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To think that the choices that you make as a teenager determine the rest of your life?

(125 Posts)
poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:13:47

And how happy you will be?

Yet many teenagers make foolish choices. As a teenager I did work hard at A-levels but I was clueless about what career I wanted. I have settled on being a teacher but in retropect I'd liek to have been a doctor, lawyer of hotshot journalist.
It was at the age of 16 when I got involved with my very abusive ex and that has set the scene for my future relationships. I have had a difficult time with men ever since.
I think I was abit of a rebel to be honest and didn't want to listen to my parents at all.

I drank a bit and tried weed which messed my head up.

My sister was a very straight-laced teen and knew exactly that she wanted to be a doctor and is now a highly succesful psychiatrist. My parents thought there was something wrong with her as she spent her teens reading Jane Austin novels on the couch whereas I was down the pub shagging boys. Fair play to her. She's the one who has got the best life now.

I just wish I had made better life choices back then and yet I am filled with nostalgia for my fun-filled teens.

Having said that- I hope dd turns out like my dsis and not like me. I would love her to ba and Austen reading teen.

I will basically tell her what I got up to and say ''well if you really want to end up like me then go for it and rebel but I'm sure you'd rather be like your amazing auntie!''

poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:14:48

Although mabe rebelling against me will make her like Saffy.

Mingg Sun 01-Aug-10 21:16:47

Yes and no - some things you cannot change others you can if you choose to

southeastastra Sun 01-Aug-10 21:17:15

i always think you must be very lucky to know what you wanted to do at such a young age

Lynli Sun 01-Aug-10 21:21:24

If you know what you want now, go and get it.
Just because you have taken a wrong path doesn't mean you have to stay on it.

SparklyJules Sun 01-Aug-10 21:21:36

I don't think they determine the course of the rest of your life, but they can influence it. But then, life is not all about taking the "right path" is it? Sometimes we learn more about the world and ourselves by taking the harder route and having regrets. Maybe if you had gone down the route of being a lawyer you'd be sat in an office working from 7am until 10pm, a corporate slave with no lovely DD in your life?

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:25:10

Yes - the choices made as a teenager have influenced my life but that's not a bad thing.

I was a messed up teenager. read austen and dickens and shut myself away from the world. Never kenw what i wanted to do. until i dropped out of A levels. took up with dodgy BF. smoked bit. drank a lot.
then moved a bit. then met now DH, got knocked up quite young.
Had DD1, then DD2, then a dog. then got married. went back to school. got a job, went back to school again. got another job.

NOW - i know what I want to do.

As a teenager - yes i made choices that have influenced my life. If i'd done the A levels - uni route i'd never have met DH and never have had the DDs but i'd be doing something else i wouldn't be as good at. so i don't regret te choices - even if at the time they seemed bad ones.

poshsinglemum Sun 01-Aug-10 21:25:27

Trouble is now I'm a single mum I don't know what I want any more. Yes- I'd like to have an amazing job. No- I don't want to spend years training for it right now when I have to provide for dd financially. I plan to go back to Uni when dd leaves home tho!

fartblossom Sun 01-Aug-10 21:30:28

Ive been thinking something along similar lines (infact Ive thought about starting a thread in AIBU). Although I feel Ive got a crappy life right now and things could be soooo much better for me, but I got onto this path in my mid 20's. During my teens I was heading for bigger and better things. So in that respect I would have to say YABslightlyU, but YANBU to think that our past does effect where we are now and possibly our future, its just that this might not necessarily be our teens.

Ive decided today that without a decent lottery win Im not going to be able to change much, but I can change my perspective and instead of being all down and depressed about how my life has turned out, Im going to TRY to do something about making the best of it. I think you might need to try to do that?

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:30:51

that's a pla.

i went back to school when DD2 went to school. was very very poor for a few yars but made up for it since.

whiteflame Sun 01-Aug-10 21:31:09

i think this is a case of the grass is greener on the other side. in my family, i would probably be the equivalent of the straight-laced sister, and my life isn't so rosy as it probably looks from the outside...

also i often look back and feel sad that i didn't do any of the teenage partying that my sister did!

EccentricaGallumbits Sun 01-Aug-10 21:31:36

pla????

i meant plan

whn i win the lottery i'm having a boat.

laweaselmys Sun 01-Aug-10 21:34:05

Life is not that easy though is it? And lumping souch pressure on teens to choose what they want to be right now is probably partly why we have such horrifically high teenage depression rates.

I didn't know what I wanted to do until I was twenty and had nearly finished my degree. As long as if you don't know what you're doing you stay in education I think it's fine.

sue52 Sun 01-Aug-10 21:34:34

I was a very well behaved convent school girl and when I look back I wish I had made more of my teenage years. It was the sixties and I lived in London. I think maybe everyone plays whatif with their past, however well or badly life has treated them. Good luck with your Uni plans, I am sure you will be an incredibly focused mature student.

fartblossom Sun 01-Aug-10 21:35:41

Im 31, have a degree and still dont know what I want to do.

Sometimes I envy those that know from a young age what they want to do, but sometimes I wonder how it must feel if you dont achieve that dream for whatever reason.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 01-Aug-10 21:36:44

Hmmm... I think it's limited to teenage choices really. I suspect it's all the choices we make - every day. I made some very questionable choices in my teens/twenties but now I'm in my forties I don't feel the impact of any of them. The stupid things I chose to do a few years ago however are still giving me cause for concern grin

I know what you mean.

The friends I have who lived it up in their teens/early 20s are paying the price for it now (health problems caused by drug use/unemployment due to undereducation etc). Whereas the ones who stayed in and studied now have the nice houses, husbands and fulfilling careers.

It's not all that black and white, though. Some have invested in careers that are incompatible with having children and will have to make an either/or choice at some point.

Like most things it is about finding the right balance. I want my DCs to make the most of their youth because you are only young once but just not so much that they ruin thier lives.

wukter Sun 01-Aug-10 21:39:57

YANBU.
Equally though, in your 40's you may well be saying the choices you made in my 20's determined the course of your life. Hopefully they will be wiser choices than your teenage ones.

(Generic 'you' btw)

DuelingFanjo Sun 01-Aug-10 21:40:00

I didn't lose my virginity until I was 25/6, didn't smoke until I was 26.... I'm still not a lawyer or a doctor wink

wukter Sun 01-Aug-10 21:40:44

xposts BDSM smile

expatinscotland Sun 01-Aug-10 21:41:59

Mine certainly did. My life has been basically one big catalogue of fuck ups, too.

ivykaty44 Sun 01-Aug-10 21:45:26

tbh it sounds really that you are not happy with your life and don't know how you are going or could cahnge it

you can at this satge change the course of your life if you so wish - you only get one chance so if you want to be a doctor or solicitor or hot shot jorno - then go and get it ...it isn't to late

no it may not be easy - it may not make you any happier but take a look at what you want and dddecide if you want to change

sanfairyann Sun 01-Aug-10 21:46:58

nah, I don't buy that at all. of course we all make choices every day and they affect us but at any point we can change direction,start a new career, go off down a different path. my dad's started out on a new career, complete change of direction. he's 64, started his new job about 4 years ago at the age of 60. it's more to do with attitude and self belief

FakePlasticTrees Sun 01-Aug-10 21:52:38

Agree with academic choices (what to do and how hard to work). Let's face it, I am not going to go back to do a different 4 A levels for 2 years and then to uni for another 3 years in my 30s. So career wise I'm limited by choices I made at 16 when picking my A levels, and even more limited by my degree choice.

