Adulting ~ Suddenly You Are On Your Own
Suddenly you are out of school and on your own. How much did you really know about adulting at that point?
Totally Unprepared ~ A Description That Fit Me!
I was totally unprepared for the adult world. I graduated high school at 17 and moved out of my parents’ home with basically no clue about SO many things. For various reasons, the home I was raised in didn’t teach independent living skills at all. My dad wasn’t into giving options or teaching critical thinking skills. His mantra was basically, “his way or the highway.” Input from anyone else was not allowed and definitely no discussion that involved anyone under the age of 25 or 30. My mother was the epitome of a 1950’s housewife. Her husband’s word was the final word. Consequently “adulting” skills were not something taught to my sisters or I.
Budgeting? Menu Planning? What’s That??
Budgeting skills were non-existent and it took me years to learn how to effectively manage money. Having a checking account and balancing it monthly was a foreign concept. I finally learned how to do it correctly from a gracious teller at the bank.
Menu Planning? No Clue!
Menu planning, shopping and cooking in a way that would be both healthy and economical was another area in which I was lost. While living in our parents’ home, my siblings and I were allowed to do some baking. We never were taught meal planning or cooking of anything more difficult than homemade pizza (which I learned how to make in Home Economics Class.)
Having gone through the Depression when meat was rationed and a rare commodity, our mother had no intention of letting her teenage kids “cook” the meat for a family meal. Way too much chance they might ruin it. While I understand her reluctance, it didn’t help our learning process at all.
Thank You Betty Crocker
My menu planning and cooking skills were learned (after I left home) by constantly referring to the Betty Crocker cookbook that someone had given me. Thank you, Betty Crocker, for not letting me starve to death and teaching me enough of the basics that in upcoming years my family didn’t starve either.
Home Ownership? No Clue!!
I knew nothing about home ownership. No clue why it might be benefit me economically to own rather than rent. No clue about down payments, mortgages, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, home inspections prior to loan approval. None of it. Those lessons were finally learned in my 20’s when my ex and I bought our first home. Thankfully he knew more about the process than I.
Are We Doing Better? Are We Teaching Our Children/Grandchildren?
I’ve always felt my sisters and I were completely shortchanged in the “adulting” skills that kids needed for successful independence. Because of that, I tried to make sure that my own children learned the necessary skills while they were living at home.
What skills are your children or grandchildren learning? Are they learning responsible money management? Savings strategies? The basics of investments? Do they take part in menu planning and are they learning about nutritional requirements for good health? Can they plan menus that are nutritional and economical? Are they then able to shop for the ingredients needed for those menus and cook all the dishes? Are they discussing “life” issues with you? Learning critical thinking skills? Learning how to make solid decisions based on the best information available?
Adulting Is Tough!
Adulting is tough and our kids and grandkids still need to know that we will be there as a sounding board and a resource when they need us. However, the times that they will need us will be less if we have done a good job of preparing them for the issues that they will need to address as adults.
My Gratitudes For Today
1 – The Husband and our kids and grandkids.
2 – Betty Crocker cookbooks. She taught me a lot in those pages and stands by me today as a trusted resource.
3 – Fresh grapefruit, lemons and oranges that are growing on our trees here in AZ. Picking fruit fresh from the tree has a totally different flavor! Huge improvement over fruit bought in the store.
4 – Priority Mail Express Flat Rate boxes from USPS that allow us to ship fruit from our trees to family in Washington and Minnesota. It’s there within 2-3 days and fresh as the day it came off our trees! What a fun thing to share with those who are having such nasty winters this year.
5 – Farmers Markets – wintering in the south and summering in the north means I have year around access to Farmers Markets with their astounding array of fresh fruits and vegetables, art works, home made soaps and so much more.