A Note on Parenting, Written by my 12 Year-Old Self by Miriam Karsten

My nesting phase started early – to maximise productivity, I told my husband. On the bigger scale, I’m now the proud owner of newly polished and sanded floorboards, a modification that took over 80% of the house over the course of a month. That in itself forced the complete reorganisation of our entire home, which might explain why I have Lazy Susan’s in my pantry that order my condiments by continent. I’ve gone through 3 spools of Dymo labels. I’m clinging desperately to the last bit order in my life that I think I’ll see in a long time.

The best bit about reorganising however, is uncovering all those gems you’ve stashed. Remnants of our early years, memories and glimpses into the youthful optimism of our past.

I’m 3 weeks away from becoming a parent, so imagine unearthing a single page of angst-ridden teenage notes, scrawled hastily in the back of a Dinky Diary circa 1992 about what I will do differently when I’m a parent. Clearly I’d had some run-in over a family outing/ clothing/ music preferences…god knows what, but it’s safe to say from this list, my parents were actually great, my taste in music was on-point and that no, I won’t be following any of my own helpful hints. And ‘Piss-ups’? How delightful. Thank goodness You Tube wasn’t around then.

So here they are in case you can’t read my appalling teenage handwriting.

What are the things you swore you’d never do as a parent?

When I am a parent, I will never:

• Make my kids go to the beach after the age of 13 with the family
• Let them be daggy
• Make them go on family outings at 13, I will let them take a friend on holiday and have their curfew to 11:00pm. (After all you are on holiday)


• Go to ‘pissups’ and bands (all ages shows)
• Have boyfriends at 12 years’ old
• Talk on the phone, NOT in excess of 45 minutes
• Buy ‘in’ clothes
• I will give them money to buy clothes
• Let them listen to Pearl Jam etc.


Miriam is a step-mama, new mama and the alter ego behind Miss Bunting – a website for those who love parties and entertaining. With over a decade working in PR & Marketing both overseas and Australia, Miriam now lives in Adelaide with her husband, and can be found attempting to grow an organic veggie patch.

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