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Thread: I feel like I'm immature

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    I feel like I'm immature

    This is more like a venting thread but of course I'll accept advice and tough love.

    I've been going through more anxiety and depressive moments so this rant might have something to do with it.

    So I'm in my late 20s and I feel that in terms of maturity and achievements I'm very behind.

    Almost everyone I get along is either married, or living together or with kids. Me, I've never lived with anyone nor feel like I have enough maturity to be a good mother if I had to have kids now. I would love to be in a stable loving relationship before that happens but sometimes I'm too afraid of not being good enough to be a mother. It's like I look at some women being teen moms or single moms and they become great mothers and go through all that and I have trouble navigating through the most simple things in life while these amazing women go through so much and make it through with so much strength and success.

    Yesterday I was at some friend's house. I felt like a child compared to everyone. Most of them are older than me and others the same age and they were either married or with kids. I didn't feel bad for not having kids or not being married or something, it was just that I felt immature compared to everyone and that my worries are smaller compared to the hardships of building a family. I don't even know if I'm mature enough to be a good lifelong partner.

    For example, everyone brought homemade food and since I don't feel that I'm a fantastic cook (I just do ok), I just brought a bottle of wine and helped with the cleaning after. Also everyone brought gifts to all the kids present and I just brought a gift to the person who had birthday that day. I felt socially inadequate and uncomfortable. I know I'm overreacting but I'm having a sort of "life crisis" moment right now where I feel that I'm not doing good at life and social interactions in general.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Iím arguably one of the most mature in my friend group.

    Great career, 401(k), solid budget, pay my own insurance, know how to make a drís appointment, etc.

    I donít feel ready for a kid even though Iím arguably most ready (financially, at least - which is important).

    I say that to mean: you havenít hit the same milestones but that is not a reflection of maturity. You seem self aware and knew how to contribute to a group. Being married or having babies doesnít make you a grown up. Being self sufficient does.

    You may be more mature by waiting. Who knows.

    You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Donít base your life on what other people are doing.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are being way too hard on yourself, too self critical and also that you are putting others on too high of a pedestal.

    In reality, nobody is ever really ready to be a parent. You really do just deal and learn along the way. Teen moms aren't heroes, sh$t happened, it wasn't planned and they simply have no choice but to deal. If you found yourself in that situation, it wouldn't be any different for you either. You'd have to deal with the here and now and have no time to do what you are currently doing - thinking way too much about things that are just irrelevant and don't make your life better.

    Instead of comparing and criticizing yourself, maybe try to sort out what you actually personally want out of life. Not looking at others and borrowing what they have, but what do YOU yourself want. There is another word for this - developing a strong sense of self. This allows you to accept your flaws, appreciate and use your strengths to your advantage, but more than anything, you live your own life because you choose what you want for yourself and so don't care or worry about what others have.

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    Being married and/or having kids is nothing whatsoever to do with maturity. (If you don't believe, take a stroll round this forum and look at people who are struggling with parents or partners who never got past their teenage years in an emotional sense!)

    Nothing wrong with bringing a bottle and clearing up after a party, either; it just shows you're a good friend. Rather than comparing yourself with others whose life goals are different to yours, and then feeling inferior because you don't match up, just stop. Look at what you DO want out of life, and then go for it. Making really serious life decisions on the basis that everyone does it, and that's what's expected, IS immature. Perhaps the other guests there enjoy their lives, perhaps they don't - whatever, they aren't you.

    Because you don't have these particular ties, you have plenty of freedom to be, to explore, to experience new things and my advice to you is to use it! Maybe further down the line you'll meet someone where things really do click for you, but you'll know when the time is right. The only pressure here is coming from within you, and it can be safely thrown overboard.

    Good luck!

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Maturity is an attitude and a demeanor of responsibility, understanding and social skills. It has nothing to do with milestones or keeping up with the Jones'.

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    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    A 14 year old can pop out a kid, you're fine, I promise you.

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    Being married with kids is no measure of maturity whatsoever. More than half of those people are going to be divorced and single at some point in the future.

    You're the smart one.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Annia
    I just brought a bottle of wine and helped with the cleaning after. Also everyone brought gifts to all the kids present and I just brought a gift to the person who had birthday that day.
    Oh, honey, you did fine. Wine is a necessity just to be around those people. Hah! Nobody expects you to cater to ALL children to keep up with everyone else's Jones's. That's a reciprocal thing that they all signed up for to mutually spoil their own children. You've got no skin in that game, and that's a good thing.

    Really.

    Enjoy whatever degree of maturity you own at this moment--or not. Trust that if you don't feel ready for children, then it's far from ironic that you don't have any right now. You get to enjoy other people's kids to whatever degree you wish--or not--while they have zero choice in 24/7 performance for the next 18 years at a minimum.

