Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grown Up Stuff

This morning as I prepared Cate’s school lunch, dressed her in her uniform, did her hair and supervised their teeth brushing and face washing after breakfast I realized I was her mother. Okay, maybe that sounds weird because I have been her mother for over five years and I’m the mother to X, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I AM a grown up!

When I think of my mom and how she raised us I always think of her as an adult, a grown up with all the answers, calm and collected; a regular know-the-answer-to-everything, well groomed, working, cooking, got-it-together grown up. When I think of myself I do NOT reflect that image! I’m wondering, when will I feel like an adult?

I’m in my mid forties, have consistently had a job since I was 16, currently have a great, challenging job with a well respected firm, pay my bills, married, have kids, etc. etc, etc. Yet, I still think of myself as a rookie.

It’s crazy. I know it. This week I have very, very adult things to deal with: the finalization of my will renewal (gotta get X in there finally), shopping for life insurance here in the UK, discussing the new roof and improvements on our house in the US with my sister (co-owner), dealing with X’s school fees, booking my flight to New York (for business) and going out with a very important work project.

Fen and I were just talking about this the other day. I keep saying I’m waiting for my grown up life to start. He insists it’s here already – and I know it is, but I still call anyone older than me (or anyone in a position of power: doctor, policeman, teacher) Mr or Mrs, I will help the crotchety old bird upstairs with her shopping bags (even if she constantly complains about the noise from the kids), I wait my turn, I will put my hand up to speak in a meeting (unless I’m running it) and a host of other things drilled into me during my Catholic school upbringing.

The day my daughter was born and they handed her over to me I realized I was actually responsible for another human being. It was an awesome, overwhelming and frightening realization. Even though we had months to prepare for our child, when they handed her to me minutes after leaving the delivery room I was surprised. I wanted to ask why they were handing her to me – surely there was someone in the hospital who knew what they were doing. I thought it was a mistake! Yeah, it wasn’t, and I took over, quickly and responsibly. No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows my children better than I do. I guess that really does make me a mother and an adult. But I still don’t feel like one!

Maybe I’m resisting responsibility or possibly in denial. Because one thing is for sure, I take care of my family and I’m and NOT afraid to speak up to get what I need. But being utterly respectful, of course.


  1. I know how you feel...sometimes I wonder 'why do I have to be the adult??'. I feel 12, 16 on a good day...so it always surprises me when people look to me for answers!

  2. I shouldn't worry: you'll just have got the hang of being a grown up when your daughter becomes a teenager and you discover that, as far as she's concerned, you know nothing at all and couldn't possibly advise her!


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