Tuesday, April 18, 2017


My youngest explained to her older brother last week that she was faced with a mountain of work she simply did not want to do. She was struggling to find the motivation to tackle tasks she needed to complete. "I guess I just have to push ahead and do the next thing," she sighed, "whether I feel like doing it or not."

Her brother's response? "Welcome to adulthood!"

I have been a mom - nonstop, 24/7 - for almost three decades. Have I ever had days when I thought, "You know, I just really don't want to do the mom thing today?" Yes, indeedy. But then, I did the mom thing anyway.

You can't really skip work when your job is The Mom. Kids have to be fed and clothed and nurtured, whether Mom is having a good day on the job or not. Kids are such great motivators!

If you are a mom or a teacher or a cashier at WalMart, being an adult means taking responsibility for the things you need to do, whether you're psyched about doing them or not.

Adulting 101: Doing things you don't particularly want to do - because they need to be done and it's your job to do them.

Sometimes, I take on more responsibilities than I ought. Sometimes, I say "Yes" too many times - and then feel overwhelmed by the number of things that must be done. My problem is not that I have so much work to do, but that I need to learn to say "No."


Saying "No" is a lesson in which I frequently need a refresher course.

Adulting 102: Learning to say No - how to have reasonable expectations and to limit your workload to something that vaguely resembles what is actually humanly possible.

You work hard, right? So, you know what? You deserve a break.

We all need time to relax, do something fun, and recharge our batteries. Yeah...but maybe not today. Maybe today, what I really need is to knock out those writing assignments, so that tomorrow I can enjoy some play time.

Adulting 103: Delaying gratification - rest is much more restful when it is free from the stress of a looming deadline or an unfinished assignment.

I don't know about you, but for me, as a parent, I want my children to grow into mature adults. Yes, I want them to be happy and to enjoy life - but the truth is, life isn't always going to be - isn't always going to feel like - a Saturday picnic in the park.

Will they (will I?) have the discipline to do what needs to be done, whether they feel like it or not? Will they have the wisdom to limit themselves to making realistic commitments? Will they appreciate the value of delayed gratification?

I don't want my kids to content themselves with some kind of weak, whiny, perpetual childhood. I want them to aspire to vigorous adulthood.

Adulting 104 - What would YOU add to the above list? Share in the comments!

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