Career wise, if you made bad decisions not to study at school, not to focus, not to choose certain career paths/chances, you are really stuck by 30 and it's very, very hard to start again when you have responsiblities of DCs - and by the time DS is no longer my responsiblity, I'll be pushing 50 and winding down to retirement - and unlikely to have the energy, drive and working years to start again and get to a high level in something new.

Relationship wise, not really - you don't have to make the same mistakes over and over, I haven't.

Marjee Sun 01-Aug-10 21:57:26

I think yes and no to that question. I wish I had some ambition when I was younger and actually studied or saved money instead of drinking, taking drugs and partying. I have a lovely dh and ds now so its not all bad but I've got no career and not much money.

On the other hand I've got friends with amazing careers who are jealous of me because of my wonderful family. I think the key is to be happy with what you've got or find a way to change things. I'm planning to go to college soon to train for a better paid and more fulfilling job but I'd rather be without a fantastic career than without a fantastic family.

I have often thought the pressure put on teenagers to decide about their life at 16/17/18 is wrong - but only because how on earth can you know what you want to do at that age and stick to it for the next 50 years until you retire.

But I would disagree that the choices you make at that age f**k up your life or otherwise. It is all part of growing up and living. Decsions you make everyday effect your life for the whole of your life not just when you are a teenager.

At 16 I was 'in love' with my childhood sweetheart who broke my heart. At 17 I moved in with a new boyfriend. At 18 I got pregnant and had an abortion. At 20 my same boyfriend started to hit me. At 21 I woke up and moved home. At 21 I started to dabble in drugs, found the true love of my life - settled down etc etc etc.

However I had a career, enjoyed my lifestyle, love my children and don't think anythink i did when I was 17/18 has any much bearing on the life I live now.

cyteen Sun 01-Aug-10 21:59:34

I seem to remember a previous thread of yours where you expressed the opinion (quite convincingly) that despite all her material and worldly success, your sister was not a particularly nice or well-balanced person.

The socially acceptable choices on offer to teenagers aren't always right for everybody; I stayed in school and got good A levels, went to uni and got a decent degree despite some pretty fucked-up shit going on in my life. I don't have a career and have often thought that, had I made my own choices as a teenager instead of doing what everyone else expected of me, I might have ended up somewhere quite different, work-wise. Well, obviously I would have, but it might have been somewhere more meaningful to me.

wukter Sun 01-Aug-10 22:10:06

There are very few people who don't look wistfully down the road not taken.
No-one's life is perfect, so it's time to count yer blessings, isn't it? That's the way I look at my own life anyway, full of love, but not much money, career wise etc.

sunny2010 Sun 01-Aug-10 22:19:13

I was the maddest wreckhead of all time in my youth. Still got married at 20, bought a place at 18, just got my degree, always worked, etc.

I just managed to keep both sides of my life seperately the goody, goody side I showed work, my parents, others parents etc. Then my going mad side all day, all night every weekend with no sleeping, eating or normality. I lived this way for years and it never did me any harm! I definitely dont think it effects your life as long as you are an accomplished jeckyll and hyde type!

MillyR Sun 01-Aug-10 22:24:28

I spent my teenage years living in a squat, and my life has turned out all right. So have the lives of the people I lived with.

You're no dead yet, OP. Give life a chance to happen before you decide what has determined the course of it.

sanfairyann Sun 01-Aug-10 22:25:52

more of a 'glass half empty' or 'glass half full' view of life. nothing to stop any of us retraining at any age or just going off and doing something completely different - yes it might be hard but it's not impossible. perhaps you might have to give up on the dream of gymnastics champion (over the hill by 20) though

blueshoes Sun 01-Aug-10 22:34:43

Of course choices as a teenager can influence your direction for the rest of your life. It is not immutable, but far more difficult to catch up if you take a wrong turn so early on.

My parents were very clear what they expected of me growing up:

- to excel academically, to at least tertiary level
- not get pregnant early
- work hard at a well-paying career
- then marriage and children.

That template works pretty well. Not for everyone, I agree. But it is the safest and most direct route to a comfortable life.

Aliarse Sun 01-Aug-10 22:35:22

fab post sparklyjules! My thoughts exactly.

itstimmytime Sun 01-Aug-10 22:42:28

Ditto aliarse

I wouldn't have my wonderful 12yo daughter if I'd chosen the sensible route of concentrating on my education at that agegrin The rest of my life so far has been shaped by the fact I am a Mum. Yes I'd love it if my DD1 (or indeed either of my kids) could decide what she wants early and work towards it, but life is not as simple as ambition and achievement. Circumstances and sinchronicity play a massive part in life whether you scraped a few 'o' levels or gained a first class degree at Oxford. I went back to studying in my 20's. Teenage mistakes can be rectified. A good example of that would be Graeme Cox, who went to to be an astro-physicist (or something like that) after an early life of being in a band. A supportive family made all the difference to me. If your kids take the wrong path, keep the door open and give them the opportunity to turn around. That's what my folks did for me.

Litchick Mon 02-Aug-10 09:47:37

Very interesting question.

As a complete optimist ( Pollyanna? ) I'm inclined to say that any mistakes can be rectified.
I've reinvented my life many many times. And not always due to mistakes, often because I became bored with the old life.
I'd like to impress upon my kids that life is for living and grabbing opportunities. If things don't work out, you can always back track and find a new path. Very little is 'forever'.

That said, some actions do have a lasting impact, no question. If you start smoking you're going to find it a bugger to give up and it will affect your health. Similarly if you have unprotected sex, you open yourself up to HIV, the wart virus ( with its links to cervical cancer ), unwanted pregnancies.

So I guess I also want to impress upon them that actions do have consequences and that you have to be prepared to stand by those.

MrsC2010 Mon 02-Aug-10 09:59:43

Yes and no. I never worked hugely hard as a teenager but was lucky to find school academics easy so got very good grades anyway. This allowed me to get a good job while I decided on what I wanted to do before going to uni at 23, getting into the uni I wanted to do the degree I wanted with no problem. This allowed me a successful career before giving me the option of choosing to change tacks and retrain, again getting onto the training (for a lower paid job, teaching) with no issues.

