Reflecting on Life as a Young Adult – Parent Self Help Course

 

Rest and relaxation on a girl's weekend

This is a continuation from a previous article on Reflecting on your childhood. You may want to start with that exercise first if you haven’t completed it already.

 

Life as an adult and before kids was all about exploring who you wanted to become as an adult. It was also a care-free time where you could sleep in, party all night, go out every night and survive on very little money. Some went to school, others traveled the world, some started a job that they may still be at. This time in our life could have been non-existent (if you became a parent in your teens) or it could have been lasted over 20 years but generally it’s a pretty exciting time in our lives.

Our twenties are usually the time we’re really exploring ourselves and have control of where we want to go. We make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Reflecting on these years will allow you to remember what used to bring you joy, what you may be missing and what you may be able to let go of. Read the article and complete the workpage below.

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Who were your friends and what did you do?

Maybe you played sports with your high school friends, you played board games with university friends or you met co-workers for happy hour after work. Some of these things get dropped when you have kids because you have to be home more often.

Write down the activities you did and with who. Then answer Yes/No to whether you’re still doing it and whether you want to continue or want to start doing it again. Then, make a plan on how you’re going to do it.

Who were you close to in your family?

Maybe your sibling and cousin was your best friend but you’ve lost the connection with them. Is it time to reconnect? What can you do to get closer to a family member?

Did you travel? If so, where?

I traveled a few places when I was in my twenties. It definitely becomes more difficult when you have kids. Maybe you won’t be able to go to Europe for three weeks but you can go on a camping trip or go visit friends in another city. Travel is about adventure and you can have an adventure anywhere!

Did you take training in an area you were interested in?

This could have been on-the-job training, apprenticeship or college but you chose it based on your interests. If not, do you feel like you settled for a job because you needed money or couldn’t afford training? What job or training would you take if you had the opportunity?

What did you do to take care of yourself?

I feel like before I had kids I had so much time! I would go to the gym, go to hot yoga and walk my dog everyday. Now that I have two kids, I really have to make an effort to take care of myself. What did you do? Maybe you were part of a running club, on a sports team, watched documentaries, took baths, etc.

What do you wish that you accomplished prior to having kids?

I often wish that I completed a triathalon. I know I still have time but it’s going to take a lot more effort now! Maybe you wished you read an entire series of books, learned a language and traveled somewhere. Is this something that you can or want to do now?

What would you tell the “young adult you” knowing what you know now?

I think that I would say that everything will work out and to stop worrying about things. Also, don’t judge parents because you’re going to probably do the same things during your parent career!

Write any revelations you’ve had while you’ve reflected on your life as a Young Adult.

There’s a reason we all want to go back to our twenties. For most of us, we were able to express ourselves and explore who we wanted to become. We made good choices and bad choices but they all helped shape who we became.

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Lisa Crane

Lisa Crane is a mother to two kids, an Occupational Therapist and a seeker of balance in life!

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