There Are No Grown-ups

There Are No Grown-ups

A Midlife Coming-of-age Story

Book - 2018
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The author confronts the realities of being forty, examining how the modern forties are less associated with midlife than in the past and discussing the disconnects of social media, the French perspectives about libido, and the challenges of raising kids while caring for aging parents.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2018
ISBN: 9781594206375
Characteristics: 274 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 13, 2018

Enjoyable read. As I’m in my late 30s I found it inspiring. Love this author, very honest but also well written.

MrsIredale Jul 04, 2018

This was an enjoyable, funny and real book about getting older.

Jun 04, 2018

For those of us in our 40s, or otherwise worried about aging, it's a refreshing book which reminds us to take a step back and accept ourselves, warts and all, and that we are not alone in winging it when we "ought to be adults". We may no longer be in our 20s, and lines have crept up (I've been blaming my preschooler for both lines and greys), but we're not dead or useless, and certainly do have self-worth.

In Bringing Up Bebe, we were reminded that it's entirely possible that the child-centric approach by the English-speaking world is not necessarily healthy, for the children or the parents. I will fully admit that my family is my priority, but if I don't take care of myself, I certainly can not take care of my family. If I hate myself, my appearance, or my intellect, what type of model am I demonstrating to my children, particularly my daughter? If I don't work on maintaining a fun life with my spouse, what are we teaching our children about healthy relationships? We also learned that children can eat anything, sleep alone, and don't need to have extracurricular activities and tutors every waking moment of the day (though it's extremely difficult with Mompetition). Unfortunately, our kids are not growing up in a vacuum, and without the support of other parents also teaching their children things such as basic table manners and picking up after themselves, it's still an uphill battle, but that's ok--I'd rather have the kids develop better habits now, than try to have them unlearn terrible behaviour after they've hit puberty.

There Are No Grown-Ups, similarly, is full of the normal self-doubt we are each experiencing (Why don't I know this "adulting thing" by now? Does anyone else know? What do they know that I don't? Are they simply faking it better than me? Yes. To all of it), as well as an exuberant desire to understand and experiment, accept, alter one's perspective, move on.

It's hard, as an American, to age--we invented teenagers after WWII and a similarly youth-obsessed culture. This obsession has gone too far--teens are getting botox and implants (back in the 80s, it was nosejobs). We are told and believe that women can't get pregnant past 30 because they're too old (not true), that women past a certain age don't want to have sex (not true), that men only want women half their age (not true), that women and men aren't valuable in the workplace because they have aged-out of relevant experience (also not true).

My take-away from her books is that we are each valuable and worthwhile, even if we don't want to admit that we are old and clueless in certain ways, surprisingly comfortable and non-plussed in others. The grass isn't always greener and no point to not accepting yourself as you are, be comfortable in your own skin and the person you've become.

Pamela Druckerman: There are No Grown-ups


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Oct 05, 2018

I’m not thrilled about looking older. But I realize what unsettles me most about becoming “madame” is the implication that I’m now a grown-up myself. I feel like I’ve been promoted beyond my competence.

What is a grown-up anyway? Do they really exist? If so, what exactly do they know? And how can I make the leap to become one of them? Will my mind ever catch up with my face?


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