Shocking truths we don’t tell our kids about adulting

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Things that are shocking for our kids when they become adults

Shocking truths we don’t tell our kids about adulting
Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

Becoming an adult. Leaving the nest. Moving out on your own. It is never an easy transition. Going from having most or all of your needs met by your parents to taking care of yourself and providing for yourself.

I have two boys that are getting married this year. One has been on his own and graduated from college for a while now, the other just turned 18 and will take the jump straight from being under mom and dad’s care to being an adult.

I try to prepare my kids for being adults. I feel like I fail on so many levels because of the phone calls I get on how do you do these simple tasks. They seem like simple tasks to me because I have done them over and over. The more I think about it if you have little experience with these tasks then either you are clueless on how to do it or need some help on how to accomplish them.

What are some things that are shocking to kids that they have to accomplish as an adult? Well, you would be surprised what they just don’t realize are such burdens that we as parents took care of for them. Let me run down some of the things that come as a surprise when you become “an adult”.


It never ends. You dust a shelf one week and the next week it has a layer of dirt back on it. Why does this happen? You swept the floor yesterday and now there are leaves in your house. Why? Did the dog bring them in? Did the kids bring them in? Who knows.

It doesn’t stop and won’t unless you have a cleaning company that comes in daily. But that could get really expensive really fast. My boys take care of most of the dishes in my house. My middle son will be missed when he moves out because either my youngest son has to pick up his chores or I will have to pick up the slack. And I guarantee you the dishes won’t stop when he leaves.


Being an adult means doing laundry, FOREVER!
Being an adult means doing laundry, FOREVER!

I don’t think the idea that kids have to do laundry when they become an adult is shocking. It is the volume and frequency at which you have to do laundry.  Especially if you neglect it for too long and the laundry piles up.

Laundry is exacerbated when you have kids. Those of us who have a lot of kids quickly realize how much we despise laundry. It seems like a never-ending cycle. And then there is the case of the mysterious missing socks. You never end up with the same matches when you are folding them.


I know people that would eat out every night of the week if given the chance. Not me. It’s not that I love to cook or want to cook all the time. I just get tired of eating out. And it also isn’t affordable to eat out every night. Maybe if you ate some really cheap fast food you might get by with eating out every night, but your health would quickly decline if you chose to punish yourself like that.

One of the surprises that comes with becoming an adult is “how do you cook?”. I have been slowly working with my middle son to teach him how I make a few dishes. For a while, he was even fixing the entire meal some nights. For him, cooking won’t be much of a challenge, but for some kids that have never cooked a day in their life growing up, they may not have a clue how to cook food.

The other surprise that comes with cooking is food costs. You want to make a full healthy meal that includes vegetables, meat, bread, and a drink? Well, all the costs for each one of those things start to add up. And if you don’t budget well you may be paying more to cook a meal than if you just went out to eat.

Food Expiring

When you go grocery shopping one thing that an adult will pay attention to is the expiration dates on the food you buy. I will go through an entire case of milk to get the latest expiring jug in the store. Even though it won’t last but a few days in my house I like the freshest food the store has.

Then you have those items you don’t use often. And they do eventually expire and you will have to throw them out. Just yesterday my son needed some mini marshmallows for school. I knew we had some in the cabinet so I pulled them down. They had been expired for over 6 months. I’m sure they were ok but I didn’t risk it and we went and bought some fresh ones for him to take to class.

Fruits and Vegetables going bad (quickly)

It’s mind-blowing how quickly a banana will go from not being ripe enough to be overripe in just days. Our family loves bananas and we go through a lot of them. If I go to the store and all I find are really ripe bananas then I only buy a few of them.

Lettuce and greens are other things that just turn so quickly. It seems like I buy a bag of salad mix on Saturday and it is already turning brown and nasty by Tuesday. Even though I get the bag marked with the latest fresh by date, it never fails that it will go bad before we use it all up.

Paying Bills

Being an adult means paying bills
Being an adult means paying bills
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Where did all these bills come from? And why do I have to pay for all this stuff? Well, when you buy stuff or order products online then you end up having to pay bills. Whether it is monthly recurring charges or one-time bills. They just never stop coming. And sad to say kiddos they won’t stop until you die or live in the country off the grid. Here are just some of the bills you have to pay as an adult that might be shocking:

Doctor Bills

What? You have to pay the doctor when you go see them? Yes. And it seems like you never know how much you will have to pay. If you have insurance it is mostly a guessing game. Sometimes you pay a copay and you are done. Sometimes the insurance company refuses to cover part of the bill and you end up paying a lot.

Water Bill

You are lying to me now, right? You have to pay for water? Yes. If you want good clean drinking water that comes from a city or local water company you have to pay for it. It is one of those things that most people take for granted. Good clean drinking water, to shower, and wash my clothes, and cook with. But it doesn’t come free unless you have your own well. And even that isn’t free because you will be paying an electric bill to pump it.

Sewer Bill

If you live in a city on a shared sewer system you might be paying a sewer bill. Yes that #2 is going to cost you. Typically this is tied to your water bill depending on your city, but it is still a surprising thing that must be paid for.

Entertainment Bills (Netflix/Hulu/Spotify)

When you live with mom and dad you get some benefits of watching streaming networks and mom and dad foot the bill. Well, now that you are grown up this is on you. Can you share a login for this service? You can. But you shouldn’t. Eventually, these companies will want more money and they will put a stop to login sharing. So get ready to start paying those monthly streaming bills or get ready to cut back on what you watch.

