Mom Offers Advice for College-Bound Daughter in Text Message-Sized Nuggets

As we raise our kids, we hope that important nuggets of wisdom are getting through to them. But how much are they really hearing? And are we remembering everything? Mom Becky Blades realized there was so much she needed her daughter to know before leaving for college that she wrote all of her advice in a long letter. Her daughter suggested she turn it into a book, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.

Blades decided to write the bookDo Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone, in such a way that young adults with relatively short attention spans will absorb: no longer than an average text message.

“They’re in this short attention span stage of life,” she said in a recent interview. “Our best communications happen in text. It’s kind of that irritating motherly voice that we know and love, but at that stage in life they really don’t like to hear it.”

She covers almost every topic imaginable, from birth control to laundry to good posture, and mostly all with snark or humor firmly in place.

And we blame ourselves, or I did. I think it has to do with time and how much they have to do. The other piece is the things that they have to do to fill their time. When we were free range humans, we went looking for things to do and family was kind of that place, and things were just kind of absorbed. Your mom said, “Here, do the laundry, here’s how.” My oldest was very ambitious and very driven and I gave her a laundry pass. She could hardly get her studies done. We help too much.

Here are some of her tidbits of wisdom from the book:

  • Friends don’t let friends: drive drunk, text while driving, get discount body art.
  • Reinvent yourself as often as you want. Just keep the essence that makes you you.
  • Check your paycheck. Make sure you know how much you are being paid and what is being taken out.
  • Look people in the eye. You’ll discover this is hard to do while looking at your phone.
  • Listen. No, but really listen.
  • Buy a sewing kit and learn to use it.
  • Cotton always shrinks, so buy big. Wool shrinks when you get it wet, and shrinks some more when you dry it.
  • And, for heaven’s sake, do your laundry regularly. Try every week. Do it before you run out of clean underwear.

The book is due out this month from Sourcebooks and it’s currently available for order at Amazon. It can be a great gift for recent grads. And it even includes some blank pages at the end for parents to write their own words of wisdom.