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42 Surprising Signs You’re Really, Finally a Grown-Up

Buying life insurance doesn't make you a grown-up, but uttering the phrase, "No, mom, how are YOU doing?" means you've probably arrived.


Calling your mom just to make sure she's okay

For all of your early life your mother took care of you. By the time you're 18, you may even resent some of her efforts, laughing when she sneaks extra socks into your camp bag, when she asks if you're eating enough, and especially when she calls at 11 p.m. on a Friday night to make sure you're okay because she "just had a feeling." But at some point that switch subtly flips and you realize you're the one calling her. You're not sure if she saw the storm warning or if she remembered to pick up her medication or if she locked all the doors. When she asks why you're checking up on her, you say it's because you just had a feeling—and that feeling is called love. (These sweet short stories about moms will make you want to call yours.)


Buying your favorite treat for no reason

Remember how much work Halloween used to be? You had to craft the perfect costume, map out your route, and find a sturdy bag—not to mention all the many miles you had to trudge through your neighborhood. And all to get a handful of your favorite mini candy bars among a pile of Tootsie rolls and Smarties! Now, remember the day you realized you could go to the store any old day of the year and buy a bag of only your favorite treats and eat them all by yourself? (We won't talk about the day you realized that just because you could didn't mean that you should!)


Programming birthdays into your calendar

Your loved ones' birthdays happen every year, so why not make them a recurring event on your calendar? And also, you have a lot of birthdays to remember now! (You might also want to steal these habits of people with impressive memories.)


Realizing you look like a creeper

Kids can do lots of things adults can't normally get away with. Things like swimming naked, falling asleep in their food, wearing mismatched socks, and asking intrusive personal questions of strangers are adorable when tots do them but downright creepy for an adult. It takes only one time of getting caught sneaking through your neighbor's backyard with a water gun at night to make you realize that you are now held to a more grown-up (if less fun) standard.


Being the first person to pick up the check

You could sit there and argue about whose turn it is to pay for dinner. Or you could pick up the check, divide it by four, and have your credit card ready before the waitress leaves the table. Math solves so many problems! (Should you still split the check if you ate way less than everyone else? Check out the etiquette for splitting a bill and other modern annoyances.)


Flying alone

Arriving on time, checking your luggage, getting your boarding pass, making it through security, finding your gate, and stashing your carry-on under the seat before the flight attendant tells you is basically the ultimate test of being an adult. You passed? Congratulations, now you get to spend several hours in a cramped seat next to a guy who forgot that bathing is also part of being a grown-up. (Bonus points for adding a car rental!) (Here are 14 things you should never do on an airplane.)


Having your social security number memorized

What need did you have for a Social Security number as a kid? None! But as a grown-up you've had to use it so many times that you've now got it memorized. You know you've reached peak adulthood when you've got your spouse's memorized as well.


Embracing your title

The first time someone asks for Mrs. Jones and you don't look around for your mom.


Attending parent-teacher conference

Contrary to popular belief, having a child doesn't automatically make you a grown-up. But you know what will make you grow up quickly? Listening to your child's kindergarten teacher explain that "the no-pants dance" is not a thing at school, and your child's enthusiastic participation is all your fault.


Seeing your name on a bill

Who's going to pay the electric bill? You are! Who's going to cover the overages on the cell bill? You are! Who's going to deal with the IRS? You again! And in case you forget, there's your name on the front in black and white. Read these tips to save on every household bill.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest