Things I learnt from my father

The other day I had to fix my laptop, a mundane task. However, throughout the process I heard my dad’s voice telling me what to do and how to fix it and even to back up everything just before I wiped it accidentally. A lucky escape! This got me thinking, my dad taught me how to fix a laptop but he also taught me many other things that have shaped my view on the world and how I conduct myself. I never really acknowledged some of these things until now but it seems appropriate to make a post just over two years after his death to show how he really did affect and teach me things that would last a lifetime. This is a list of things my father taught me and that I am still trying to use in my everyday life.

Things I learnt from my father:

  1. Never make excuses. You either have a good reason or you don’t.
  2. Don’t bullshit anyone and eventually they will stop bullshitting you. Only do this if you are willing to take people’s true opinions.
  3. Respect yourself completely.
  4. Even the longest and darkest nights end.
  5. Earn people’s respect. Then work to keep it.
  6. Never break a promise.
  7. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
  8. You will end up where you need to be, just trust yourself and enjoy the journey.
  9. Don’t tempt fate.
  10. Friends are common, good friends are rare and enemies are earned.
  11. Stand up for what you believe in even if you stand by yourself. The buck stops with you.
  12. You’ll go through hell…
  13. but sometimes life is very very good.
  14. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Work for it.
  15. If you love someone, show them.
  16. Offer no context. The people who matter don’t need it and no one else will listen anyway.
  17. Always apologise for your temper, especially when you lose it.
  18. Love what you do.
  19. Follow your dreams while you are young, while you can.
  20. Stop worrying.


The Mothers – Or Promises to My Future Child:

Welcome to the ‘Look At All The Women’ Carnival: Week 2 – ‘The

This post was written especially for inclusion in the
three-week-long ‘Look At All The Women’ carnival, hosted by Mother’s Milk Books, to celebrate the launch of
Cathy Bryant’s new book ‘Look At All The Women’. This week our
participants share their thoughts on the theme ‘The
(the second chapter in Cathy’s poetry

Please read to the end of the post for a full list of carnival


Look At All The Women Blog Carnival: The Mothers

Promises to My Future Child:

I am turning into my mother. I can confidently say this even though I am only twenty years old. I maybe expected this to start happening at fifty, sixty years of age. But not now. Yet, I catch myself saying something, or giving someone a certain stare and I just think “my life, I am turning into my mother.”

And do you know what? I am okay with this. I have learnt a tremendous amount from my mother. I can list a whole load of advice she has given me that works.

Walk as if you have somewhere to be

No one can see the butterflies in your stomach – just pretend they aren’t there

You don’t always have to follow the recipe

Make lists

Prevention is better than cure

You can only do your best (however)

Always try your best

And much more that I incorporate into day to day life. I owe her a massive thank you. She got me through my father’s death, she is helping me get through an eating disorder, she helped me growing up, she is just a brilliant mother. Always there, always supportive. She allows me to make mistakes, but has taught me enough that I know I will never stray too far from the right path.

When I am a mother, I want to be like her. I am only twenty years old, but right now I know there are some promises that I will make based on the things I have been taught from my mother.

