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When Are You a Grown Up?
It has taken me a long time to feel like I'm actually a grown up.

I thought I'd feel like I was a grown up when I got married, but I didn't.

I thought I'd feel it when I had kids, but I didn't.

But sometime in the last decade I have crossed a line. I don't know where it was, but I am now a grown-up. And I'm trying to figure out how I define it. I might turn this into a column, but here are some of the things that make me feel grown up.

I knew I was a grown up with men when I could stop asking, "Does he like me?", and start asking, "Do I like him?".

I knew I was a grown up when I could begin to make a recipe without a recipe book and without worrying whether it was how my mother-in-law would make it.

I was a grown up when I stopped worrying what other people thought of my children's behaviour and just concentrated on being the best mom I could be.

I was a grown up when I started taking better care of myself, like caring what I looked like again and not just hiding the earrings in the drawer because I couldn't figure out how to wear them when the kids liked to pull on them. When I started prioritizing feeling good in my body, I felt like a grown up.

I was a grown up when I called my mom for her advice, and not her approval.

I was a grown up when I could calmly talk to a salesperson about what their establishment had done that was beyond the pale, instead of letting them walk all over me.

I knew I was a grown up when I could start looking at other people's kids and at teens and telling them what I honestly thought instead of being intimidated into worrying that I'd be labelled "the mean mom".

I knew I grew up when the fact that my father didn't understand me became a cause for pity for him, rather than for angst, anger, or introspection on my behalf.

I was a grown up when I started letting myself dream dreams, instead of living out the dreams of my mother, or my other family members.

I felt like a grown up when I could pray with other women in my church, even older ones, and feel like I could offer some counsel.

I felt like a grown up when I acted like others were my equals, instead of feeling insecure around those who were of higher rank or status than I was. Once I realized that didn't matter, I knew I had grown up.

I felt like a grown up when I could see someone and have a conversation and not remember until the next day that I was supposed to be mad at them. I guess I don't carry grudges anymore.

I knew I was a grown up when I could ask people over for dinner and not worry about whether they'd like what I made. I'd just cook what I liked, and figured everybody else would make do.

And I know I'm a grown up now that I can admit my faults to other people rather than trying to pretend to be perfect. I know now that there's no point in pretending.

And I feel like a grown up now because I'm realizing that this isn't my life; the next life is my real life. This is only preparation. So I think I can let go of things a lot easier now and not worry so much what other people think.

What about you? Do you feel like a grown up, or do you still struggle with it? What makes you a grown up? Please leave a comment! I'd love to know!

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5 Comments:

At 4:19 PM , Anonymous timmy boyle said…

I'm relationally wiser.
I'm emotionally stabler.
I'm spiritually stronger.
I'm physically bigger.
I'm mentally smarter.
But I've never grown up! WOO HOO!

 

At 4:36 PM , OpenID christinnjon said…

After I got my own place that I paid for to live, bought my own groceries, paid a car payment and car insurance, etc. etc. Moreso when I got married and even more after having children. Just different levels.

 

At 2:32 AM , Blogger April said…

Not until my middle thirties. It came as a part of the healing process after my mother died.

 

At 11:03 AM , Blogger Lauren said…

I LOVED this! I look forward to the day when I can be a grown-up too :)

 

At 12:06 PM , Anonymous Jen-After the Alter said…

I am 1 year married and thought that might make me a grown up but it certainly didn't! I'm not sure when I'll figure out Im a grown up, but I loved your post!

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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