This just in! Adolescence expands to include ages 20-29.
This felt like the longest week of my life... I left my high stress marketing job in August to be a SAHM for awhile. My former boss asked me to come back in a different position that is part administrative assistant and parts of my former role. When I agreed to come back, one thing I negotiated for was to work 13 days of part-time at the start to help transition my 21 mo. old daughter.
Well, 3 part time days back at work, and I am realizing that my subconscious pushed for the part time days for my own sanity as much as my daughter's feelings.
Going back to work is like culture shock. Most of my coworkers are also in their mid 20's, but they are single and childless. I guess spending most of my time with a toddler left me a little out of touch with my peer group. And maybe it has to do with my return, but people keep starting these conversations inquiring into others' feelings toward kids. And the consensus is that "kids are cute, but they won't ever fit into my self-involved world." Miss I-Still-Live-with-Mom-and-Dad says she wouldn't be caught dead doing someone else's laundry. One guy vows to never lay a hand on a soiled diaper. I try to edge in with a retort about bonding and nurturing, and I'm bluntly cut off by Party Boy's spastic announcement that he's found THEE funniest YouTube video EVER. Anyone who appreciates mullets should immediately convene in his office for a viewing.
As I hear this banter, I gaze longingly at my blue-eyed cherub, sitting on a pumpkin, a timeless moment that's now framed on my desk. My mind wanders... I wonder if Q is watching the Backyardigans with her babysitter? Did I show the babysitter how Q likes to eat her yogurt? Did I tell her to cut the crusts off her sandwich? Just then, my ponytail is struck by a whizzing paper meteroid, followed by "SCORE!"
Is this all worth it?, I question. Wouldn't I have been happier at home, snuggled up with Q on my couch? Yes... but when I decided to work again, it was because my income was going to allow us to save up a workable mortgage downpayment in one year, and save for one year's tuition of grad school. Sacrificing something now for what you want in the future is a hard pill to swallow. I guess that's what separates the moms from the adult-children...
**Disclaimer: I am not trying to generalize the mindset of all single or childless 20 somethings- just the wild howler monkies I am so lucky to call my coworkers :)