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What does "adult" really mean? - Page 3

post #41 of 43

The teens spend a week doing leadership training, they spend a week doing community service, and they spend a week running a local childrens' program.  It is a really neat program.  It is through our church, but a number of teens that do not attend our church have participated through the years as well.  The teens really enjoy their time together, the community benefits from their service, and the kids in the area also get some great older kid role-models to emulate.  It's win-win-win. :)

 

Tjej

post #42 of 43
I think there is also a certain level of "adult-ness" that happens when one has kids. There's something about the exhaustion that puts life into perspective.


My DH and I got married and had kids much earlier than the people I grew up with. My friend did the same. I always felt we were much more on par than the rest of our schoolmates etc that we kept track of on FB who were still childless. It just seemed like a foreign concept to me, to be unmarried and childless throughout much of your 20's. Like, they had a job where they got respect, only themselves to spend their income on, they could travel when they wanted, sleep in when they wanted, take a sick day, etc. it just seems like, on a conscious level I know they had responsibilities too, and maybe they were MORE responsible than I was (maybe putting off kids until they were more financially stable) but when you're realistically only responsible for yourself, and maybe a boyfriend (or even a husband) and a cat or something, I think your whole perspective on life is different than when you have kids.

When you're a kid, your parents give you a curfew. When you're a parent, your kids give you a curfew (if you can even afford a babysitter). When you're a young, childless adult... you can go flit around for the whole weekend, if you want. Or go to the gym whenever you want. Or read a book from start to finish. Or decorate your home without wondering if the kids can hurt themselves on the furniture. Or a million other things that if you're childless, you can just *do* because you have the freedom to do so. I read in one book recently that everyone should "just take an hour every morning and do yoga" - yeah, right! Like I have an hour to myself every morning! That's a laugh.

And if it sounds like I'm jealous, heck no, I love my life the way it is. I *chose* to have a family early, and I would do it all over again. There's nothing I want more than to be in a functioning family, have twelve million kids and five dogs. I can't even quite imagine what I would do with a whole decade of me-time to myself (assuming someone plans to have kids in their 30's) and I'm sure they can't imagine how trapped I must feel (I don't).

Not to mention the stigma of having kids is huge (childfree movements, anyone?) so that sometimes takes some character-building to deal with, as well.

I don't feel that you can't be an adult without kids... I just think that it's more a significant of a change than any other transition *I've* been through. I felt "adult" at 17 (emotional/mental maturity); more adult when I moved to another city than my parents for college; more adult still when I got a grown-up job and moved in with my boyfriend (now-husband). But nothing has compared to how "adult" I feel since having kids.
post #43 of 43
Seawitch, good post. That part about kids giving us a curfew, I never thought of it that way, but yeah that is true for sure.

I think the realization that I was responsible for the health and well being of another human, a tiny, utterly vulnerable one at that, forced me to grow up really quick. Maybe being a youngest child myself, who had never been responsible for younger siblings, made the change more abrupt.
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