So what I did as a teen did set me up to be able to take certain routes, but they weren't choices I made. To be honest I only did what I had to, anything less wasn't an option with my slightly puchy parents! Who knows what grades I could have got, the ones I did get would have been enough for a 'hotshot' career but I didn't and don't want one. I would say the choices my parents made (good public school, slightly pushy etc) had more impact, teamed with the intellect they gave me!

But yes, I could have gone off the rails and done the whole drink/drugs thing in which case my life might be different.

mumblechum Mon 02-Aug-10 10:02:30

I'm not sure that having a fixed idea of what you want to do is necessarily a good thing.

DS wants to be an Army doctor. So five years training, then going to Sandhurst then another couple of years training. It's ALL he wants to do so if he falls at the first hurdle of getting into med school (where there are 17 applicants with straight A* for every place), I don't know what he'll do.

AccioPinotGrigio Mon 02-Aug-10 10:28:01

"I will basically tell her what I got up to and say ''well if you really want to end up like me then go for it and rebel but I'm sure you'd rather be like your amazing auntie!"

But then you would be perpetuating the myth that a professional career (doctor, lawyer) is the most to which any of us should ever aspire and that if we fall short of this mark then we have failed.

Why would you want to hang that on your daugther?

ben5 Mon 02-Aug-10 10:32:02

i wish i wasn't forced to do gcse french and do a gcse that would of got me a grade 'c'. which would of been much better leading me to a better college course and then of course job. i've never used french since leaving school! it was a total waste of 2 years!

SylvanianFamily Mon 02-Aug-10 10:34:12

Mumblechum - reach for the stars; and just maybe you'll pull down the moon.

Hard work and education are rarely wasted, even if you take a different route through life to what you envisaged.

OrmRenewed Mon 02-Aug-10 10:40:42

I don't think they have to. I think they do often because we beleive that they do. DH was a lazy pupil at school, got crap A-levels, started a 3 yr course at poly, gave it up after a year, worked in retail, then got made redundant and went to university to train as a teacher, qualified, didn't teach for 14yrs, went into social services working for adults with learning difficulties, then started doing carpentry/buliding work for 6 yrs. He got a tA job 2 years ago and started work as a teacher last Sept. He is finally a fully-qualified teacher.

I think it's too harsh to say that teenagers, who lets face it have other things to think about, are really in a good place to make decisions about the rest of their lives. Anf then act on them with determination and single-mindedness.

Altinkum Mon 02-Aug-10 10:44:26

No, I dont, you determine you're life future plans, their may be obstacles in the way of getting their, but you find a direction that gets you to you're goal.

bedubabe Mon 02-Aug-10 10:49:07

mumblechum: If he doesn't get in he can do biomedical sciences and then go onto qualify as a doctor doing the post-grad route. Adds a couple of years on but if he wants it enough he'll do it.

Personally, I think the choices made as a teenager affect your whole life but it's a bit strong to say they determine it. I was a 'good' teenager, got the a-levels and the degree but that doesn't (on its own) guarantee money and happiness.

Teenagers don't always make the most sensible choices but neither do people in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s (I've decided by my 60s I'll be wise smile)

There's nothing to stop you doing a-levels in your thirties. Yes it's probably unrealistic to go back to school for two years but there are part-time options. If you want it enough it's worth the time. My step-mum retrained as a lawyer in her late forties. I'm planning on retraining next year and I'm in my thirties. I will have two kids under three (touch wood), will be working full time on top and be having to travel 14 hours every three weeks to study. The time's there if it's important enough.

You only get one life. There's no point spending time blaming where you are now on whatever unfortunate events happen in the past because it won't help your future (this is not to negate the potential need for counselling etc to come to terms with past events btw). If you don't like your life at the moment only you have the power to change that.

That might seem overly rose tinted to some. I live in a country where there are a lot of people who are genuinly constrained by their circumstances of birth. Maybe 1 in 1000 would have enough intellegence/talent/luck to get out. In the UK you're not constrained in the same way unless you chose to be.

Squitten Mon 02-Aug-10 11:01:49

I wouldn't say that teenage decisions necessarily determine the course of your life but I do think that if you make bad choices or significantly decide to change your plans, it is harder to change the course of things as an adult.

Things like pregnancy, etc, obviously have a massive impact on future plans and you need to be VERY determined to overcome the problems that may come up as a result. But it can also be quite difficult to change careers if you then need to study, etc, at the same time as working and having a family.

I think teenage choices are restricted far too early here. You start knocking off school subjects as the age of 14 and you're down to only one at 18! If we retained a broader system of education for longer and allowed multiple subject degrees, people might not get so stuck in a rut and would have longer to decide what they want to specialise in

izzybiz Mon 02-Aug-10 11:02:04

Mine certainly did, I made the choice at 16 to keep my baby, 17 years on I do sometimes wonder where life would have taken me had I not fallen pregnant with him, but to be honest, I wouldn't change a thing!

I have two more Dc now who are still very young, I wonder what I'll do fo myself as they get older and I'm looking forward to trying something new, but even at 34 I still don't know what!

Morloth Mon 02-Aug-10 11:12:29

I know plenty of people who have completely overhauled their lives/careers mid-30s.

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up and I am 33. Am intending to do something completely different once DS2 is out of the baby phase.

Regrets are pointless, you can change things now if you want to enough.

MrsC2010 Mon 02-Aug-10 11:19:37

There is only one action/decision that I regret from my younger years, and changing that wouldn't change where I am now...it was a moral thing.

All of the silly little things I did I don't regret, I wouldn't change where I am now for all of the tea in China or money I would have made.

Only if you let them.

They will influence your life, but not determine it.

The rest of your life is not set in stone. You can make changes the rest of your lfe starting from now.

BaggedandTagged Mon 02-Aug-10 12:29:45

There are few decisions you make as a teenager (or at any time)that are irreversible (unless you, say, get a criminal record which excludes you from certain professions that you later decide you desperately want to get into).

If you REALLY wanted to be a doctor you still could - you just would have to do your A-levels again and go to med school.

That said, I know what you mean in that sometimes these decisions are easier made earlier- so redoing A-levels prob isnt practical now.

I suppose the metaphor would be that it's easier to lay the foundations properly before you build the house rather than go back and fix the subsidence later.

fartblossom Mon 02-Aug-10 13:22:46

There has been some VERY good points raised here in this thread. Some very inspirational words and phrases (Can I mark this thread so I can read it whenever I like?)

It has certainly made me re-evaluate my feelings towards where I am in my life now and how I feel about it.

One thing I read/heard about regrets is 'never regret a thing after all you wanted to do it at the time'. Hearing that completely got me over something that I regretted for months (leaving a job I once had).

