A few months ago, I heard my daughters use the word adulting in a sentence. Adulting. I ever knew the word existed until that moment. Now that my high school seniors are seeing the reality of high college costs, the word “adulting” has crept into their vocabulary.
For them “adulting” is doing tasks and activities that pertain to getting a job, paying bills, and managing one’s time and money.
Given the task to get a job to pay for being added to our car insurance policy, my youngest daughter plastered Indeed with her resume. After two solid months of diligent effort, she finally got asked to some job interviews.
After the final interview, she flopped into my arms and stated that she felt like she’d had 700 job interviews. In actuality, it was only three job interviews. She was offered positions with all three. She had choices to make. Adulting choices.
My baby girl, with her flopped arms around me slowing becoming a tightly squeezed hug, did not want to let go of me. She whined, “Do I have tooooo…do this adulting? …uuuugh!”
What I wanted to say was simply, “Yes.”
Adulting: The Real Deal
But, I had to meet her where she was emotionally or else she wouldn’t hear anything I really wanted to say. For instance, I really wanted to say that “adulting” is not a real word. But if you insist it is a real word, then it’s really a gerund form of an adjective which is describing a noun. That noun—adult—is a being. And you are being an adult by
- Seeing and understanding the fiscal realities of car insurance.
- Strategizing, planning, and following through on your plans to secure honest employment to meet your fiscal responsibilities.
- Being honest about your feelings but not letting them deter your making optimal and wise choices.
But I didn’t get to say all that. I didn’t have to…in that moment.
As her (adult) mom, I needed to help her shake off the tension. So I held her; gave her a big ssssqueeeeeze.
Then out of my heart, my mouth poured words of praise and affirmation of how well she’d been handling the process of becoming an adult.
I refrained from having one of my sentimental “mommy moments.“ I simply complimented her on her intellect, beauty, resourcefulness, and engaging personality.
The next week, my heart was full of excitement for her as she got herself—her notebook, bag, and stuff—ready to drive our car on her own to her new job!
As she headed out the door, she gave me a hug and squeeze, and asked, “Can we just watch Survivor on TV when I get home?”
I said, “Yes.”
As I looked forward to chilling out and relaxing with her after her first day of gainful employment, I smiled. It was cool to see aspects of myself in her expressed in her own way. I wondered what her first day—of “adulting”—would be like. It’s quite different from her first day of school. Or is it?
Either way, I look forward to welcoming her to Adulting 102.