My son is rapidly approaching the age I was when I became a parent (23!). There was no such thing as “adulting” back then. 18 really was the age of adulthood (even if you couldn’t buy a drink legally to prove it). When I became pregnant in 1995 I had been working for 7 years in a variety of cool jobs that always paid the bills, traveled across most of America, and graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. I had an excellent credit score that allowed us to buy a house and open our own business. It was hard, but attainable, to actually work and afford a good life. Fast forward to 2017 where the concept of being an adult has now become a verb:
I get it. The world is completely different today. It’s not easy to do grown up things when your job pays you well but it still won’t cover the rent. Let alone utilities/phone/food/gas/car insurance and don’t even get me started on healthcare! I’m 45 and still hate figuring that out. Making financial decisions when finances are lacking is agonizing for everyone. And these are just the material concerns, never mind all of the internal struggles of “finding yourself” in your twenties. I’ve told both of my children growing up that they should spend their twenties exploring because it is such an important age for self-discovery.
There is no magical day when you are bopped on the head and considered a proper adult. My Nonny once told me she would sometimes look in the mirror and be shocked at the old woman’s face gazing back at her, because inside she always felt 18. Truth is, most of us do. Adulting is hard, so in an effort to help our kids along the way, we’ve set up a few milestones to celebrate:
- Taking a long-distance road trip without your parents
- Building up a strong savings & checking account
- Paying for your own car insurance and maintenance
- Setting up your own doctor’s appointments and managing medications/therapies
- Making a big purchase without help (it’s puppies and motorcycles over here)
- Maintaining structure/routine/daily habits without reminders:
- groceries & cooking
What are some other things that you would consider ‘adult milestones’? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject so be sure to leave a comment.
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