This thread certainly has got me thinking and I hope it has you too OP.

mumblechum Mon 02-Aug-10 13:26:05

bedubabe Thanks for that info, may well be a viable Plan B

BlairWaldorfsHairband Mon 02-Aug-10 13:41:24

I definitely see the OP's point and agree totally, at least in academic terms, can't speak as someone who went off the rails wink

GCSEs, then A levels and ultimately a degree for some. As your A level choices usually require a certain grade or level of competence at GCSE, and you always need certain A levels and grades for a degree, these choices are really really important and I wish I'd thought ahead at the time. I never had a career plan and my whole life all anyone ever told me was how good I was at Maths. My mum has a maths degree and I wanted to go to Oxbridge and do the same (no idea why) so that was what I decided to do. Got the best GCSE grades in my year at school, went off to do A levels including Maths and Further Maths. Long story short, grades dropped from A*s and As at GCSE to Bs at A level (I had never really had to work before), Oxbridge didn't want me and I ended up studying a combined maths degree at another good uni. But too late I realised that it wasn't my passion (and neither was I that good at it to be honest) and ended up changing the course to a straight degree in my other discipline (Philosophy). I'm now 23 and have ended up in a good career purely because I have a degree, but I now realise it's not what I want to do and I wonder all the time how my life would have turned out instead if I'd taken different A levels - I could have done anything I wanted. I feel like I missed out on English, languages, art and sciences, all of which I liked at school. But having always been "the one who was good at maths" combined with having no career ideas whatsoever has led me somewhere that I am not passionate about.

So I do feel that everything so far has rested entirely on my teenage choices. I wish someone had told me then to pick things I loved. I would have had much more enthusiasm to forge a decent career out of whatever I chose if that had been the case.

mrspickles Mon 02-Aug-10 14:37:44

I was a very bad teen in many ways, had lots of casual sex and drunk too much and took drugs. However I also got good enough A-levels to go to Cambridge (where I continued to take a lot of drugs!!) and I thank god I wasn't busted & chucked out of college at the time. I was lucky that I could always put my head down at exams and pass while coasting through the rest of the year, I don't think I went to a single lecture in my last year. I continued to be academically successful after uni, became a lawyer, but actually now I wish I hadn't bothered as its not compatible with having children. Have two lovely DDs and a lovely DH and not sure if I want to go back to work or not or try and find a different job, which is local and part time and probably requires very little of the skills I have as a lawyer.

mumblechum Mon 02-Aug-10 14:41:05

Mrs Pickles, what was your specialism? It is possible to be a part time lawyer. I've been working pt for donkey's years in a high street practice doing family and wills.

It would be a shame to throw away all that training and experience.

scottishmummy Mon 02-Aug-10 14:43:54

stop ruminating about your regrets.this is all about you and your regrets - not the path your dd choses.ok so things didnt go how you expected?you have had a big ole drink from the poor me font,now plan yourself a way out of the hole you think you are in.stop wallowing and do something about things

Manda25 Mon 02-Aug-10 15:10:37

I made some terrible choices in my teens: drank too much, drugs, underage sex ....which lead to me have a baby aged 17, dropped out of school, petty crime, rubbish relationships, single parent ....however i always knew that i wanted to be a police CP officer or a social worker. I think our resilience and determination impacts our life far more then a few silly teenage decisions.

scottishmummy Mon 02-Aug-10 15:15:34

reflection is good but not if it keeps you stuck.a life of what-ifs isnt a life fully lived. what do you want to do PSM?how can you take steps to achieve it.there is no magic wand,no goin back.only progressing forward and prioritising things you can do and change now

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 02-Aug-10 16:55:51

Yes, I made the most important decision of my life when i was a teenager - I got pregnant at 17 and decided to keep the baby.

Best thing I ever did. You would have thought I was a complete loser at 17 - had a baby, was single (her father buggered off), had no family, had no prospects. I was just a statistic.

Fast forward 14 years, I managed to work my way up workwise, got 2 degrees by studying in the evenings whilst working in a factory during the day, and have got a cracking career which I love. DD is 14 and fantastic. Thank GOD I had her, the best decision in my life.

I am now in the position career wise where the world is my oyster, i don't have to have a career break because I have had my family, and I am still only 32.

It was not the most ideal situation, but have made t

mamatomany Mon 02-Aug-10 17:01:17

Careers and job satisfaction is massively over rated, i know people with amazing CV's who are not happy in any way with their lives. You can always gain more qualifications and the older you are the harder you'll work to achieve your goals IME but you have a definite window of opportunity for the babies.

Gosh no, OP!

I left school after an interrupted life and education (moving around a lot) with four low grade O levels, one A level (grade d and still couldn't pass maths in four attempts. I then worked as a secretary for about 10 years. I worked my way up and now, in my early forties, I'm a chief exec and am at uni doing a part-time masters degree (with no first degree).

I'm really convinced that life is what you make of it, and it's never too late to change your path!

Oh and forgot to say I am in a job and sector that I really love.

wouldliketoknow Mon 02-Aug-10 17:20:27

the past, the past, the past.... get a grip... if you don't like what you do, change it. 3 years ago, i had a job i didn't like, a mortgage so constant need of money, with patience i applied for better jobs, still not passionate about it i give you that but good money, had 1 ds, and as i can't stop working to go to school, i enroll in the open university, your a levels don't matter, you can do it in your own time, lots of help, financially too, and hopefully in 3 or 4 years i can start practicing my new career and keep studying for better qualification, i am still in my 30s, my life is far from over.
so is yours, op, maybe not a degree just yet, but what would you like to do?, your past is enriching experience, not a sentence to a life of boredom
re relationships, take your time, don't date the first loser that shows an interest, if a man is worth having and is going to treat you right, won't need to get in the sag in the third date, take your time, be picky, and trust your instincts, if it looks like an arse, it probably is an arse.
god, that was a lecture grin but i am right.

Im 23 i dont have a clue what i want to do, my brain is like a big jumble of thoughts and plans all just clambering ontop of each other saying 'pick me!'

My children are 5 and 3 so by the time they are old enough for me to really focus on something i am hoping i will have chosen something.

Although saying that i have lived a very unorthodox life so far and have already been very sucsessfull at one career choice (although i wasnt legaly supposed to be working becuase i was to young) so maybe this thread doesnt apply to me!

FellatioNelson Mon 02-Aug-10 17:32:08

People who are very good at deferred gratification tend to do much better in life generally. Doesn't necessarily mean they are happier, but they are ususally more 'successful' and more affluent.

mumeeee Mon 02-Aug-10 17:48:50

No. You can change when you get older.

katiestar Mon 02-Aug-10 18:26:01

How do you kno she has a better life than you? Do you know doctors have the highest rate of suicide,divorce and alcoholism of any profession?

Peabody Mon 02-Aug-10 18:48:24

Interesting thread.

I've been wishing recently that I'd got a career going before I had kids. My degree is useless to me and I can't afford to retrain as I can't afford the childcare plus the fees.