Oh, and son did you keep wanting to enjoy your Microsoft Game Pass Ultimate subscription? Well, you can’t leach that off of dad any longer now that you live in a different house. That means paying for your own subscription. Or just doing without.

And oh more than likely those bills have been charged to a credit card. If so then add that to your ever-growing list of bills. Just make sure to keep those credit cards paid off or you will find out the full power of compounding interest.


Being an adult means paying taxes, on everything
Being an adult means paying taxes, on everything
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Now I am the type of person that will tell you taxation is theft. But that is another story for another day. And the reality is that everyone has to pay taxes. It doesn’t matter what you do you will be burden by taxes. And as an adult, you will have to pay those taxes. Here is a list of some unexpected taxes you might encounter in your lifetime:

Estate/Inheritance Taxes

Yes if you inherit money or property from someone close to you that passed away, you will get no reprieve from the government. They won’t care who died or how they died. They just want their cut.

Real Estate Taxes

You bought the property. You own this property. But the government will come and say you have to pay taxes to keep the property or else they will come and auction it off to the highest bidder. I actually had a letter sent to me from the county telling me this was about to happen. Seemed there was a mistake with the bank that got my taxes mixed up with another property. Needless to say I was a little scared after that and always make sure they are paid on time.

Your Parents Getting Old

This one makes me a little sad. But there isn’t anything we can do to stop this yet. People get old, people get sick, and eventually, people die. Some of you reading may have already experienced losing a parent at a young age. It’s really hard when you are young and honestly, it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. Because when you see your parents age you start to worry about your own mortality.

Where Does All The Time Go?

Being an adult means time is no longer your friend
Being an adult means time is no longer your friend

I ask myself this all the time. Where did all my time go? This month I have the following things going on:

  • High School Graduation for my son
  • One son getting married
  • Another son moving into a new house
  • Family reunion

This doesn’t even cover the extracurricular events that the end of the school year brings and you add on scouts and everything else you have going on. You get to the end of the week and you are all happy because it’s Friday. Then you remember the 5000 things that are going on and then all the little things that have to be done around the house and then anxiety kicks in.

When will I have time to do all of this? NEVER!

Becoming an adult you have to manage time and make sure that other people don’t take up too much of it. Because if you don’t your kids will be gone and you may not really even have gotten to know them.

There is so much more I could cover in this list. I could probably write a book on all the unexpected things that have happened to me when I became an adult. Just on parenting alone. But this is part of life. We get older, we make mistakes, and we learn from those mistakes.

And that is where we come in as parents. We have to keep preparing these kids for adulthood. We can’t shelter them and we definitely can’t keep doing things for them and expect them to be functioning adults. Look I am just as guilty as this myself. I do way too much for my kids. But my biggest tip here is to always be there for them. If they have a question as an adult, don’t brush them off or make fun of them because they don’t know something. Think back to when you were that young and the knowledge you had. Did you know how to do that? If so, who taught you that?

Do you have something that has shocked you as an adult? Just something you were not prepared to deal with? If so drop us a comment or let us know on our Facebook page.


  1. I think a lot of these things may have been mentioned in passing as I was growing up, but I’m sure I was too busy having fun to pay attention to them. And I have a feeling that as much as I talk about these things to my kids, they may also only have a vague recollection of these boring adulting items… thanks for sharing!

  2. I remember as a kid and even as I teenager, I used to live in this little bubble. I was completely clueless as the work and effort that it took for my parents to give me everything I had growing up. So after I moved in by myself, I had a reality check about everything that it meant to be an independent adult. I wish I had known more about this growing up as I’d have been more appreciative of what I had back then.

  3. Yes to everything! And thinking adults knew everything? I have way more questions now and I call my parents often. “How often do I have to spray weeds outside? How often to change the air filter?”.

    • Or How do I change a tire? How do I check my oil levels. There are so many things to teach them but not enough time.

  4. I definitely have way too many adult conversations with my kids about how hard it is to be a grownup (when I want to complain). Taxes are next! 🙂

  5. Yes! All of these are true. I throw away so many rotten veggies that I didn’t get to in time, and every time I am committed to healthy eating, my grocery bill doubles. One thing I didn’t know until I was in my 20’s was that my parents had no idea what they were doing. Now I’m almost 45 and still feel like I am building the plane while I am flying it. It was actually reassuring as an adult to hear my mom say that she didn’t know what she was doing. As a mother myself, it became much easier to show her grace for her mistakes… since I know I am making plenty myself.

  6. Great post. It includes all the things every adult should be aware of. Many of the adults I know also need to read this though.😁

  7. So true! These are some key things that kids have to know, sooner or later. The earlier the better, so that they can learn and prepare for them.

  8. Your words are so true. As parents we want to take care of them and no matter how old they get, they will always be our babies. Life is a learning experience, so it’s never too late to teach them as the subject comes up.

  9. It all happens so fast, I cringe just thinking my daughter will only be home with us 4 more years, and will I be able to prepare her for all the complicated things that that life as an adult includes. I still think of her as my little baby that we brought home from the hospital.

  10. I feel like I was reading my current life. There just never is enough time in the day! Adulting is for the birds! This post was very informative, though. I do try my best to educate my kids on the woes of adulting, better to know sooner than be surprised later. 🙂

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