I’m better at Parenting than I am at Adulting

Last night was cold. Like, seriously cold. And our “Lets save money and not turn on the central heating” resolve was broken.

My partner left for work first thing in the morning and won’t be getting home until after dark, so the task of turning on the gas heating was going to be left in my capable, grown up, hands.


Two small problems.

  1. I’m a little scared of gas.
  1. I’m also terrified of electricity and when I popped open the front of the heater I wasn’t prepared for there to be wires and a scary “WARNING: DEATH CAUSING ELECTRICITY. DO NOT TOUCH!” sign inside (that’s not quite what it says, but that’s how I read it.)
This looks like something I shouldn't touch.
This looks like something I shouldn’t touch.

But I still approached this like a proper adult and followed the procedure below:

Step One – Announce on Facebook that I’m going to turn on the heater. (This step is important)

Step Two – Search Youtube for how to turn it on. (No luck.)

Step Three – Call my bestfriend so if it explodes in my face she can call an ambulance.

Step Four – Read the instructions on the front of the heater.

Step Five – Freak out because it makes a noise when I switch on the power and generally squeal and whine in scarcely controlled terror.

Step Six – Call my partner and tell him to turn on the heater when he gets home. (He was not at all surprised.)

But I look around at other adults and they seem to be pretty good at it. Other adults don’t seem to have so much trouble with doing fairly basic adult stuff. I’m just not very good at adulting.

For example I’m going to get my drivers licence (soon) and I’m really quite concerned about the idea of me being allowed to drive a car on my own. I’m pretty sure I will pass my driving test and get my Ps; I am a capable driver (I’ve been on my Ls for nearly 7 years… so I do have a fair idea about how to drive). It’s not that I think I’m going to have an accident, it’s the idea that I could be trusted with the responsibility of my own vehicle. The vehicle that I saved up and paid for – 3 years ago.

And there’s so many things that I’m diligent about with when it comes to caring for my own children, but I fail when it comes to taking care of myself.

Like I’ll dress the kids in warm layers on a cold day, and then go out wearing thongs and a singlet.

Or when we’re going out for a day in the sun I’ll slather them in sunscreen and not put any on myself and get burnt.

I’ll feed them at regular intervals throughout the day and somehow forget to feed myself!

And I fret about them getting enough sleep and then lack the self discipline to go to bed at a reasonable time. Most nights.

Just one more episode….


I’m also still genuinely afraid of the dark and I spoke to a psychologist about that as a side topic and I said to her that it’s really frustrating still having that fear, because I’d thought when I became a mother that I’d be able to overcome such things; but that might be a topic for another day.

Though there are some things that having children has forced me to be more mature about. Like if I want ice cream for breakfast I really can’t because that means the kids will inevitably also want ice cream for breakfast too and that’s probably not the best choice for a parent to make (often).

There are also things that I could be a little bit more of a sensible adult about, and less of a doting mother. Like this morning I grabbed some slippers for myself at Woolworths (because … did I mention it’s freezing cold?!) but then found the Dreamworks plates and bowls were on sale – and we can always use more kids plates and bowls… so…. I put back the slippers to buy the kids some more plates. (I really wish I had those slippers right now seeing as I haven’t gotten the heater going).

Though other times I “accidentally” spend a portion of my grocery budget on fabric and yarn.

I regret nothing...
I regret nothing…

When it comes to my children’s health I’m quick to call health direct, or take them to a doctor, or hospital as the situation warrants. When it’s myself I usually ask friends on Facebook if they think I should see a doctor – and then not actually bother going and just hope for the best. Or the time I did go to see a doctor, because I had a persistently sore foot after a fall 3 weeks prior – and the doctor examined my foot and told me it was probably broken and needed an x-ray. He gave me the x-ray request and I walked hobbled out thinking – Nope. I don’t have TIME to have a broken foot! (It took another 3 weeks to heal. No drama…)

The plus side of being a parent though is I can mask my childishness by using my children as a decoy. Like, I used to carry bubble mixture in my handbag BEFORE I had kids – when I do it now it just makes me look like a thoughtful parent. And now I have a legitimate reason to go to playgrounds and climb on top of the monkey bars.

This was when I realised I wasn't sure how to get down.
This was when I realised I wasn’t sure how to get down.

I also still giggle at the most immature things. Like this thing. This is real thing. And apparently it’s not called a Penis-clam.

Come on, that's totally a Penis-clam
Come on, that’s totally a Penis-clam

So anyway, there’s my confession. I’m pretty good at parenting, but sometimes I really do suck at adulting.

The next scary thing is; I still haven’t decided what I’m going to be when I grow up. Eek! Surely I still have time to work that out?

Can you relate? Do you ever feel like you’re not really a proper adult?

 *Update: I went outside and sucked it up, and turned on the pilot light of the central heating. And didn’t manage to blow anything up in the process. Perhaps there’s hope I might grow up one day after all. 

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.


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