I know I can start all over again once the kids are old enough to be left on their own. But that's ten years away and it's hard to wait!

Bousy Mon 02-Aug-10 19:16:02

BlairWaldorfsHairband you have so much time left to study the things you really want to, and to change your career if you want to do that too. Why stop at just one degree? grin The OU is great for trying out different things, and it's academically rigorous too. Please don't feel you've missed out on English, languages, art etc, they're still out there waiting for you smile

BlairWaldorfsHairband Mon 02-Aug-10 19:34:49

Thank you Bousy Maybe in a couple of years when I finish the professional qualification I'm studying atm! Hopefully I might have some more ideas as to what I would really enjoy then. This is something that worries me a lot so it's been nice to see lots of opinions here.

fartblossom Mon 02-Aug-10 19:41:44

Can I just ask those of you in the know regarding adult education.

How have you managed it? Ive got a degree in sociology and havent used it at all, but would like to study something else. Ive got no money. Am I likely to be able to get help with this?

Thanks. Sorry to hijack, simple answers and points in the right direction for me is all I need.

wouldliketoknow Mon 02-Aug-10 20:09:53

fartblossom, go to the open university website, www.open.ac.uk you can reserve a space in a course there or get the number to call your regional centre and speak to an advisor, request financial support, they send you home a form to fill in your circunstances and then decide how much they give you, you can charge any fees they don't pay for you to ousba, it is a student association, they pay your fees and you repay them in installments at a very low interest, 5-8 % i think, this way you are never in debt and it doesn't matter if you don't have the money in advance, you can also ask for money to buy a computer if you don't have one, or to pay for books, childcare or travel expenses if you need to, this money you don't need to give back. good luck!

fartblossom Mon 02-Aug-10 20:23:03

Thanks will look into it.

BeenBeta Mon 02-Aug-10 20:28:39

There is a path dependency in life.

Back in my day, typically what you did in your O levels determined your A level choices which in turn limited the range of possible jobs or degree course you could potentially do. What you then did as a first job after school/uni often then determined what you did for the rest of your life.

Early choices in life do make a difference to what happens in later life and as life goes on it becomes harder to change to a new track.

KarmaAngel Mon 02-Aug-10 20:42:20

I think yes you are right. I met DH when I was 16, moved in with him when I was 17. I gave up on my A Levels because I wanted to be with DH all the time. So I got a job as a waitress. hmm Now I only have GCSEs and have been a SAHM for 10 years. Nowt wrong with that at all, but I wanted to go to university and be a journalist. Instead I fell into being a SAHM by default because I just had a series of shit jobs.

Now I would like to go back to work, but not only can't I get a job because I've been out of work for so long. I can't get on a bloody college course because there's no funding for adult education in my area any more.

Don't get me wrong I certainly don't regret getting with DH at such a young age or having my dds. I do regret leaving home so young and not furthering my education. As now it's left me unable to have a career.

poshsinglemum Mon 02-Aug-10 21:21:57

I worked really hard at my a-levels and chose strong academic subjects but all that came to nothing because I did not heed my parents' advice about my abusive boyfriend.

I strongly believe that my relationship with him has messed up my ability to hold dowwn a decent relationship since and hence the reason why I am now a single mum. I am not saying it's entirely his fault a sI chose to be with him; and the string of no-hopers since then.

What gets me is that I've has so many priveledges and I'm a bright girl academically but I make such foolish people choices. I find I always fall foul of workplace politics and this is alos holding me back.

I did love my teenage years though in many ways and although I was a bit of a lost sould I did have some incredible experiences. My teens ended badly with me in hospital due to ex and my university career in tatters but I I maged to get a degree again and am a trained teachers.

My relationship choices are holding me back.

scottishmummy Mon 02-Aug-10 21:31:15

psm,you are being a bit maudlin and perhaps that holds you back.so in fact you have QTS.that is good,so what are you going to do.the bulk of your posts is focussed in past, and past mistakes.well it cannot be undone. perhaps you are wallowing too much. in fact,all isnt as bad as you portray.you have had a dd you love.you do have advantages

dont live a life full of regret stop supping at the poor me font

poshsinglemum Mon 02-Aug-10 21:37:27

ivykaty44- You are right in that I am not happy with my life right now and I have no idea what to do about it. The future seems very uncertain.
Yes- I have a georgeous daughter but I always wanted to get married and have two children. I have no more trust in men.
I am a qualified teacher but I stupidly got pregnant during my NQT year and had a big falling out with my management. Basically I felt that I was discriminated against due to pregnancy. Being a single mum isn't a great role model for impressionable young men is it?
My parents always made it very clear that being a doctor was ''the'' thing to be and I do feel that I have fallen short somewhat. Ironically it was their fixation on this career that made me rebel.

poshsinglemum Mon 02-Aug-10 21:38:14

I do poor me a lot recntly and I am being introspective. Sorry-it's boring!

FellatioNelson Mon 02-Aug-10 21:38:35

scottishmummy what is QTS?

scottishmummy Mon 02-Aug-10 21:40:55

psm you need to stop attributing all life woes to other people.parents/loser boyfriends.you cant change your past,you can influence your present.all this mum and dad said....my god woman how old are you

you are a graduate
you love your dd
external attributions wont chase your malaise away
you want change you gotta shake to it

scottishmummy Mon 02-Aug-10 21:41:46

qts=qualified teacher status

FellatioNelson Mon 02-Aug-10 21:43:11

thank you.

kiwibella Mon 02-Aug-10 21:45:48

psm... you might be surprised at how amazing your dd thinks you are!! The grass always looks greener on the other side - so to speak. Have you considered how hard your sister was working while you were out having fun? Do you understand her workload / what must be on her mind at the end of the day while you are snuggled up with your dd?

My sister and I have ended up very differently as well - although we had the same upbringing, I did well at school and she hated school. Now, her and her dh are both well-paid professionals who save hard and are always travelling yet I'm at home, with kids, and do a bit of teaching for pocket money. I would love to wake up at lunch-time on the weekend or enjoy a lazy brunch out... but I wouldn't give up my dds for it wink.

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 10:25:07

I feel so sad reading this thread. What is it about being a mum that means that we think we have to settle for second best?

We always have a choice, and if we can do nothing else we can always change our thinking. Everything we believe is a subjective judgement. So if we tell ourselves, 'my life is crap', that is the story we believe.

So that also means that we can stop the recordings in our heads and change them. If you want to tell yourself that your life is great, then you can. If you want to make your reality a world where things only get better for you, you can. For example, if you do a job that you don't like, you do have a choice about quitting it, even if that would mean that you lose your home. The choice you make is to keep your home, provide for your kids etc, so you keep doing the job. Just switching your thinking to 'I have a choice' is a step towards having a better life.

