Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Lone Objector: Adulting Isn't So Bad

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I have two baby adults in my house.  You know this if you've read here for even two seconds.  Miss Sunshine seems to think that being an adult is the very most hardest thing in the world.  Miss Mischief thinks it's all a bit ho-hum and is more bemused by the fact that with a half-hour drive about with someone extra in the car she is now allowed to drive all by herself.  And feels like a rebel doing so.  This is my rule-follower child.

I don't remember that becoming an adult was all that difficult and I find myself rolling my eyes every time Miss Sunshine thinks she is overwhelmed.  The child has no idea.  She is nearly 20, studying and living at home.  She works casually (for her uncle) and has enough money to keep her car on the road and buy the things she wants to buy.  Conversely, at nearly 20, I had been working full-time for two years, was married, had moved out of home and was doing just fine doing the adult thing without my parents' help.

A friend of mine recently insisted that times were different when we were that age.  And while that is kind of true, it's kind of not.  We all still have to make the transition and it comes with having to get yourself a job, make your own decisions and eventually move out of home.  We all do it.  Generations before us did, and the generations that follow will too.

In complete opposition to my oldest daughter I was quite happy to become an adult.  I have spent more than half my life making my own decisions and being responsible for those decisions.  I have figured out hard things, like how to go about building a house (I was 21 when we did that), and buying a house.  How to navigate the Centrelink labyrinth and buying insurance for cars and houses.    For goodness sake I have managed to raise three kids.  That's jolly hard work, but also the best work ever.

I wonder when it happened, that we began to focus on how hard it is to be responsible for oneself, as opposed to just getting on with the next thing that needs to be done.  My kids have often complained that "they don't feel like xyz" whatever it is they don't feel like doing.  I have just as often told them that it doesn't necessarily matter how you feel about getting out of bed/doing the dishes/doing your homework/going to work/handing in that assignment.  You just do it because it needs to be done.

Lots of being an adult is about being responsible for your obligations, whatever they are.  But lots of being an adult is getting to make fun decisions too.  I just don't think it's all as bad as it apparently seems.

Mantra for my baby adults:  You can do hard things.  Be brave!


Left-Handed Housewife said...

You got started on adulting much earlier than I did! My parents supported me through college, so that was up to the age of 22. After that I was pretty much out of the house and on my own, but I didn't get married until later (30). I think it must be harder to feel fully adult when we're still living with our parents. When I go home to visit mine, I revert to all sorts of childish ways, including letting my 80-year-old mother fuss over me and letting my dad give me money. Oh, some of us never grow up, I fear ...


Jayne M said...

I think we tend to 'help' our kids a lot more than our parents did. We just don't feel very comfortable with the sink or swim school of parenting! I have given the older two the book 'Do Hard Things' to read - not sure if it made much impact!

Emily said...

I think I had a nice, gentle slide into adulting. I went from school to uni, where I lived on campus, then moved out with my boyfriend (now husband) while still at uni, then got a job when I finished. So it was like just one major thing changed at a time. #teamIBOT

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman) said...

Oh see when I was that age, actually around 18 or so, I couldn't wait to be an adult, move out of home and do my own thing. I thrived on independence and was happy to pay my way through everything. There's something about just doing your own thing that I really loved.

EssentiallyJess said...

I had a baby when I was 20, so I had to grow up very quickly!
This makes me wonder what my own kids will be like at that age. I can see that one might struggle more than the others.

Nicole Cox said...

I also had a baby at 20, and therefor grew up rapidly, though at nearly 40, I am still growing up. My 19 year old, seems to be taking it all in her stride, though the big decisions around work and career seem to cause much trouble.