Dear baby,

  1. I promise that I will encourage you to do exercise. You might be bad at sports, you might have no coordination, but we will try a load and find one that you like. It is easier to be fit and active from a younger age than an older one, and you will thank me later.
  2. I promise that I will encourage you to try lots of different hobbies. There might be the violin, the guitar, horse riding, rugby, canoeing, art, writing, whatever you want to try and whatever I can think of that you might like. I will make you try certain things, but after a few times, if you still don’t like it I will never force you to continue.
  3. I promise that I will make you try lots of different foods, lots of different times. If you still don’t like it then after quite a few times, I will stop. I won’t force you to eat something you truly hate.
  4. I promise that I will make you eat vegetables. However, there will always be pudding.
  5. I promise that I will help you with your homework. Yes, that means you will be made to do it on the day you receive it whenever possible. I will give you the best work ethic possible. However, if you get stuck, I will help. I will not do it for you though.
  6. I promise I will read bedtime stories to you until you want to start reading them yourself.
  7. I promise if we get to a really good part of the book, we can extend your bedtime for a bit longer to read it together.
  8. I promise I will actually make you have a bedtime. You don’t want to be grumpy in the morning and I don’t want to deal with you being grumpy. You might not want to go to bed, but I do. However, if there is a special occasion, a special reason, or just something really cool on TV, I will let you off sometimes. But it will be a special treat.
  9. I promise to write you your own stories, where you are the hero or heroine and go on lots of adventures, hopefully some will become reality.
  10. I can’t promise everyday will be a happy day; however I do promise that whenever you are upset, I will let you cry it out. I will let you feel what you need to feel and then I will make you something nice to eat, or we will go to the cinema. I will never let you feel like you don’t deserve your own emotions.
  11. I promise I will always try to cheer you up after you have finished crying, or being angry.
  12. I promise we will sit down as a family at teatime and eat tea together as much as possible. We will hear about your day, and we will take an interest in whatever you want to share.
  13. I promise, as long as you know not to do anything dangerous or incredibly stupid, if you don’t want to share something, you don’t have to. You are entitled to your own secrets.
  14. I promise, if you ever tell me you want to talk, I will drop everything and let you talk. You are the most important thing.
  15. I promise whatever career path you want to try, I will support you as much as I can. Even if it happens to be a hard career, or one with unlikely odds to get into, or one that doesn’t make much money: if it makes you happy, I will help you chase your dream.
  16. I promise to be nice to your friends. I won’t try to make them laugh, and I won’t try to embarrass you on purpose. But you will most likely be embarrassed anyway, so I might give you some extra spending money to make up for it.
  17. I promise if you do something wrong, I will tell you off and tell you why you are wrong. I will not let you off, you will face consequences. Not because I want to punish you, but you deserve to know the difference between right and wrong. I know you will be a good person and will be better than whatever you have done wrong, so I will respect you enough to not let you go down the wrong path.
  18. However, I promise I will always forgive you. We all make mistakes, I will let you make yours and let you learn from them. Hell, make some mistakes FOR me. As long as you learn, love, have fun and are a good person at heart.
  19. I promise I will not lie to you. If you ask for the truth, I will respect your wishes and give you the truth.
  20. I promise to love you unconditionally, support you, hold you, and be with you until the day I die. I will pass on everything my mother taught me, and hopefully this will be a good grounding for your life. She set me on the right path; I will try my best to do the same. I promise I will be there. I promise you will always have a home. I promise you will always have my heart.

I promise.

Kimberly Jamison


Book cover for Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant
At All The Women by Cathy Bryant

Look At All The Women is now available to buy from:

The Mother’s Milk Bookshop (as a paperback and PDF)
– we can ship books around the world!

and as a paperback from

It can also be ordered via your local bookshop.

If you’d like to get involved in the ‘Look At All The Women’ carnival
please find more details about it here:

Please take the time to read and comment on the following fab posts
submitted by some wonderful women:

‘Moments with Mothers and (Imaginary) Daughters’
Cathy Bryant, guest posting at Mother’s Milk Books,
shares more poetry from Look At All The Women — her own version
of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ and a poem inspired by her imaginary daughter.

‘The Cold Cup of Tea’Marija
shares some poetry that gives a glimpse into the everyday
life of a mother.

‘Creative Mothers: You Need to Stop!’
Georgie St Clair, shares an important reminder, that
all mothers need to dedicate time and space to be creative.

‘The Mothers – Or Promises to My Future Child’:
Kimberly Jamison posts to her blog The Book Word what
she has learnt from her own mother, and writes an open letter to her
future child.

‘Bonobos are my Heroines’: Ana Salote at
Colouring Outside the Lines puts the nature back into

Stephanie from Beautiful Misbehaviour wants to challenge
society’s treatment of the post-birth body.

Helen at Young Middle Age talks about finding
strength from thinking about all the other mothers, during hard times.