With regards to relationships, the only person whose love and approval that you need is your own. Framing your world so that you need the love and approval of others only ever leads to sadness, because maybe they won't love and approve of you, at least not in the way that you want. And when you don't require things of others then you are free to love them unconditionally.

I understand about the feeling of 'wasting' talent, I made what I thought for a long time were 'bad choices' as a teen. But they played a huge part in making me what I am now. I can look at them clear-eyed and see that they have made me more aware. And at 39 I'm embarking on the career of my dreams - it's only too late if you don't start now.

As for not knowing what to do, a good rule of thumb is to work out what you love, and do more of it. Works out just as well for jobs, recreation, what to cook for dinner...

We are all responsible for our own happiness. Life throws at us things that make that very, very challenging - I know that. I've had times when I hated life, hated my family, hated myself. But I give nothing and nobody the power to take away my right to decide for myself whether to find happiness/peace/contentment. It begins and ends with me. And if I can't change what is going on around me, I can at least change what I think about it.

bedubabe Tue 03-Aug-10 11:27:08

KarmaAngel: if you really want to be a journalist try approaching local papers and free mags to do pieces for free to build up a portfolio. You don't need a degree to be a journalist but lots (and lots and lots) of persistence. No you're not going to walk into a paid job with the Times but most journalism graduates aren't going to either!

Ok career advice over

fartblossom Tue 03-Aug-10 11:48:07

Well said spiritmum.

ljmacbeth Tue 03-Aug-10 12:25:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

beanlet Tue 03-Aug-10 12:43:46

Oh god yes. If I had known then what I know now I would have listened to my parents and not gone to conservatoire at the age of 16 to study the violin, Dumbest decision I ever made, and VERY hard to reverse. I'm quite happy where I've ended up, but I would much rather have been the human rights lawyer I had set my heart on before being seduced by free music lessons (to trick me into attending so they could make up numbers in the conservatoire orchestra, grrr)

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 12:46:19

Thank you, fartblossom.

Poshsinglemum, I've had a few random thought about your posts.

You were never responsible for your parents' happiness. That was and is their responsibility alone.

You can't change what has happened in the past, but you can change what you think about it. We're not in the least bored by you talking about your past, but it really sounds to me like you are. So how about you find another story to tell yourself about it? What would it sound like? How does it look?

How about the story to tell yourself about personal relationships? Isn't it time to change that story, too? Not framed by what you believe about your past, but by your vision for your future?

Did you really 'settle' for being a teacher, or was that a wise choice in relation to caring for your dd?

Close your eyes and imagine what you really want your life to look like. What is it that you love to do? Okay, now go and find a way to do more of it.

HTH,

spritmum x

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 12:47:41

beanlet, why can't you be a human rights lawyer?

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 12:56:05

Karmaangel, have you thought about blogging? You could set up a site through Wordpress in minutes. This will give you a chance to hone your writing skills - you can blog about anything.

Then you can submit your articles to a site like ezinearticles. This doesn't pay but does get you exposure because you put links back to your blog at the end of the articles.

Some people (rarely) get book or magazine deals through their blogs. If your blog is popular you can sell advertising space on it. Get publicity for your blog through Twitter and Facebook.

You can include book reviews on your blog, and set up an affiliate scheme with Amazon so that people buy the books (and any other products)through you and you earn commission. It's not a lot, but I've started from nothing and it's nice to see something coming in!

You may or may not ever earn anything from your blog, but it will give you a body of work to draw upon as well as a load of enjoyment.

HTH

spiritmum

beanlet Tue 03-Aug-10 13:14:42

spiritmum -- too many expensive commitments (mortgages, kids, husband) to go back to being a student/start again on an entry level wage. Still, I can dream...

Rocklover Tue 03-Aug-10 13:19:08

I totally agree, I totally buggered up my prospects as a teen by partying too much, being too lazy and not wanting tio have to work hard for anything.

I do have a lovely dd and a great new dp (after a divorce from exh)who I am expecting dc2 with, but all my life, despite being pretty intelligent I have had a succession of mediocre jobs with rubbish pay.

At 35 (36 in 2 weeks) I know I don't want any more kids and plan to retrain when this one is a little older so that I can at least have a half decent job until retirement.

Hindsight is such a wonderful thing, I wish I could go back to my teens knowing what I know now. Not only would I get educated, but I would enjoy life more instead of concentrating on my hang-ups.

abouteve Tue 03-Aug-10 13:29:34

Yes I agree with you. I didn't care about school and left at the first opportunity. Did much better when I studied A levels and other exams in my 20's. That got me thinking that had I/Parents/Teachers realised that I was, in fact, quite capable, I might have gone on a totally different path career wise could have even gone to Uni with full grants etc. Was happy to get a job in an office and now only just earn enough to pay the bills many years later.

Also had a serious bf at a young age, was heartbroken when it ended and rushed into a new relationship with the wrong person, as a result. Ended up getting married to him and divorced at a young age. Never really recovered and still pick the wrong men all the time.

My DD sound just like your Dsis. Austen reading teen who sat in with me and wants to be a doctor. Has a bf now but she is taking it very slowly. I'm pleased she is like this but admit to being a bit worried that she wasn't drinking in the park and snogging boys a couple of year ago.

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 13:30:07

Beanlet lol at dh being an expensive commitment!

Okay, so....you have commitments that you are choosing to honour. You could - if you really wanted to - walk away from the kids, mortgage, hubby and pursue the hot shot lawyer job.

You could - if you really wanted to - take the family with you along the road of your new career, with all of you radically changing your home, income and lifestyle.

But you are choosing not to. Your choice is to stay in a job that you describe yourself as being 'happy' in, and support your family through your work and income.

So that sounds to me like you have a life that looks better to you than life as a hot shot human rights lawyer? Bearing in mind that had you pursued this earlier your legal career may not have looked anything like you imagine it to be, so there is not point looking back on 'what might have been', only 'where am I now'.

One final idea: what is it about the dream of being a human rights lawyer that really floats your boat? How can you bring that into your current life (work or outside of work?)

Spiritmum

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 13:45:13

Something else that has just struck me - given the number of us saying that we messed up as teenagers - maybe messing up is what teenagers are meant to do? (except for the ones at home reading Penguin Classics, obviously).

So maybe it's not what we did as teenagers that counts, but what we do about it afterwards?

(P.S. teenagers' brains work like those of toddlers -the synapses fire off in a very similar fashion, hence the reason many teenagers are selfish and self-obsessed, an dprone to tantrums. Many teenagers also can't read emotions and mistake sorrow and fear for anger. There are degrees to which this happens which probably accounts for why some teenagers seem to come through quite, um, sensibly compared to the rest of us!)

scottishmummy Tue 03-Aug-10 15:43:23

i took pelters at school for being quiet and geeky,from the trendy too-cool-for-school set.i just kept my head down

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:04:36

I think teenagers need proper careers guidance. this job will interest you if you and stimulate you if you like a/b/c/d.... and you could get promoted to this , and you will earn 40k.

