Monday, February 8, 2010

Grown-up Fun

Remember when you were a child or teen-ager and you couldn't wait to grow up?  Remember how you thought being a grown-up was all about having lots of money and being able to do whatever you wanted to?

Where did that go?

In my reality, being a grown-up involves more responsibility than I could ever have imagined.  It's not just making sure the girls are happy and healthy.  In some ways, that's the easy part.

It's all the other stuff I never imagined having to handle.  Retirement planning?  Huh?  My parents worked for companies with pensions.  Even my banker Mom didn't sit down and talk to us about retirement planning when we first started working.  It wasn't a part of her reality.  For her generation, you went to work for a good company and stayed there until you retired.  The company rewarded you with a pension.

College savings?  Have you even looked at those college savings calculators?  The cost for two children is nearly overwhelming.  We've taken the easy route and taught the girls the Alma Mater, a song from our alma mater the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  We figure we'll be able to pay for them to go to a state school.  If they want to go to a private college, they better start excelling at some sport or academic specialty that will earn them a scholarship.

Add in to the mix taking care of a house, finding time to squeeze in the ocassional date night, making sure the vehicles are properly maintained, looking after aging parents, worring about various and assorted health issues, and I'm not feeling the carefree freedom I thought adulthood would bring.

I know it sounds like I'm whining, but I'm really not.  We're all healthy and happy.  We have good jobs, live in a nice house in a good school district, and have great friends and relatives.  All is well.  Really.

It's just that once in a while I want to find that adult reality of my teens where I would have complete freedom to do what I want when I want, and enough money to fund all of it.   

Knowing what I know now is the key reason I keep telling the girls, nieces and nephews not to grow up too fast.  Once you are an adult, you are an adult forever.  You can never go back to those carefree days when you're only worry was how long you could play in the backyard.


Julie K said...

Couldn't agree with you more... hate to tell you, though, Illinois in-state tuition is more than some big 10 out-of-state tuition (as one of my neices just found out). I suspect in large part due to the miserable position that the State of IL is in finanically.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Yeaaahhhh.... my kids have been told that community college will be paid for. Anything beyond that, they need some serious scholarships. I cannot worry about something that I know we cannot feasibly attain. And retirement? Hahahahahahahaha!

Kim Moldofsky said...

We're in the Bright Start program which has performed pretty poorly. Sigh.

There was a great keynote speaker at Blissdom that made us all take a pledge absolving us from adult responsibilities for a while (at least through his talk; maybe the entire conference). He wanted us to lighten up, have fun, and restore our childlike sense of wonder.

Christina T. said...

I think that its a bit worse as older parents because we have managed to time things so that retirement and college tuition hit simultaneously. That said, I still am really glad that I no longer have to have an electric turquoise bedroom because my mom liked the rug.

Noelle said...

Retirement planning is the scary thing for me. There's always a student loan, scholarship, or grant for college, but if you run out of money in your old age...what do you do?!