30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me: Growing Up

A while back I came across Jennifer's Blog (Baby Making Machine) and her list of "30 things my kids should know about me" and I instantly fell in love with the idea. So here I go at tackling all 30 prompts and maybe even adding on some bonus questions of my own. 

Today I'm addressing lucky #13 on the list: What’s the hardest part of growing up? 

I think, in general, one of the most difficult part of growing up is moving from a me-centric life to the opposite. When you're a baby you can do absolutely nothing for yourself and while you gain small independences (is that a real word?) over time, for most of your childhood you depend on your parents for so much.

Baby me & my dad|1988

Then adolescence comes around and for most of us we live as if the world revolves around our wants and needs as we really have no one else to care for other than ourselves. You journey into adulthood and if you're like me you eventually get engaged and married and it's all about me-me-me-us-us-us for a while due to the celebrating through parties, showers, and culminating in the beautiful wedding day!

And then for me, adulthood REALLY hit when we brought Presley home. That is the moment where it really went from me-centric to focusing my attention, efforts, energy, thoughts, etc. on a whole different little person.

Me, Tony, & Presley| first week as a family of 3|February 2012

Don't get me wrong, I have loved and cared about another person for lots of years in my husband, but he didn't depend on me in the ways a baby/toddler/child does. It's beautiful and miraculous to be a parent, but it is exhausting and there is a level of self-deprivation attached to being a stay-at-home parent specifically. (Note: there doesn't HAVE to be - and I am fully aware of that - but it is often a reality.) 

It was quite a shock bringing home a baby nine months following our wedding, especially when she wasn't in our plans for that season of our life. Moving from a life where you can do what you want whenever you want without a thought onto a life where most things require careful consideration is quite a leap. And people can warn you of just how big these changes will be but until you experience them yourself it is very hard to really grip.

So, I really miss sleeping in... but I've also gained coffee! And two beautiful, amazing children who no amount of uninterrupted sleep in the world could ever replace.

And more than the superficial challenges that come with adulthood, another struggle of coming into adulthood is the added stress and worry. Whether its meeting deadlines, paying bills, raising children, keeping up with chores (ha...ha...) - it can all feel like an awful lot at times. Those are the kinds of conversations I'm usually having with my sisters or my cousin where one or both of us end up saying, "Being an adult sucks!"

By far one of the hardest parts of growing up is losing the ones you love. It is inevitable that if we are alive then we will one day die. Just thinking about all the people you love leaving you is beyond difficult.

Queen Elizabeth II nailed it. Goodbyes are a very difficult aspect of growing older. Whether we lose the people in our life to death, growing apart, or irrevocable differences. Sometimes it's gradual and other times it is after a conscious effort on your part or theirs. But as QE2 said so well - with most of the grief we experience so much love.

The pain of losing my dad has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life because as you all know, grief is ongoing. It might get easier with time and introspection, but it never goes away. Therefore, a challenge in my life is trying to keep the anxiety at bay when thinking of all the people I love... it's a reminder I have so much to lose.

"In This Diary" by the Ataris came to mind when writing on the topic of growing up.

I guess when it comes down to it... Being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up:
These are the best days of our lives.
The only thing that matters
is just following your heart
and eventually you'll finally get it right.

All things considered, there are amazing and upsetting things about every stage of life we are fortunate enough to experience. Any difficulty we face in growing older means we are living and breathing another day and we owe it to ourselves to find ways to deal with our struggles head on.



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