When you become a parent, your transition to becoming a full-fledged adult speeds up a quite a bit. But whether you have children or not, by the time you hit your mid-thirties (at the latest) there are certain things you may find yourself doing that will make you realize you have officially arrived in adulthood, and you are here to stay.


I think the first thing that makes you an adult is if you sleep until 8 A.M. and proclaim that the day is wasted, no matter how late you went to sleep the night before. Having kids definitely helps this process along, as they don’t so much like sleeping in. But I can tell that even without having children as alarm clocks, I would feel the same way.

Once you become an adult, your sleeping habits aren’t all that change. Your shopping habits no longer allow for purchasing things just because you want them; you have responsibilities, be it bills to pay, mouths to feed, or both. Not only do you find yourself only buying necessities, you may find that you actually get excited when you buy them. Here are just a few things I get a little too giddy about after I’ve purchased them:

  • Sheets – I don’t know why, but there’s just something about crisp, new sheets that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Shower curtain liner – The smell of these things used to make me sick. Now it makes me visibly happy. I’m not sure why, but I’m assuming it has to do with the fact that if it’s new, it’s not dirty, and I don’t have to worry about cleaning it… yet.
  • Small kitchen appliances – I just bought a new Ninja blender and could barely contain my excitement to get it out of the box and make a smoothie.
  • Vacuum cleaner – Or any new cleaning supplies, really.

So, I get excited when I purchase things like these, but nothing excites a real adult more than when you get a good deal on them. Coupons, rebates, and clearance racks are the only way I know how to shop any more. If it’s full-price, I’m not interested. Buying an item for a great price is something to write home about.

Of course, not everyone cares quite as much as I do.

Being an adult can also change what you look for in the necessities you’re buying. If you’re an adult with kids, you mostly look for things that are either easily cleaned, or can easily hide dirt. Dark colors for upholstery and rugs, and tables and chairs without a lot of grooves or nooks for dust and dirt to settle are at the top of my list for now.

There’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to purchasing new things as an adult, but sometimes going to the store can also be the bane of your existence.


Seriously! As soon as I get used to one layout, easily able to maneuver my way through the store to get my errands done in a timely fashion, they go and change it! In the last three months, they’ve changed the Marshall’s, the Stop and Shop, and the CVS I go to, so I appreciate your good thoughts and well-wishes for me at this difficult time.

After shopping for only the things I need, at great prices, in stores that haven’t angered me by changing their layout, a clean house is next on my list. With kids, it doesn’t happen too often, and when it does happen, it doesn’t last. But a clean house makes me breathe a sigh of relief that can be heard around the world. Okay, maybe not around the world, but I’m pretty sure my neighbors can hear it.

Of course, if I do find the energy to clean the whole house, it only stays clean long enough for me to let out that sigh of relief. Once I exhale, it looks like I haven’t cleaned for a month. But man, those few seconds it is clean are the best.


Besides shopping and cleaning, the one thing that will make you more of an adult than anything else is being around high school and/or college aged kids (if you can tell the difference, which gets harder with each passing year). The fact that I just referred to them as “kids” pretty much says it all.

I live in a college town, so I’ve done my fair share of involuntarily shaking my head at a group of them, saying things like, “When I was that age…” I only give myself a few more years before I’m shaking my fist at them and calling them “hooligans.”

To some, I’m sure I paint a grim picture of adulthood, but I love it. I was one of those “hooligans” once, and I’m glad that I was. I was a young, foolish kid while I was able to be, and I have no regrets.

But now, waking up early to get great deals on practical and useful items so I can feed my family and have a clean house every once in a while and get to bed before those college kids head out to the bar is what it’s all about.

And I’m okay with that.

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