When You’re Done Adulting, Go Home

I had one of those days, with a sticky comment to mediate in a group I manage followed by an intense breakfast conversation about business and identity and life-choices. I went to the park and was met with yet another conversation that would have been a fun,

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

lively debate over drinks but turned into what felt like an attack in the middle of the playground. By noon, I was done “adulting.”

So I did what any 36-year-old mom would do. I called my mom and asked if we could come over for lunch. As the girls got settled with mac & cheese and Pinkalicious, I felt myself slip into the safety of processing life with my parents. I was hugged and affirmed and felt so much better.

The day was still exhausting. I felt like quitting everything and becoming a hermit for the summer. And, while breaks are important, that’s not really how conversations continue or conflict is resolved, is it?

My biggest takeaway is the importance of having a safe place. I’m thankful my parents live close by and that, when I walk in the door, I’m just their daughter. It’s what I hope my girls will feel when they’re grown – that, no matter where life takes them or how small or big the hurt is, they can come home and just be our daughters.

There’s something profound about that experience, of being known and held. I know for some, that will be found in friendships rather than family relationships but, regardless of who is holding me, I’m remembering to turn to community when I really want to retreat. To reach out when I feel overwhelmed. And to find people who simply hold me, no matter what.

Do you have a place you can return when life gets hard? How do you cope with too much “adulting”?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “return.”


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

16 thoughts on “When You’re Done Adulting, Go Home”

  1. Nothing like going home. Love how you said, “And to find people who simply hold me, no matter what.” I remember my mother-in-laws back door was ALWAYS unlocked. No one even considered knocking, we just walked in. When they subdivided their farm and built a new house in the subdivision, we bought the farmhouse, remodeled it and happily raised three boys in that big house on seven acres. Did family still walk in without knocking? Yes!! Lol! And I didn’t mind a bit as long as I was dressed, ha. Your neighbor today at #FMF.

    1. I love this image! My grandparents were like that. And if their door was locked, everyone knew where the hide-a-key was! 😉 I want to be like that for others, too.

  2. I used to go to my mother-in-law’s house when my kids were very young and my husband was out of town. I enjoyed being with her, but I also needed the break from doing it on my own. FMF15

    1. There is something about sitting with another grownup during these intense little years, isn’t there? I’m glad your mother-in-law was close and available!

  3. Great article, Annie.

    I never had a safe place, and that is actually working in my favour now; I can take each new and horrible symptom in stride, in a way. In a life that’s starting to resemble lyrics from a Doors song (“…lost in a Roman wilderness of pain…”) I can still look beyond to beauty…and I strongly suspect that this ability comes from having no expectation of safety.

    #1 at FMF this week.


  4. I miss my parents. Daddy went to Heaven on Easter Sunday, 1998. Mama went to Heaven on Feb. 5, 2013. There are still times when I head toward the phone to call them and then, I remember. They were wonderful parents. Today, I have several safe places. My husband, our son and daughter-in-love and my two sisters. I am thankful for safe places to share with others.

    1. I love that you are that safe place for others and that you find it in them. Cultivating that is so important, even when it seems “easier” to do life alone.

  5. This is very much how I feel about my parents (at least most of the time). When my daughter was little, my parents were on the way home from the pediatrician’s office and we used to stop in after nearly every well visit, just to catch up and chat.

    1. Haha! Right? I’m still their daughter in SO many ways, for better or worse. 😉 My parents are on the way to a couple of our regular outings and we find ourselves over for lunch often…

  6. You’ve described one of my greatest joys in life: to wrap my arms around our daughter when she’s had a rough day. I glad you have that connection. It’s as beneficial to your mom as is it is to you.

    1. I love this! And am looking forward to that stage of my relationship with the girls. It helps me remember these foundational years… 🙂

  7. Yes! Such comfort in knowing one is loved and accepted. Something about a parents love! I’m in the 69 spot this week.

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