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Every single day without fail I walk past a mirror, babe in arms, and think: who am I? Who is this person with two children at the age of 27? How did I go from being the person I was before the babies to the person I am now? Where did my old irresponsible life go?
It has all seemed to happen so quickly (real time: three years ago, pretty much to the day). Pregnancy, babies, countryside, houses, baking, moving. What happened to the old me? I don’t miss that time, much, but I do miss the freedom. The times when you could take off without giving anyone else a second thought, though the closest I got to doing this was driving to IKEA spur-of-the-moment when I was 17. Wild, I know.
I remember being a teenager, when all that grown-up stuff is merely a glimmer of stress in your future. If I could write a letter to my teenage self, this is what I would say I have to look forward to:
– Buying houses: hopefully in the next year or so our house up north (currently tenented) will sell and we can look at buying a southern palace of our own. Easier said than done; our old house was bought at the height of the market 6 years ago yet a comparable place down here will cost twice as much. Plus we’ve both gone self-employed since. The next two years will be a time of tightening belts, organizing finances and dreaming of the next step.
– Taxes: nothing bores me more than taxes, whether it’s council tax (EXPENSIVE!), car tax or HM Revenue and Customs phone calls, which are legendary painful.
– Cars and all that jazz: I love to drive a nice car and we’ve been in the market for new wheels since our sunroof started leaking last year (fine for summer, damp for winter). I find the MPHs, ABS, MPGs and PAS a bit ARGH but at least it’s easy to compare car insurance these days with one of those online tools.
– Work: having to earn a living is such a drag. Seriously though, remember when you didn’t have to think about where your money came from? I’ve had a job from the age of 15 and remember when I earned £80 a week – it felt like a bloody fortune. I’d be lucky to feed our family for a week on that much now. Not including wine, obviously.
– Disciplining and potty training: I actually think that one thing I’m pretty good at is discipline. Elfie is so very well-behaved and I know I can take her to any situation outside the home and she will do us proud. Potty training, on the other hand…. ugh. Cleaning pee off the floor is pretty soul-destroying and don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve put our sofa covers through the wash.
– Cooking: I loooove to cook, we all know that. But on the days when the kids have been hard work all I want to do is watch trash TV with a glass of wine followed by a bath, cocoa and bed. I don’t want to think about what new and interesting things I can do with beef mince and then scrape half of it out the carpet because we’re still learning how to operate cutlery.
– Other parents: most of them are fine, lovely even. Some of them…
Come on, what have I missed? What else is a total pain in the bum now we’re grown-ups?
I was very kindly sponsored to write this blog post about being a grown-up. Thanks!