15 Of The Worst Parts About “Adulting”

ducks-2683034_1920No one warned us about “adulting”, did they? When I used to come home from uni to find Post-Its stuck around the house with messages in capitals like ‘put your shoes away’ or  ‘put the lid on the toothpaste’, I thought my dad was anal – or just old – and that when he wasn’t wasting what might be his last few breaths nagging me, he was having a high old time “adulting” – doing exactly what he wanted, when he wanted and with whom he wanted.

 

I never realized until I left home that there were special clauses attached to the perks of being able to eat what you want and go to bed when you want, such as “responsibility,” “commitment” and *spitting* “conformity”.

 

We’ve been luckier than most with NC to parent us, but I extend my sympathies to those other “immature as shit” parents that don’t have the luxury of a child who is twenty-three going on fifty when the demands of being an adult are foisted upon them. While many of my gripes about “adulting” correlate rather interestingly to the sacrifices of parenting – you have to agree, that there was definitely some parent-led conspiracy to ensure we made it to adulthood for payback, at the very least.

Here are my fifteen of my biggest peeves:

  1. Giving up your dreams. I’m still smarting about being led to believe I could become a fairy, and no-one told me that being Santa or a musician wouldn’t cover the rent.
  2. Having to give up that last cube of chocolate or hot chip – worse, that last drop of wine or piece of cheese – because it’s the right thing to do.
  3. The culmination of nos 1 + 2 = Being a role model.
  4. Having to act like all grown up at parent nights and uni tours.
  5. Having to think about what you CAN eat rather than what you WANT to eat once the concept of mortality kicks in. I miss you bacon.
  6. Having to do housework, not because you a) like it or b) are good at it, as the old man suspects, but because if you don’t do it you will be blamed for the massacre of your entire family when they die of some horrible disease caused by the bacteria squatting in your bench top.
  7. Brown-nosing at work – anyone hear the term “office politics” when you had the ‘follow your dreams’ talk’ with your parents? Thought not. No one warned you about many paid hours you’d spend biting your lip, hiding in the toilets inscribing the name of the person you hated the most into the cubicle door and watching your back in the photocopying room.
  8. Having to drink responsibly – the Urban Dictionary’s definition: ‘Realizing that just because you CAN drink doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea.’
  9. Being the responsible driver – FML.
  10. Requiring sleep to function like a rational human being.
  11. Being the nominated lifesaver – apparently, this means that rather than throwing your kid to the shark to save your life, you are expected to offer up your own.
  12. Money management. Who knew how much easier it is to spend than to save?
  13. Accountability – being made to feel bad even when you’re trying your best.
  14. Responsibility for the Internet – the knowledge that the mental health of your family rests on the flashing green light on your modem.
  15. Role modeling – or did I mention that already?

 

Anything to add?

When Will I Feel Grown Up Enough To Wear Grown-Up Clothes?

I know you’re probably thinking that this post is a replica of the one I wrote when I went through the trauma of finding a dress for my dad’s wedding earlier this year, but a second verbal vent is required after my most recent experience of trying to dress this sad, old middle-aged body. shopping-606993_1280

 

When the fuck are retailers going to cater for those of us middle-aged women who aren’t ready for floral tent-age and swathes of fabric un-tactfully placed to conceal our post-partum lumps?

How am I supposed to recover some of the confidence I used to have in my body when the world expects me to hide it away so I don’t offend anyone?

And how many Christmas cookies is too many?

 

After two separate, arduously soul-destroying and unproductive sessions at the mall -mission being to find a dress to wear on Christmas Day – I did something highly impulsive the other night. I ordered a dress online.

 

Obviously an excursion towards madness that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster and the meringue will be going straight back to the online store – mainly because Christmas is not fancy dress and so my version of brandy custard was probs not appropriate. But it’s a shame, because the experience highlighted my continuing sensitivity about this new body of mine and I thought I’d matured and accepted that it’s not what it was a long time ago. It’s not like I’m the star of the Christmas Day show anyway – apparently Jesus is, (although I’m sure NC will give him a run for his money) – but the Leo in me always wants to make an entrance, refuses to lie down and give in to the part of the ageing process that has gathered for Christmas to party on down in the zone where my stomach used to be.

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve treated myself to a new outfit to wear on Christmas Day. It goes back to my childhood, when one of mum’s traditions was that no matter how tight the finances were, at least we would look our best, in much the same way that we always wore decent underwear in case we were involved in an accident.

