When I was a kid, I expected to have a grand adulthood, full of traveling, a job I loved, buying what I wanted (I’m usually a reasonable spender), and surrounding myself with incredible people all the time. Sure, I’ve traveled a bit and I’m not wanting for anything, and I absolutely consider myself blessed. But the expectations I had didn’t exactly come to fruition. There are a few things about adulting that I thought would be more fun.
Buying a car. This sounds great, right? You’ve saved up, and you’re ready to buy a car! Give me the shiniest thing with the most swag, am I right?! Wrong. Google safety ratings and gas mileage, weigh your options for leather interior and a sunroof, check and recheck the budget, and figure out how many car seats you can fit. Next, see what two colors your “dream car” is even available in. Once you choose, spend an unbelievable amount of time on paperwork to actually make the car your own. Then just hope nothing goes wrong.
Owning a home. Sure, this was fun for the first few months. We bought our house in early June, right around our first anniversary, so a glorious summer of back porch parties commenced. We became pros at cooking for 15 if all those people brought beer. We played cod hole and board games out in the porch, smoked cigars, drank beer, and played obnoxiously loud music. Yes, we were those neighbors. However, once the shower leaked, the grass got way too long, and the oven just couldn’t find the temperature I set it on, I started wishing the handy man from our old apartment complex would visit my new home.
Going on vacation. The picture in your head that’s conjured by the word “vacation” varies from a person with no kids and a parent. When we planned vacations before the had kids, like our honeymoon, we only thought about how nice the hotel was and getting cheap airfare. Now when we choose a hotel, we have to question how thick the curtains are on windows, how many beds there are, whether or not they have portacribs, and if their continental breakfast includes pancakes. That’s in addition to whether or not there are big enough cities with Chick-fil-A’s at all the times along the way that our kids will need a moment to run around and we will need coffee. Because we SURE aren’t flying anywhere.
Eating and drinking whatever I want. When I was a kid and I had to eat my vegetables (and whatever else my mom made for dinner) I just thought it was because I had to do what they told me. Yeah, it’s healthy, whatever. I feel fine when I eat pizza and ice cream! Now that I’m in charge of my own diet, it’s a constant battle between what tastes good, what is healthy (read: what won’t settle directly on my hips) and what I can feasibly make/buy. Thankfully, I have no allergies, but there are definitely days where I only feel like making macaroni and cheese – not that my kids would complain. But my hips would, and I’d be sluggish to boot. Open the wine!
Staying up late. This one is a big one for me. Still having lots of single friends and a husband whose job is to play music late at night, I like to go out and stay up late. My kids aren’t terribly early risers, so I can usually get away with a late bedtime without too much problem. But boy, staying up late can sometimes wreck me for days. It feels like a two-day hangover without the alcohol. I’m a night owl by nature, so going to bed early is a challenge even if I’m at home. Throw in a threenager who thrives on a 10pm bedtime, and there’s almost no way I’m seeing my pillow before 11:30. No matter how much cajoling I do, she’s a night owl, too, and so my dishes or laundry wait till she finally decides she can crash.
Bills. Now I’m no idiot. I knew there were going to be bills. Rent, utilities, car payments, student loans… I knew these things were coming. It was the wildcards that I didn’t quite expect. Things like the ever-fluctuating price of gas, groceries to feed a family of 5, and HEALTH INSURANCE. Why have we got to pay so much to maybe need something? And who decided my health insurance should be twice my husband’s, even though we are both young and healthy? That doesn’t even count maternity coverage!
Being an adult is an adventure, and often packed with surprises. But loosen up and enjoy the ride! You’ll figure it out… eventually.