I have said this before on threads.

I didn't have a clue. But i had a good time on the way. no abusive ex's. some spliffs and a bit of coke, that did NOT mess my head up at all. ( it doesn't to everyone you know)

I had a good time. But don't long for it now.

What makes you long for past times ?

kiwibella Tue 03-Aug-10 16:12:23

spiritmum, your posts are enthralling! I especially needed that wee reminder about teenage brains as I'm having trouble reading my dd (14).

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:13:06

how did you 'mess up' ? was it serious ? so bad you can't get over it now ?
i was out drinking and dancing. i had 3 jobs, had so much money i didn't know what to do with it, after buying my own car, so saved to go travelling. i went travelling for 2 years prior to uni.
i made all this happen.
what were you guys doing that was sooo bad. i bet it wasn't really that bad.

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:15:10

oh i did mess up IN A BIG BIG way. I couldn't get anyone to shag me. Dh finds this hard to beleive and tells me, he would of !!
I regret not finding someone nice, and having sex, and then i regret not having alot more sex. earlier.
does that count wink ?

can we have a competition, of the worst f**k ups ?

scottishmummy Tue 03-Aug-10 16:18:36

worst teen fuck ups,hmm that rules me out.i was geek of the week every week

kiwibella Tue 03-Aug-10 16:23:42

that made me laugh oblomov... teenage years were all about sex, weren't they grin!!!!

thumbwitch Tue 03-Aug-10 16:23:42

Up to a point, YABU.

I think, of the choices you make at that point in your life, some will be irreversible and affect your life forever - others can be changed later if you decide that's the way to go.

A lot depends on your own mindset - whether or not you feel you are in charge of your life, or that things just happen to you and there's not much you can do about it.

I made a couple of major decisions in my teens that have affected my life forever (irreversible) but the rest have only influenced things. I have made the best of my choices and used them to personal advantage, if not financial.

My mother, otoh, had decisions made for her by her parents - and never felt able to break free to do what she felt she could have done, given the right opportunities. She spent most of her adult life resenting her thwarted ambitions.

My DH chose not to go on with school past 15 - he left and got a job. But when he was 27, he decided that a degree would be a good thing to have after all - so he did one. He could have sat and said "ah, I wish I'd gone to Uni when I had the chance, but it's too late now" - but no, he got out of his rut and took the bull by the horns - net result, he has a degree and a much better job with better prospects.

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:24:00

no scottish, totally geeky is just as bad ! you SHOULD have been out partying, drinking and shagging !!

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:24:41

kiwi, only if you didn't get enough of it wink

scottishmummy Tue 03-Aug-10 16:25:27

i wasnt though was i.was a girls girl,and studious.my boy radar was switched off til Uni

comtessa Tue 03-Aug-10 16:25:52

I think it's more important to focus on current position, and future plans. I left school at 16, did different jobs, worked as photographer, then went to uni aged 25. Was made redundant from my dream job a few weeks back, and am 5 months pregnant, so now planning to do an MSc (Open University - takes longer but costs SO much less!) so can get back into what I was working in, but at a higher level, once DC is in school. No matter what happened in the past, each of us has a future. I sometimes regret leaving school when I did, as it meant leaving my peer group, but I didn't want to go to uni then as I didn't know what I wanted to do. Now I do know, hence the further study to get there.

Oblomov Tue 03-Aug-10 16:30:12

going to uni isn'the be-all-and-end-all.
as i was too busy not getting any sex at all, my dh was out shagging for england. he's such a nice bloke girls were fighting to be his girlfriend. he has almost no qualifications. is the most quick witted, best people person manager, i know. been all over the world, driving cars at the monaco grand prix etc tec. md of a nice company. had a ball.

life hasn't been that tough, for a no a- leveller !! loads of multi millionaries have no degrees. doesn't richard farleigh the dragons den, multi millionarie, financer, have no much academics.

tis not most important thing.

fartblossom Tue 03-Aug-10 17:00:39

Where I see my 'fuck up' as you say is the following.

I grew up in a nice village. With good honest parents. When I was 17 they gave me a load of money they had been saving for me. They insisted some of it was used to pay for driving lessons (they paid for my licence and tests out of their own pocket), but the rest was mine for a high interest savings account for the 'big things in life'. I did A levels and went to Uni. Got a degree (2:2 in Sociology so not amazing, but still a degree non-the-less). I came home after uni, got myself a job in an office, left home to live in a bedsit in town. Now it goes wrong.

By this time I had already pretty much spent my savings. Some of it went to people I lent it to (for a holiday) and when I got it back I didnt put it back in. The rest just whittled away, £100 here £50 there soon adds up. My parents didnt know. Back in 2001 my mum offered to go half's on a small house/flat with me which I would live in to get me on the housing ladder. Obviously as I had no money I said no.

I met DH, who came from a poor background and did not have any money. He left school as soon as he could and hasnt really got a career to speak of. Infact he is one of the laziest people I know. (He's got so many good qualities that I love about him, unfortunately his laziness - to which he admits - is his worst quality and effects other areas of him). He's only had the odd temporary job here and there. When I got PG with DS he said he wanted to be the SAHP and I thought Id give it a go.

We got a council house, which is a hole and needs quite a bit of work still. I went to work while DH stayed at home. I got made redundant while on maternity leave with DD in 2008. Since then Ive been having difficulty trying to get something as good that I feel happy in (Ive had the odd temp job, but nothing substantial). DH doesnt work and TBH I really dont know if he ever will. The house is a mess as DH doesnt ever want to try to sort it out. He says that it will never be really nice so what can we really do. I say well we dont help, we need to finish sorting it out. I feel as though its my turn to be the SAHP, but DH will NOT get off his fat arse and get a job himself (sorry bit of a rant there angry) and he doesnt seem interested in sorting the house out. His parents house isnt exactly the cleanest house, whereas my parents are really on top of all the decorating etc.

All I want is to live in a nice house, in a nice street with enough money to be able to pay for things when something goes wrong or breaks. Its not happening, the only way I see out of it is a lottery win (realistically not going to happen) so now Ive got to figure out what to do now. I dont know what I want to do with myself and dont know where to start. I have thought while Im out of work ATM Im going to get the house sorted so its as nice as it can be (I might even throw some things out that DH wont) then look for a good job, what in I dont know.

I do often wonder to myself if I could have done better for myself, but then I think Ive chosen this path. I could see before DS that DH was a lazy twat person and I should get rid. I could have tried harder to sort the house out sooner (if only I hadnt been working full time before I might have done), but we have done so much. the previous tenants got kicked out so made the house a right mess that has been left to us to sort out. Ive spent the last few weeks getting really upset about this, but have now decided especially since reading this thread that I can do something about my life and I will. Just got to figure out what now.

