Tag Archives: Parents

An Adult Child’s Perspective on Christmas

As a kid, Christmas was always a big deal. In fact, everything was a big deal. A good report card, a promotion, birthdays, we celebrated it all. This celebratory style I grew up with followed me into adulthood.

As I’ve gotten older, buying Christmas gifts has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a fun feeling of both excitement and joy, when a loved one unveils the perfectly curated gift. Yet, finding the perfect gift for my parents and grandparents always feels like mission impossible. What do you buy for the people who have everything?! Year after year, I’d struggle with Christmas gifts and try so hard to keep up with my parents, who are supreme gift givers. This year, I rethought my approach.

My parents could care less what they opened on Christmas morning. Sure, I asked them and ended up with one bigger gift that was actually something they needed. They want things that money can’t buy – all of their kids in the same place, to cook together and for us kids to spend time with our grandparents. Looking back on this holiday season, that’s exactly what I gave, time.

Each year as I stepped further into adulthood, I tried to conjure up ways to give back what my parents gave to me. At the end of 2018, I can say I’ve stopped trying. There’s no way in the world that I could repay them for all they’ve given me. And are still giving as I sit on the beach in Florida at my mom’s house while my dad and stepmom diligently wait for the call to pick up my car for me. As they say, a parent’s work is never done.

So, my fellow adult children, stop worrying about the perfect gift for your parents. Instead, show up on holidays and birthdays as much as possible, take them to dinner and put your phone down during the meal. I think about my Nana and the many Saturdays I spent with her. Those were some of the best conversations I’ve had and she thoroughly enjoyed hearing my stories and watching me live my life. I sit with my other grandparents now and see the same joy fill their faces merely because I’m spending time with them. Highlight of the holiday season? Taking Grandma to see the Donna Summers musical on Broadway and dancing alongside her to ‘Last Dance.’

Don’t overthink it, my fellow 20’s somethings, who I’m sure are navigating this much like I am. Talk to your parents, grandparents, everyone in your life so you can co-create these memories together. They will sustain you during the longer, harder stretches of your life.

Millennial Meltdown

“Millennials have been taught to always be right” 

I heard this phrase last week and jotted it down in my notebook. I find the millennial generation, my generation, particularly interesting. This generation is generally born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. That’s a pretty wide gap where a lot of individuals fall. We have been titled the “Me” generation, focusing on ourselves, our careers and putting our priorities first. Other words like arrogant, stubborn, and entitled are thrown around to describe this generation.

Millennials have been raised by mainly helicopter parents who wanted to give their children everything. Most were raised to believe everyone got a trophy for participating despite their losing record. The mantra “not my child” has been embraced by our parents. My child could not have possibly done this or that wrong. I am not saying this is every parent or every child, but it is the vast majority, as cited in this Time Magazine article. We were taught to be right.

With this concept in mind, millennials come across with an almost cocky attitude, that they are invisible and that the world owes them something. Now bring that into the workforce or into personal relationships. It doesn’t make for a good time. I’ve observed my generation act this way and have seen their lack of motivation and drive. Certainly, I am not perfect and can fall into the negative stereotype of a millennial. My questions for my readers: When do we as a generation become accountable for ourselves and how do we combat the negative stereotype?

Regardless of how you were raised or by whom, by the time we graduate college, we are adults and are responsible for ourselves. No matter what your parents told you, it’s now your turn to be in charge of your destiny. You cannot blame your parents (or anyone else) for your insecurities, regrets or any other challenges you face. All that has come to you is a privilege you work for, not a right.

For those millennials who fall outside of the stereotype, my advise is to prove them wrong. I realize, easier said than done. But go into every conversation, at work or at home, prepared with your points and questions. Be articulate and confident (not cocky) in your abilities. If you have worked hard, you earned that seat at the table.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the millennial generation and how you personally interact with them. Comment below!

The Living At Home Conundrum

Exploring all the aspects of the young professional’s new life has made me realize how many different pieces of the puzzle there are to consider. It’s a big adjustment in more ways than one, regardless of what anyone says.

I’ve found the biggest adjustment to be moving back in with my parents. Let me start with a disclaimer: this post is not a reflection of solely my situation and is not intended to bash my parents or anyone else’s. Like with similar posts, it is an area of discussion among new, young professionals.

When you graduate college, a job is not a guarantee like it used to be. Neither is the financial stability to move out on your own. More than likely, after you graduate, you will be moving back in with your parents. Within my circle of friends who have graduated, all but one have moved back in with their parents or relatives. As of June 2012, 53 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds said they moved back in with their parents after college because of the economy. That’s more than half of the college graduates.

welcome backIf you ask a college graduate if they wanted to move back in with their parents, I’d bet you an overwhelming majority would say absolutely not. It’s not that we hate our parents but that we’ve been independent for the last four years; no one wants to give that up. I certainly didn’t and now have the ‘move-out’ inch.

There are obviously pros and cons to living at home. For those who have forgotten, let’s give you a refresher:

Pros: 

1. Money Earned, Money Saved: Most parents I know are not charging their recent college grads rent. This means you are immediately saving more money than you would be living on your own. Even if you pay something, it’s absolutely less than normal rent. Saving money also means you can spend it on other fun things like concerts or vacations. Expendable income is higher while living at home.

2. Support System: Your family has been your support system for the last 20 or so years. You are comfortable with them and they are right there when you need something. They are also supportive in ways you never thought of. Like when the heat breaks, you don’t have to call your landlord and pay to get it fixed. Either Dad walks down the stairs to fix it or Mom calls the repairman and pays for it.

3. Space: More than likely, your parents live in a house, with space to move around, hide or even entertain friends. Your apartment doesn’t have that basement to store your sports trophies or the backyard with the pool.

Cons:

1. It’s Not Yours: There’s something to be said for being able to call a place your own. It’s yours to decorate, to mess up, to have a puppy in. It means your friends or significant other can come and go as they please. When you live at home, it is only fair that you need to ask if people can come over or crash.   It’s not your house so you have to be respectful of when you’re bringing people in it.

2. Privacy: I have three siblings, three parents and there’s usually a continuous flow of people in and out of both my houses. I love these people to death but sometimes a moment of peace and quiet would be nice. Sometimes I’d like to hide and cry into a pillow or scream. When you’re living at home, someone’s bound to find you. Try having a phone conversation. Someone will know how much those concert tickets cost.

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3. Independence:  In college, you came and went when you pleased. Coming home at 4am on a Tuesday? No problem! I don’t care how lenient your parents are, they want to know where you are. That doesn’t mean they won’t let you go. But it does mean you are responsible for keeping them updated on your location.

Recent college grads are very lucky to have parents that will take them back in and let them live rent-free. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that and that it’s only temporary. Do you struggle with living at home? Share your challenges!

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