I am an adult now.

At least that is how people refer to me.

The ripe old age of 32.

I have a husband, a kid, a dog, a mortgage, a career, an IRA, a car payment and a boatload of student loans.

How did this happen? Who trusted me to be an adult? Can I really be in charge of raising another human? And making sure that he grows up to be a kind, loving person that realizes his importance and how much I love him?

Sometimes, this seriously blows my mind.

I swear it was just a few years ago that I was skipping classes at college to drink beer with my friends on the porch of our favorite bar. We would talk and laugh and have the best time without a care in the world.


We were all broke but that didn’t matter to us. I carried around a jar full of change that we creatively called “The Change Jar.” When any of us would clean out our cars, we would put any change we found in the change jar. When it got full we would all go out and celebrate and pay in quarters. Sorry bartenders.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how we were all so broke. We all had jobs, most of us as servers or bartenders. But at that time my main spending categories were food, alcohol, tanning and clothes.

Disclaimer #2: I did graduate college in four years with a 3.8 GPA. I did more than just drink my way to a Bachelors Degree.

Back to the present day: I found myself having a conversation with someone the other day about refinancing my mortgage and tax write-offs. That was when it hit me. I’m a grown up.


Disclaimer #3: I think I have done a pretty sufficient job of adulting thus far. I married an amazing man. My child is still alive, as well as my dog. I do have that IRA with not a significant amount of money in it—but at least I have one.

I also have a good job and a car with a large dent in the side. My husband hit it pulling into the garage. . . which you can’t really turn into insurance.

I decided to write a list of the things I always thought adults did. And that I do not do. I don’t think this means I am failing adulthood, to be honest, they make me laugh more than worry. Hopefully others feel me, or maybe I just need to domesticate myself.

  • I don’t cook. I can microwave the hell out of something. Give me a crockpot and we will feast on chicken and anything else I find in the freezer. Thank goodness I married a man that cooks or my family would survive on Hot Pockets and frozen pizza.
  • I am ashamed to admit I just bought my first iron and ironing board this weekend. I do own a steamer. The iron has not made it out of the box yet.
  • I have a brown thumb. I have managed to kill a fern and a plant someone told me was impossible to kill.
  • I don’t sort my laundry and wash it all on cold. Oops.
  • I Google everything. If I can’t find it online I cry and call my mom.
  • I pay someone to clean my house once every two weeks. ?
  • I wash laundry, dry it, fold it, then put it away a week later when it’s time to do laundry again.
  • I can’t craft for the life of me. Pinterest is to pin cute ideas. Etsy is to buy the cute ideas I’m not artistic enough to make.
  • I have never sent out Christmas cards.
  • I take BuzzFeed quizzes. Ones like, “We can tell how old you are based on your preference in chocolate?” Let’s just say they were way wrong on that one. I am not 22.
  • I honestly enjoy watching Peppa Pig with my son and laugh out loud.
  • I use phrases like “da bomb” and “crunk.”

You may read these things and think what on earth do you do with your life if you don’t cook, iron, garden, put away laundry or craft?

Well I take care of my toddler and read him books.

We also play blocks and take pictures on SnapChat. I spend time with my husband.

I work. I love my job. I volunteer. I microwave things. I do a ton of laundry. I write. I drive around singing really really loud. I take BuzzFeed quizzes. I go to church on Sundays. I read. I hang out with my family and friends. I work out at 5 am Monday—Friday. I do take showers and wash my hair. I make a monthly budget. I do the books for my mother-in-law’s dance studio. I watch bad reality television. I sleep. A good nap is the best. I pay bills and other adultish things. I make a lot of lists. And I love my life. Not all the time. I get down, sad and stressed, but in the end, I always remember how lucky I am. Every once in a while I shed some tears and feel sorry for myself but I always get back up.

Maybe that’s what being an adult is all about. Knowing who I am—and accepting who I am not.

As a child, I used to think that adults had it figured out. After all, they had families and mortgages and were taller than the rest of us. But what I’ve learned now that I’ve joined their ranks is that we are all just figuring it out—learning what we’re good at, laughing at what we suck at—and doing our best to show up to life every day.

As I new mom, I know adulting is so much harder than it looks. But it’s also the best adventure imaginable. Bring it on, mortgage refinance. Mama needs a brand new minivan. ?

Join Motherly

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty

When the pandemic hit back in March, photographer and grad student Lydia Royce pulled her son out of day care and lost childcare for her infant son while she and her spouse, a chef, worked. Like so many working parents know, doing double duty is so hard. Royce was exhausted. She lost 10 pounds and was unable to take care of herself. So after seven weeks of burning the candle at both ends, Royce took her son back to day care.

But then, her 7-month-old son developed COVID-19. That's not something any parent wants to hear, but as day cares and schools across the United States reopen Royce wants other parents to hear her story.


"If a mom reads [this] article, I hope she takes some solace in the fact that day care transmission is still extremely rare, and the chances of a child getting [seriously] sick if they do catch it is also extremely rare," she tells Motherly.

Keep reading Show less