feel like an adult

When Did Your First Feel Like an Adult? Reflections From a Mom Turning 30

Hey Mommies! So most of my posts have been tips and tricks so far, but as I’m turning 30 tomorrow, I thought I’d share some more personal thoughts and insights on life and being a mom.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about through the last year of my 20’s and leading up to being 30 is that I am at a point in my life where I truly feel like an adult.

Technically, I have been classified as an adult for some time now. I got married at 21. I graduated college at 22 and started my first full time job in my profession. I bought a house with my husband, paid bills, bought cars, went on vacations and did all the “grown-up/adult” things, but I never really felt like an adult.

I was carefree and having fun. In some ways, the first part of my 20’s felt like I was finally getting to be a carefree kid.

Growing up, I was always the goody goody. I did everything right. I didn’t get in trouble. I didn’t party. I got good grades. I was driven and focused. Once I reached my 20’s, finished school, and was on my own with my husband, I felt like I actually started living my life. In some ways, I felt more childish then than I had growing up.

My husband and I knew we eventually wanted to have children, but neither of us were ready. So, we made the most out of the time we had just the 2 of us.

However, the time finally came where I got baby fever, and we were ready for a baby. After a year of trying, I finally got pregnant and had our son! I was 27 when he was born and turned 28 a few months later.

Life changed and I started to change some during the first year of having my son, but I still didn’t feel quite like a grown up. Maybe I was clinging to the carefree days before having him. Maybe I just needed more time to adjust and come into motherhood. But, this last year of my 20’s and in the months leading up to being 30, I finally feel like a true grown up.

I still have fun and go out with my husband and friends, but I don’t feel as young as I used to. I worry more about things. After breaking an ankle TWICE in my 20’s, I worry about getting hurt and not being able to take care of my son and things around the house. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I worry.

I worry about my son and his safety. I really worry a lot. I know I shouldn’t, but the older I get, the more I realize how fragile life is. I just want my son to have a long full life, and I want to be around for it.

In addition to worrying, I now feel this overwhelming amount of responsibility in a way I’ve never felt before. I’ve always been a pretty responsible person, but it just feels different now. I feel this intense responsibility to my son and husband to be a good mom and wife and be there to help take care of them, even though I could probably do a better job of it sometimes. :-/

Also, I don’t know about you, but as a child, I remember looking at my mom and just thinking she was a grown up, an adult, and even that she was…*gasp*…old. (sorry mom) 🙂 I now realize and feel like that’s how my son looks at me.

At this point in my life, I have also found myself reminiscing on how things were when I was growing up. Certain things have become “classics” to me. Old songs, old toys, old movies, certain cars, and so on. This is the same as it was for my parents when I was growing up.

I think all of this combined has become a reality that I am in no way a child any more. I’d say I’m still young at heart and likely will be forever. I love to play and be silly. I sometimes act childish (just ask my husband :)) I like playing outside, throwing a football, riding bikes, going to the park with my son and climbing on structures with him. I love browsing the toy aisle with my son and get excited to play pretend with him and his toys. But despite all of this, my childhood is gone. I’m 100% grown up, and I now truly feel like an adult.

So what about you? When did you finally feel like a true grown up? Was it having kids? A particular life event? Or something you never really thought about. Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

By: Old Lady, Emily Bettis 😉

Emily Bettis, MOT/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and mother. She has been working with children birth-5 since 2008 and has been a mother since 2013. Emily is the founder and author HeyMommies.com

13 thoughts on “When Did Your First Feel Like an Adult? Reflections From a Mom Turning 30

  1. That’s really interesting darling, because I think when I turned 30 was the first time I felt truly grown up. I loved my 30’s!!! It was a time in my life where I didn’t care anymore what others thought of me and was able to just be me without feeling like was being judged. I think financially things were finally a little easier, socially I was still young but not so young as to be quite as stupid anymore. Seems like in your 20’s you still seem 29 young, and the 40’s seem so old. Just like Goldilocks, the 30’s are just right! Enjoy the for they will be over before you know it and you will be old 🙁 🙂 xoxo

  2. Are we the same person?? I can relate SO MUCH to this entire post! I too was a goody- goody in high school, always earning A’s and never really going through a partying stage in college. I was married at 24 and had my daughter at 28. When my daughter was born, I felt like a clueless child! I had no idea what to do, and I turned to my mom for help. Not to mention, I had (and still have) the same worries as you do about my child. I even changed my lifestyle and eating habits to help ensure that I will be around for her for as long as I can! (Ok, I did it for myself too.) I think that adulthood truly hit me when I became more confident in my mothering skills- around age 29. Close enough to 30, right??

    I really enjoyed reading this post, Emily!! I feel like I’ve learned so much about you! Xx

    1. Wow! That is crazy!! We also changed our eating habits when we had our son too! We do have quite some similarities. Thanks so much for reading Katie!

  3. Happy 30th! I will be making this transition in 3 years time but can still relate. Having my oldest child in school makes me feel old, working with colleagues in their early 20s and when you go out on that occasional drink and everyone around you seems to look 16 and when you dance you imagine you look like your gran! Omg uv started me off now. I’m OLD! Lovely post, 30s are meant to be your prime and the time you are at your most beautiful! Enjoy xx

    1. Hey Emma! Thanks so much for the bday wishes and reading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts too. Good to see other perspectives and hear how people can relate!

  4. Happy birthday!! Turning 30 is a huge milestone. I think a lot of young moms will share your feelings. I had my first child one month after turning 28. I was pregnant with my second on my 30th birthday. I think it’s really lovely to be married with kids turning 30. Have a wonderful birthday x

    1. Hey Becky! Thanks so much! It’s definitely felt like a change and milestone even though it’s just one day difference from 29 🙂

  5. I was always a very responsible person as I had a job at 14(babysitting and paper route) and had my first real paying job a month after I turned 16. I went to college and cosmetology school and built a successful business. But I was a wild thing. I had long lasting relationships but would always walk away from them when something really bothered me (luckily no kids were ever involved) My family never took me seriously and felt that I was never going to settle down and have kids. My mom would make rude comments to me and my dad high- fived me because he never wanted to be considered a grandpa (he dates woman my age which is 40 something). I have always felt grown up. But having kids, my first at 36 and my 3rd at 39….made me realize that I am important and what I do is important. And even my parents can’t believe the person I have settled down to be. I hope you enjoy your 30th bday! Happy Birthday! PS: You are still very young!

    1. Hey Trista! Thanks so much for sharing some about yourself and the bday wishes! You are very important! 🙂

  6. Emily I LOVE this post!! I am 28 and still feel like a kid. I talked to my grandma about it a lot last week. She is in her early 70s, still works at a preschool because she says “it keeps her young”, and traveled with me all over Europe for 3 weeks in August. Age is about your attitude! We should feel young..becuase..WE ARE! We don’t have to have it all figured out. I remember thinking the same thing about my parents and teachers “wow they are old”. Funny how our minds perceive things! Happy birthday beautiful!!

    1. Hey Shaina! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts AND the birthday wishes! Age is definitely about how you feel but it’s just hit me lately how I’m definitely not a kid anymore but still have lots of fun years ahead of me. 🙂

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