 

Sadly, my *cough* size 14, middle-aged body is not catered for in the high street stores and I’m learning to interpret the pitying looks the sales assistants throw my way when I make such a ridiculous request – but I can’t deny that acceptance of that is a slow and painful journey, and it’s Sods Law that since I’ve found some level of grace in relation to my rounder edges, every other middle-aged woman I see in the street appears diminutive.

 

Which is why I reached that level of desperation after hours of trawling around various malls, by the end of which I honestly would have sold my children for the perfect dress. I’d even ventured onto that hallowed floor in DJs where where the assistants look down their noses at you unless you are carrying a Calvin handbag , but fortunately no-one took me seriously enough in my Havaianas and Uniqlo dress for me to waste my hard-earned cash on what I know is effectively one dress for one day.

 

After which I decided to change my tactics completely and take a peek at the ranges that cater to my age group – that aren’t maternity – and the racks of voluminous, frumpy dresses that fashion experts believe us poor women who wear the scars of reproduction, hormone combustion and a talent for eating lots of cake, truly deserve. And I nearly puked.

 

I couldn’t do it. I might feel fucking old some days but I’m not ready to give in yet, no matter how much shop assistants try to convince me that flora-vomit pasted over my body and fuchsia tones suit me, or how well a kaftan swamps hides those awkward bits. I don’t feel grown up enough to wear grown-up women’s dresses yet.

 

Have you given in?

 

‘Experimentation’ Is A Big Part Of Being A Teenager

 

Experimentation Is Part Of Being A Teenager
Found on fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net

 

I am obviously the very LAST person in Australia to watch Puberty Blues.

 

For those of you who haven’t seen this wonderful Australian television series, Puberty Blues is set in the seventies, near Sydney’s Cronulla beach, and depicts the journey through puberty and the coming of age of two close friends, Sue and Debbie. It also follows the lives of their parents and parents’ friends and their intriguing foray into early middle age.

 

There is a lot of sex, humor and then some more sex.

 

If you are the parents of teenagers who prefers to remain in denial at what REALLY goes down at those ‘gatherings’ they go to, you might want to give the series a miss. If you have children approaching puberty, probably best avoid it too.

 

BUT I’M ADDICTED TO IT!

 

Admittedly though, I’m also pretty relieved that I missed the series around the time that NC was going through her own ‘coming of age’ trials – I may not have trusted her quite as implicitly as I did. And I still have Kurt to consider, although I’ve found that the learning processes of parenting are often easier with the second child – even if that child is completely bonkers.

 

What you do have to remember if you watchPuberty Blues is that it is set in a very different period to our current teenage climate. And I’d love to be able to say that the approach to sex, the sexual hierarchy and domination by the young males in the series have since disappeared too.

 

But, sadly, having a teenage daughter ‘out there’,  I know that’s not altogether true.

 

Nevertheless, there has been a huge shift in attitude towards equality and respect for women since the seventies, and more importantly, a massive change in attitude by women about themselves and their choices.

 

That’s not to say that most parents wouldn’t readily lock up their daughters as soon as they started ‘developing’. But as that’s not going to happen, so all we can really do is be super-vigilant for them, to keep on warning them about the hidden dangers, respect the decisions they make and their responsibility to themselves.

 

I attended a wonderful meeting recently where a lovely young woman in her early twenties gave us parents an insight into her journey with ADHD. Her story was a positive one, although not without its challenges.

 

One of the mums said, ‘I get so tired of being on my son’s back all the time and being forcibly pushed away by him. I’m scared of alienating him. Should I just give up and let him make his own mistakes?’

 

‘Never give up,’ she replied, ‘in the end that was what got me through.’

 

Like every parent of teenagers, we have suffered excruciating nights of agony when NC forgot to phone home when she said she would, or when her phone died or she missed the last bus home, and sometimes I am surprised that we lived to tell the tale. (Although the grey hair is a perpetual reminder). And there is no doubt in my mind that Kurt will provide us with just as many grey hairs in the coming years.

 

But their ‘coming of age’ experiences have helped remind me of my own escapades at their age, which some parents often forget about. And I made stupid decisions too.

 

Sexual and social ‘experimentation’ is part of growing up and the friends I know in my forties who are dissatisfied with their lot are often those women who missed out on the opportunity to experiment.

 

Would I be as fulfilled now in my life if I hadn’t thrown up in an alleyway or ended up in bed with a stranger at some point during our life?

 

I don’t think so.

 

But for some, I believe that the grass remains greener across the fence because they never checked out the other field.

 

As long as our children are allowed to experiment on their own terms (and not under pressure from their peers), we have to trust their decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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