A Message to My Kids about Adulting

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We talk a lot about Adulting in our house. And by we, I mean the kids and I. Yes, that’s right. The kids and I give each other a lot of high fives and butt smacks and ‘Atta Girls for Adulting.

Adulting: Forcing yourself to do crap you don’t really want to do because you’d rather do something else or you’re afraid you don’t know how to do it.

As my kids have gotten older, it seems almost daily they’re faced with new and sometimes challenging situations, and I keep hearing myself coach them the same way I coach myself through this whole Adulting thing.

It’s not that I’m BETTER at Grown Up Tasks or that I LIKE doing them. It’s just that one day you realize, if you don’t do this stuff, then who will? There’s a cost to not having your shit together. And it can be pretty expensive. (Like $70 in overdue library fines expensive. Because that’s the type of badassery we commit around here.)

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I vividly remember being in high school and lying on that luxurious red shag carpet and worrying about how to be an adult. (Can you even imagine? RED SHAG. It went with the tulip wallpaper. Bless.) In my neon green Champion sweatshirt and oversized scrunched down socks, I wondered, ‘How does everyone do this? Buy a house and a car and pay bills and all of this scary stuff. How do they know how to do it? It seems like a lot. Will I be able to? Will I be okay? What if I’m not good at it?’ But somehow, I’m doing it!

So this is what I want my kids to remember about Adulting:

None of us knows exactly what we’re doing.

And the way through Adulting never really changes:

  • Ask yourself what you already know about the situation
  • Ask questions or advice of the people around you
  • Ask for help

I used to be embarrassed to ask for help. But now I have absolutely no problem saying to someone, “You know what? This is not in my wheelhouse, so I don’t really understand it. Can you explain it again? And again? Okay, one more time…”

It seems like after I do something I’ve been putting off or that I wasn’t sure about, I almost always have the same reaction: It really wasn’t so hard after all and I’m not sure why I was scared to do it.

And the best part of Adulting is once you DO get your stuff done, you can sleep better at night. You can stop obsessing over the phone call you haven’t made yet. The bill you haven’t paid. The errand you were supposed to run last week. You can relax and enjoy yourself, guilt free.  Unless you have to work. And in that case, get your butt out the door, because let’s face it, work is the cornerstone of Adulting.

If you’re still feeling stuck though, there’s just one other invaluable skill necessary for successful Adulting: Googling. No shame in my game, y’all.

What thing in your life says, “Hey Look! I’m Adulting!” like no other? I’d love to hear it!

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