    I can appreciate the comparisons, as I also made them in my youth. Except I scored my assessments in my own favor instead of degrading my foresight to avoid committing myself to anyone who would have driven me nuts, sooner rather than later.

    I opted not to glamorize the lives of those around me after spending enough time embedded in the mundane exhaustion of child rearing with my younger sister's kids--and these were people I LOVED.

    I couldn't have been thankful enough when my alone time came and shined like a diamond.

    If you're going to fantasize about the lives of others, add reality before adopting any envy to make yourself miserable. I wouldn't have traded places with the best of them, despite my love for them, and I've come to learn that each and every one of them would have traded places with me, at some point.

    Head high, and trust the road less traveled. You will thank yourself soon enough.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your wonderful input. I feel that I'm too hard with myself sometimes but I also feel that I have lots of things I need to improve in my life. I also need to sort out why these social interactions make me feel so uncomfortable and out of place. I feel that's something that has to do with my issues and not with the people around since they're generally kind with me. It might also have to with the fact that they've been bonding for longer than I have and have more in common with each other than I do. But still, I don't think this discomfort I feel is normal.

    I also feel that I might going through something mentally and might need professional help. I've been feeling very low energy lately, very low motivation and very bad about my self and seem unable to get out of this funk even know I rationally know I need to take action and do something. I don't know how to explain you, I just feel something wrong with my mental health and maybe even general health at this point. It's very hard to get medical help here and I'm not even sure if I'm assigned a GP here where I am but I need to take action because I feel that I'm sinking mentally and there's no actual objective reason to be feeling like this.

    Also my work is very mentally demanding plus speaking this new language all day and I haven't been able to sleep properly for ages and it affects my focus and mental skills. I feel like my mind is foggy. Also it doesn't help that the workload is a lot now and the responsibility of it all makes me nervous. I also have this stupid insecurity that my co-workers might think I'm dumb because sometimes I have to ask about things that later I think were too basic to ask at this point.

    Then it seems that everything have a bigger weight than it objectively has because I don't have friends or family around to hang out in this country and hasn't built a good personal life and social network here yet.

    Sorry I just needed to vent.

  11. #10
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    I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I think it's time -pun intended, I guess -to break it up into baby steps - because beating yourself up is counterproductive/waste of time. Pick one to three things you can accomplish today that to you falls into the category of "adulting". That can involve self-care or being a good listener, or cleaning part of your home.

    I'll never forget when I was in my 30s my friend, in his early 30s, told me he and his wife were looking into buying their first home (they had two small children). He said matter of factly "you know, it's the next step everyone does." I was single (might have had a boyfriend but "single"), no kids and working crazy intense hours at my job/career. Huh? Next step? So if I wasn't taking that next step (after the first two steps -marriage/kids) - I wasn't keeping up with what I "should" be doing? Please.

    My niece was a teen mother. She will be 23 soon. She got married at 17 and now has two children with a husband one year older who she adores. And he adores her. And she works her behind off caring for those kids and does a little side "MLM' business. She also was a babysitter for my son. I think she's very mature and she told me after she had the first baby that she felt overwhelmed and said "you know, I'm just [a teenager]". She worked it out, did great, etc -it was a short term issue for her. So yes, she is an example of a teen mother who chose that path and she is not a hero, she's just chosen to do this very hard job of being a full time mom of two young kids. And she's awesome at it.

    I took the long way around - I got married and became a mom at 42. I wanted all of that twenty years earlier. I never thought I wasn't mature enough or ready enough -I simply hadn't become the right person to find the right person -which I only figured out in hindsight -when I was struggling I am so glad there was no real social media since I did tons of comparing, was subjected to comments on and on about my "still single" status and assumptions about choosing my career over kids, loving to date but not loving to settle down, etc. I get it, I relate.

    Please know that adulting and maturity comes in all shapes and sizes and pursuits. I know married people who are immature (I certainly acted immature last night -silly argument!) - single people who I so admire and respect, and the truth is some of the best parenting and life advice I got as a new mom was not from other moms at all. Got some bad advice from other moms and comments that reflected their immaturity, etc

    It does "look" really adult when you see parents with their kids at a party - especially since many parents are on high alert that their children should behave appropriately and they behave appropriately too. I am not saying AT ALL that behind closed doors they mistreat their kids. Not at all. I'm not about those extremes. I just mean what you see is a snapshot. You don't know their struggles, you don't know if they behave in a mature way generally, you don't know whether they were ready for marriage and parenthood.

    I felt "ready" but just like with a job - the best mindset is to know that you don't know everything, to know that you can feel "ready" but "woman plans and god laughs" - and so you muddle through it. And tell your child when you mess up so it keeps you humble. It's also the best when genuine down to earth people don't put on the "mature" facade or the "smug married" facade so you get to see a bit of reality - which is a crazy mix most of the time - whether you're a single/married/parent/childfree adult - try and be around people who are willing to be humble and show their flaws.

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