What advice would YOU give my baby?
In about 5 weeks from now, my 4th child will arrive into this world.
And WHAT a world she's coming into.
Twenty years after the birth of her eldest sister, when phones were still attached to the wall, media hadn't become social yet and coffee came in two varieties, black or white, so much has changed in our daily lives - and the lives of our kids growing up among the ever-rolling the fields of insta-filtered smashed avocados and Snapchat selfies, I find it hard to get my old, analogue head around it.
I love it, and I live it too, almost as much as the next pretty-coffee-snap Insta-over-sharer and Twitter addict.
BUT . . . the frenetic, relentless pace of life, the incessant PING! BUZZ! BEEP! of social media, the pressures of consumerism and fake life perfection, are things which sit uneasily with me, both for myself and for the way I see it affect my children, my friendships and my general wellbeing.
It all just seems to have go....TOO MUCH. So like many people know now, I hanker for a more peaceful, true, non-virtual and, maybe....more meaningful existence, in as much as I can create it amongst the cacophony of hashtags and influencers.
Maybe I'm just getting old, dusty and antiquated, much like my fallopian tubes.
Or maybe, just maybe, I'm onto something.
Either way, it feels right - and the TIME feels right.
And so to the showering!
Baby Showers have been around for decades, and generally seem to involve mountains of pretty tissue paper, garish balloons, and, increasingly, cakes shaped like penises.
Because WHO DOESN'T LIKE A PENIS CAKE??
Well, actually, call me an old penis-cake-pooper, but it's not quite my deluxe changing bag.
I'm more a sit on the sofa with a good friend or a book (often the same thing) than fill my house with giggling mums sharing prosecco-hazed stories of episiotomy disasters and floating waterbirth poos, all tied up with 'It's a Girl!' ribbon.
What I like far more, is the idea of people coming together to share not cupcakes and baby hats, but knowledge, ideas, thoughts, experiences, and . . . LIFE.
REAL LIFE. Hashtag NOFILTER.
So I've had a vaguely romantic, dreamy, possibly stupid and hormone-induced thought, that instead of showering my child with THINGS, I want to shower her with
Useful Shit We Have Learned In Our Lives, to pass on to her.
Stuff she can turn to as she grows up, learn from, be inspired by, be helped by and stimulated by...and all from you lovely lot.
So I'm asking you to shower my baby with your Useful Shit.
I will write it all down, and yes, probably share it all on social media (ahhh, the beautiful irony) and, maybe even make it into a beautiful little book, for ALL children to be given as they enter this world.
It can be anything from:
*Life advice/tips (for any stage of life, from nursery to old age!)
*BOOKS/FILMS they absolutely must read/see (and the age at which they should read/see them)
*Albums/music to see them through life (and when/why you listened to them..?)
*Amazing places they must travel to
*Best things they can ever say to someone
*kick-ass attitude advice to get them through
*How to deal with various if it happens to them
*Favourite quotes to see them through stages of life
You can be funny, rude, sincere, ballsy...whatever you like!
Swearing is absolutely fine.
Being an asshole isn't. (That's pretty much my own Rules of Life, really!)
Whether it's about friendship, love, work, wellbeing, music, style, care of self, care of others, food, career, ANYTHING - I want to gather a huge bank of this lovely, useful and inspiring stuff.
I'm ESPECIALLY interested in life and tips from around the world - as regular readers of my waffling know, I'm BIG on the whole 'global village' thing, and the different ways people do things in different countries and cultures.
I want us (and my children!) to be part of the WORLD, not just their tiny little town or country.
TO TAKE PART, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS THIS:
Send your pearly words of kick-ass Life Wisdom to me here in the comments, including your NAME, and, if you like, where you live. e.g. Jane, Norwich UK.
or Tweet them to me @lizfraser1
I will RT anything I love, and start to collate it all.
You can start right now, and over the coming weeks there will be LIVE BABYSHOWERS on Twitter, Instagram and FB, just as an expiment, to see if people enjoy it.
Thank you so much! Can't wait to read your words.
I might EVEN learn rather a lot from it myself :)