A mother has struck a chord with parents after admitting she is “embarrassed” that she cannot afford the same lifestyle her parents provided for her own children.
Go to the UK Parenting Forum mumsnet, the unnamed woman said she grew up in a big house and her parents could afford both private education and family vacations after they “became the upper-middle class.”
She said that despite her having a decent career and her husband being a professional too, they cannot afford the same privileges for their children and it is not a position they could have ever imagined.
Other parents admitted that they also struggled to give their children the same benefits as they did growing up because of the changing economy, while some argued that children can’t miss something they never had and that love is more important than materialistic things.
A mother took to British parenting forum Mumsnet to reveal her ’embarrassment’ for not being able to give her children the same lifestyle she enjoyed growing up (stock image)
The mother wrote a lengthy post admitting she feels “guilty” for not being able to afford private school and a large house.
She asked other parents about their experiences, saying, “My parents came from humble beginnings, but through hard work, intelligence, and a bit of luck along the way (buying their first home after the market just collapsed) they eventually became the upper middle class.” working class, gave my siblings and I a private education, a nice big house, great vacations and all the extracurricular activities we wanted.
‘My mother worked part-time, so we had plenty of time with her and my father was very hands-on on the weekends.
“I’ve also worked hard, done well in school, had a decent career and my husband is comparable (neither of us are bankers, but both work in professions and do well). His family has a similar backstory to mine, and we have a shared vision for the kind of life we want for our children (similar to our own childhood). But for some reason we don’t see ourselves being able to afford the same things as our parents.’
Explaining that they don’t struggle with basic necessities and are aware that they are luckier than most other families, the mother continues: “I never see us affording private school and although we can afford a good home, it’s not the property that our parents managed to get hold of.
“We also both work full-time, while DH’s mom didn’t work and my mom only worked part-time.
The mother admitted she was ‘depressed’ because she couldn’t take better care of her children than previous generations
“I know this has largely to do with the different economic conditions we’re dealing with (particularly the unfortunate time of buying a house and the private school fees that are way out of line with the pay increases), but I feel so bad that i can’t give my kids the same privileges we had when we were growing up. I’m ashamed of it too tbh – I’ve never seen myself in this position, but here I am!
‘Has anyone else been through the same thing? I feel like most generations are doing better than the last and I’m just so depressed because it’s getting worse.”
Many comments on the thread admitted that they also struggle to accept that they can’t offer their children the same privileges they had when they were growing up.
One person wrote: ‘It’s really depressing how hard work isn’t rewarded like it was for previous generations. We can do everything “right” – such as doing well in school, going to college, getting a professional job, etc.
“In the end, many of us are still in extortionate private rental housing with £30,000 in student debt. Can’t afford to buy because of the excessive rent. The wages are not high unless you are in London working as a banker or something. It’s so ***. It’s not fair at all. I can’t imagine what it will be like by the time I finally reach retirement age, which will no doubt continue to rise (assuming I’m still alive)’
Another said: ‘I feel exactly the same. I don’t care if I have two cars or a big house. But for me it’s about education. Private school is not an option and I believe (unfortunately) it is more necessary now that it was in my day.
A flood of comments on the post confessed that they also struggled to get their kids the same lifestyle they had growing up
‘Houses are becoming so expensive that only people with parental help or extremely well-paid jobs can afford them. It is mainly people from private schools who get these. I have a good job, but not in the industries that make the kind of money you need to pay school fees.
“It’s so sad that it is. Maybe it’s the Tory government, but social mobility seems to be peddling back. My father came from a municipal estate to become a partner at a well-known global surveying company. He was able to do this when he left school at the age of 16 and did not go to college through college. That journey is not possible now.
‘My children will be significantly worse off than me. I feel guilty that I didn’t make better choices in my career. I wish I had thought more about money and been less frivolous.”
Others urged the mother not to compare her childhood to the lifestyle she can provide for her own children and tried to reassure her that materialistic things don’t matter.
One person wrote: ‘You sound like you’re doing really well. There can also be quite a significant inheritance in your children’s future. Children need love, support, understanding and fun.
Other comments on the thread argued that children don’t need materialistic things and the mother could project her unhappiness onto them
“They don’t need private education or a huge house or expensive vacations abroad (and I say that as someone who just went abroad in adulthood and is now obsessed with travel). Try to stop comparing to your parents and just have fun with your kids, they won’t worry about the things you know for sure.”
‘You sound like a snob and very materialistic if you think that a private school, a big house and holidays abroad make for a happier childhood. If this is how many people think these days, it’s no wonder so many people have mental health issues,” said another.
A third added: “The most important thing is that your children are loved. Other than a roof over our heads and food in the cupboard, wishing for other things is materialistic and your kids won’t be happy about it. If anything, you project your unhappiness and negatives onto your children and teach them that happiness cannot be achieved without money.”