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Let's face it. No matter how many kids you have, bills you pay, or pairs of your spouse's pants you fold, most of our self-esteems still feel like we’re clueless 20-somethings a majority of the time.
To the best of my knowledge, that “oh holy crap how do I adult” feeling never really goes away. You get married and have kids and think you’re going to somehow magically know all the things, but it doesn’t quite work that way.
I vividly remember when we first had our daughter and my husband and I looked at each other in the hospital and said “wait, they’re just going to let us walk out with this thing?”
Well, they did, but there are still days I’m not sure it was the right move on their part.
Adulting is hard, and as “mom” you are the one who is going to field a lot of the adult decisions for your family. So here are my first few lessons that every pretend “adult” (aka you) should know.
Learning how to create a failproof budget and being able to work within your budget will make it easier for you to manage your family’s finances.
It’s vital that you’re able to manage your expenses, your savings, and your income, as well as having some leftover to treat yourself. Learning to manage your finances after buying a house is one thing, but you’ll find yourself facing other challenges after having children, moving jobs and so on.
If this all seems overwhelming, start by using an online budget tool to help you track your finances and manage your money in real-time.
Having savings is an important part of planning your family’s future.
From your retirement savings to savings for a rainy day, you should aim to have several savings pots at once. Have savings that are for the long-term, for vacations and Christmas as well as for emergencies. Take a look at some simple ways to save money to help you add to those pots each month.
And don’t forget the most important, your yearly expenses savings account. I go over how to use one of these in my article on how to hit your budget every month and (spoiler alert) it lives up to the title.
If something were to happen to you or your partner, would your family be taken care of?
Life insurance is a morbid yet important thing to get when you’re a homeowner and you have a family. It’s necessary to help them take care of the mortgage and other expenses if tragedy strikes. Companies like PolicyMe can help you learn more about life insurance and which type of policy is right for you if you need some hand-holding on this immensely complicated (yet totally vital) decision.
Once you take out life insurance, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your family is being taken care of.
Is your property as secure as it could be?
I’m not just talking theft or damage (which can also be devastating), but for any household with regular workmen, landscapers, or teenagers (whether they belong to you or not) some sense of security is essential
Either way, there are steps you can take to safeguard your home for surprisingly cheap.
In our house we have made through use these surprisingly inexpensive cameras. We have three of these installed in various locations so that we can see all of the entrances and exits to our house and it is the biggest piece of mind saver ever. They connect right to an app on my phone and I get motion notifications anytime anyone moves near any of our doors. No more worrying about teenagers sneaking out or anyone else sneaking in.
The future can be unpredictable, but there are some things you can plan for.
Saving for your kids’ college fund, weddings, vacations and other expenses are all things you can start planning for now. Look ahead into your future so that these things don’t come as a surprise - you’ll be grateful you started now when the time finally comes.
This principle can also apply to the littler and more fun things.
Make sure you take time each year to take a picture of your kids in the same location or the same pose so that you can create a montage of them growing up. Write them a little note every year on their birthday and give them all 16 or 17 notes as a high school graduation present. Setting little reminders in your phone can make it incredibly simple to create gifts of immense sentimental value for very little monetary investment.
If you're interested in stuff like this, I have a whole Pinterest board about it with bunches of different fun ideas.
Overall, no one is going to tell you how to be an adult. It's one of those things you learn on the fly and pray you're doing right.
Seriously though, Google is your best friend. Anytime you're unsure about something please perform a rudimentary internet search on the top. You won't come out of pro, but I promise it will save you from making a fool of yourself more times than not.
Finally, no one will judge you for asking for help or advice from your support system. Everyone has to do these things for the first time some time, so asking for help is a smart move not a sign of weakness.
And if you don't feel comfortable asking your support network certain questions, feel free to shoot me an email. I'm here for the team and, as a random internet stranger friend, I promise not to judge.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
I'm here for you.
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