Am I failing at adulthood?

Woman's hand on a laptop with a smartphone and planner

I recently read a post by brilliant Mouse, Moo and Me Too on MeetOtherMums about being in your 30s. She said, “Thirties folk seem, to me, to have uprevved their quality of life and preparations for the future.” And it made me think – am I a proper adult now that I’m in my mid-30s?

I suspected not, but I wasn’t sure. So I made a list.

Ways I’m winning at adulting:

  • Got married.
  • Had a baby.
  • Have a pension.
  • Have a savings account.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • Wear sensible shoes.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Eat things like kale and quinoa and actually enjoy them.
  • Have a stable job.
  • Recycle often, even the food waste that has to go into that teeny compost bin under the sink.
  • Chose a Dyson vacuum as my pre-baby gift to myself.
  • Wash up the dishes immediately after eating.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Would love to spend an afternoon of de-cluttering the bedroom closet. Like, would really, really love it. More than a night out in a sparkly top.

Ways I’m failing at adulting:

  • Don’t have a mortgage.
  • Don’t have any investments or assets. Had to Google ‘assets’ because I didn’t know what an asset is.
  • Don’t own my own furniture except for a desk that my cat has peed on, a nursing chair and an IKEA bookcase.
  • Have never hosted a dinner party. Didn’t even own more than four plates until three weeks ago, when my little brother took pity on me and bought me a set for my birthday.
  • Cannot do any of the following: bleed a radiator, plaster a ceiling or change a tyre.
  • Eat Nutella straight out of the jar.
  • Don’t iron my clothes. Not sure I still own an iron.
  • Don’t fold my clothes. Scrunch them up into balls and shove them into drawers that get so full that the bottoms fall out every few weeks.
  • Don’t have a garden. Have never gardened. Operated a lawn mower exactly once 20 years ago.
  • Have never converted a loft or extended a kitchen or upcycled anything.
  • Watch TV dramas about high school girls instead of proper adult programmes like Question Time and Antiques Roadshow.
  • Don’t know how to pick out a good wine. Choose wines based on the fanciness of the bottle and the foreignness of the name.
  • Don’t own a suit. Do, however, own an Iron Man mask and Gryffindor scarf.

In conclusion:

I’m a bit s**t at adulting.


I’ve still done the most adult thing possible, which is create another person. I’ll try remember the sheer magnitude of that very grow-up responsibility the next time someone tries to engage me in conversation about interest rates or damp proofing.

24 Replies to “Am I failing at adulthood?”

  1. I’m still failing at adulting, but I’m happy and have a lovely little family, so I got that going for me! #chucklemums

  2. Oh thank god for the second list, I was starting to seriously panic when reading the first as I seem oh so far from an adult, despite have procreated and kept two small people alive for the last two years. I often feel like a kid playing at being adult…until I look in the mirror… argh #chucklemums

  3. I’m probably failing at loads of adult things to like the fact I don’t iron! #chucklemums

  4. Love this – I am definitely failing in so many ways, I also don’t have an iron (much to my mother’s dismay) and we don’t have a garden either! I find it a bit overwhelming to think how many responsibilities we have compared to 10 years ago eeeks. Fab post xx

  5. I’m failing in many ways as an adult but the main important thing is that we made babies! xx

  6. I can’t bleed a radiator or roast a chicken. Don’t have a mortgage OR savings ( damn you expensive childcare) .. But in trying my best to raise two fine children and sometimes I even remove my make up at night ! Love this post

  7. Your dinner party comment made me chuckle, it really does seem like a grown up thing to do doesn’t it 🙂 #chucklemums

  8. Adulting is way too hard. I give up. Do you think our parents felt like this when we were kids? They always seemed so adult but now I’m thinking they were dreaming about eating honey out of the jar with their fingers too. #chucklemums

  9. Thank you for my mention, I’m glad I inspired you as this is hilarious! I’m with you on the no ironing, the clothes scrunched into balls, the kale….in fact, much of it. I can only conclude that we’re either both failing miserable or we’re both kind of doing ok. Yeah let’s go with that one. Thanks for linking to #Chucklemums darling xx

  10. Ha ha glad to know I’m not the only one who chooses wine according to whether or not I like the label…! 😉

  11. Love this! I totally feel the same way all.the.time. And I wonder, where did the time go? How did I get this old?

  12. Ha I love it! I am failing at adulthood on many levels, also. But show me someone who can resist Nutella straight from the jar and I will show you a robot. I have a house and baby but I still can’t get spiders out of the house myself. #FamilyFun

  13. I’m always eating Nutella from the jar, and I’m completely envious of your Gryffindor scarf!


  14. I read and commented on this at #chucklemums but just wanted to pop back from #familyfun to say thanks for sharing with us and hope you can come back next week. xx

  15. Oh I love this! I am completely rubbish at adulting, even though I am in mid-thirties too. I have no idea how to change a tyre on my car, I love watching PPL and I really should go to bed earlier and stop wasting time on the internet. Thanks for linking up for #FridayFrolics

  16. I’m in my 40s and all I can think is how cool it is that you have an Iron Man mask #fridayfrolics

  17. Well, woman, I’m failing right along beside you then. I haven’t conquered a lot of the things on your list either. Nor do I plan to do it anytime soon either. I guess I want to remain childlike for as long as possible.

  18. Love this list. I’ve never changed a tyre in my life, I have attempted gardening but just end up killing everything, I love eating Nutella straight from the jar (hiding behind the cupboard door when no-one is watching) and I also don’t own a suit. So you’re definitely not the only one!
    #Brillblogposts #FamilyFun

  19. Don’t think it’s failing at all, just aging and winging it! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  20. That all sounds pretty good to me. And who says adults can’t eat Nutella from the jar? #tribe

  21. I thought that was how you were supposed to eat Nutella. Loved this. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  22. Very good – I don’t have a mortgage, pension or any assets but I do have two children and one on the way… #ablogginggoodtime

  23. I think all the things you count as failings dont necessarily matter and actually think youre doing a pretty damn good job. you’re ahead of me anyway!!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove

  24. Haha – ‘had to google assets’! Love it! I don’t iron either. In fairness I don’t think that many adults have plastered a ceiling or converted a loft unless they’re a builder! But I’m not a proper adult either, so what do I know!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time.

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