding and could have been written for my middle daughter – it has actually made me cry. I am going to send her the link. Many of us have raised strong women and the issue now is getting them to channel that strength to their own advantage and to that of others. Thank you so much for sharing it with us at #TweensTeensBeyond and I am looking forward to reading another of your posts next week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great advice to pick your battles! Not just for teens – for us parents too.
    I have a 9 year old and 12 year old – and love parenting insights. Great post.
    If you fancy a read I just wrote a post on ’25 things I’m trying to teach my 9 year old girl’.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a brilliant letter to your daughter. My mum actually says, and keeps saying that same little snippet of advice ‘choose your battles’. I think it’s an important one and I hope to be able to pass this onto my little too. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam – such an important message. x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Apologies if I commented twice – I had a lovely comment all typed up and then my internet went wonky…

    I love this post – I am approaching these years with my daughters and I hope they can learn this lesson as well. My husband isn’t so great at choosing his battles, but I am a pro at letting the small things just go by. It really isn’t worth the effort sometimes. Standing together in solidarity is so important too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good post. Last week I read an ‘I’m not a feminist cos feminist hate men’ post and it really has gnawed at me. Even more so as I read that the actress in The Queen was paid less than her male co-stars, and as I just read the UK banking industry pay gap – shocking. It will be nice if the new generation coming through seeks to rectify that. As apparently the current one has been duped by the media into tainting feminism as ‘bad’. #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the man hating rhetoric is lost on me . I’m a feminist certainly , do I hate all men ?? Not at all , I’m trying to raise two!!!


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