Are we the first generation of grown-ups to question the quality of our adulting? Or is not ever feeling grown-up simply part of life? Whether parenting, working, running a business, a home (or doing all at once) the woman I see in the mirror and those around me aren’t like the ones we grew up with: we don’t know how to budget; we haven’t learned the art of restraint either on nights out or on shopping trips to Topshop (or admitted we’re too old to even be shopping there any more). We splurge on big holidays but don’t have savings (let alone a pension). We go out for fancy meals, but revert to our twenty-something diet of crisps and hummus when home alone (or is that just me?) and yet we hold high-profile jobs, make important decisions every day and some even have small people that are relying on us to teach them how to grow up well. Perhaps that’s why the always brilliant Selfish Mother’s Winging It tops struck a chord with us all.
“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”― Virginia Woolf
But whilst we haven’t let go of all the whimsies of youth, we’ve got it easy. Growing up is only getting harder and it won’t be long before the next generation – our kids – have to make their way in a world that is pitting everything against them. Aside from the utterly depressing and anxiety-inducing daily news and the pressure of growing up in the digital age, Millennials and Generation Z’ers alike already face an impossible uphill battle to tick things off their life-list we previously took for granted – like going to University, getting a job, getting out of debt and owning a home.
How can we possibly give advice or help in the future when the whole territory has transformed? Luckily there’s a whole new genre of books written by Millennials who have been through the mill, come out fighting and are determined to make the new terrain firmer – or at least, funnier – for those who follow. Like Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman before them, these are support rather than self-help tomes. Read them now – because even if we don’t need them, our kids definitely will.