Thanks everyone.

fartblossom Tue 03-Aug-10 17:00:54

PS sorry that was long

thumbwitch Tue 03-Aug-10 17:10:25

Fartblossom, don't the council have a responsibility to sort out the house? Is it just decorating it needs, or structural stuff as well? I would have thought, if the latter, that the council should be dealing with it.

ARe there any council-run free classes left in the UK or have they all been cut now? There used to be ones in computing and basic book keeping skills, iirc.

I know that it's a seemingly impossible ideal but your DH has to get off his backside and help out in practical ways - what would he do if you did threaten to kick him out?

NatalieJane Tue 03-Aug-10 17:21:49

I think, at the grand old age of 27 hmm I am figuring out that actually people don't become adults in their own minds until they reach around about the 25-ish year old mark.

I spent my GSCE years laid up in bed due to ill health, knew my exams were up the wall, didn't want to go back to 'school' (college) so started a hairdressing NVQ, for 6 months I swept up hair and made coffee for clients, learnt sod all about hairdressing other than what I'd read in magazines etc. and got £80 a week for doing it.

In that time, at 17 I'd moved in with DH, we got married, we moved out of my home town, had our three boys, and life passed by for years without anything really getting in the way.

Then at 25, I found myself in the uncomfortable position, married for the best part of 10 years, 3 kids, a house to look after, no time for me, we've moved so many times I have no friends, no family for 100's of miles, and pretty much heading deeper into the cave that I couldn't find my way out of.

However, slowly I am finding my way, since April this year I have been studying, nothing major, but something I am very interested in, I have got top marks all the way through, so I have already 'passed', I've two more assignments (will be done before the end of the summer hols) and then I can call myself qualified.

I have an appointment at the job centre on the 25th Aug, to see if they can give me any advice on starting my own business, and if they can't then I am hoping they can tell me where to go for the advice.

By christmas I am hoping to have got the business off the ground, and whilst I'm not expecting to be making any profit, I'll be doing something for me, that's not being a mum, that will hopefully eventually lead to me being finacially independant, and that no one can say I don't bloody deserve!

Did my teenage years lead me here? I don't know, but whatever did, I am becoming more and more glad of it

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 17:51:27

Fartblossom, I'm sorry that you feel you've fucked up. You haven't, but I am sorry that you think you have.

I understand why you want your dh to change but you can't make yourself happy by trying to change someone else. It doesn't work, and if you will only be happy when he sorts the house/gets a job then you could be waiting to be happy for a very long time.

The only person that you can change is you. You can do nothing; you can sort the house and/or get a job yourself; you can leave your dh. You may find that your dh gets himself sorted if you leave, but he might not; so only go if you really want to. Don't make threats that you aren't prepared to carry out.

What matters most to you right now? If it's the house, tackle one room at a time, an area at a time. 15 minutes will clear a counter top. Repairs are up to the council but you can redecorate - paint is relatively cheap and easy to apply.

Or do you want a job? What would you love to do? Can you take further training to add to your degree? Would you like to start your own business? Get as much information as you can and then you can get a plan together whereby you can go for that lovely house in a nice street. Cut out pictures from magazines etc so that you have a visual reminder of what it is that you are going for.

Decide what it is that you want, work out what you will need to do to get there and take one step each day towards it.

As for leaving dh.... that's your call.

HTH

Spiritmum

fartblossom Tue 03-Aug-10 18:07:17

Thanks for the advice. Im not planning on leaving DH (for now wink) as he has got so many other qualities. He's a good dad, he makes me laugh, he's there for me if I need him, he's a good listener, gives good advice and loads others. He's just a lazy sod.

I have decided its up to me now. I have been putting all the blame on DH, but now I think it is partly (probably mostly) my fault my life is the way it is. I dont have any regrets as such, I just sometimes wonder if I could have done so much better for myself.

In regards to further education its just the funding. I dont want to apply for something and not get the funding because there would be no way I could afford it, but I cant get funding unless I apply for it. I have thought about social work though its not the easiest job in the world from what I can see.

The house is mostly decorating, although there is the odd structual thing, but nothing that makes our house inhabitable. The council aren't very good at these types of repairs. We've had them out a few times for our downstairs toilet and all they do is plunge it then two days later it gets blocked again so we've started plunging it ourselves. I personnally think the whole of downstairs needs re-plumming.

I decided last week that this is it, its time to declutter the house so I have been doing the odd thing. I will get there. It may take a while, but it will happen.

In regards to working towards a nice house in a nice street. That's not going to happen as I have got no way of getting a good enough size of deposit, plus no-one will give me a mortgage due to my horrendous credit history (another way I have messed up my life). No Ive got to sort this house out and all our stuff thats accumulated over the last 5 years and make the best of it. That's now my plan.

I know it sounds like Im desperately unhappy with my life and I was until a few days ago, but I have now made a small plan (one step at a time) and feel much better within myself.

Sorry to have hijacked this thread. You can have it back now OP

poshsinglemum Tue 03-Aug-10 18:28:11

The problem with the mistakes that I made, especially the abusive relationship is that I feel that I was damaged in some way and although I have built myself back up and got my degree etc I still feel a hole in my soul somewhere.
I lay in bed last night terrified that I would always be a fuck up. Obviously dd isn't a fuck up but the choice of father is and obviosly as a single mum, working part time I don't feel like I have ''achieved'' anything.
I am scared that every time I am doing really well I will press the self-destruct button; because that is what I have done so far.
The first time I went to Uni I got really far and got selected to go on an expedition in the Caribbean in the first year but because I was stupid enough not to dump my abusive partner I had to drop out of teh second year because I was so ill and too ashamed to stay on.
Sorry to go on; am going round in circles.

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 18:30:42

No worries, fartblossom!

You sound happy with your dh in so many ways. It's cool that you realise that there is no point in making yourself sad about the stuff that annoys you. smile

With regards to retraining, do something you love if you can. Are you in touch with your local careers people etc?

And don't lose the dream of that nice house...The thing about having goals is that we think we have to achieve them, but we don't, we just have to go for them. So long as you take those steps each day, who knows what you can achieve?

Have fun!

Spiritmum

poshsinglemum Tue 03-Aug-10 18:30:43

I just wish I had the emotional support; someone helping me to realise my dreams would be great but I guess we are the only peopl who can do that for ourselves.

spiritmum Tue 03-Aug-10 19:26:47

Poshsingle, I run a web-based spiritual course (non-religious) for mums that includes meditation, visualization etc and also questioning your thinking and changing old patterns. Because my course is new I'm offering it for £1 in exchange for feedback on whether it works. It includes e-mail support from me.

I'm sorting out my paid-for advertising on Mumsnet right now, but in the meantime if you or anyone wants to CAT me I can send out a link.

Hope no-one minds me putting this here - I know that talk boards aren't meant for business promotion but I really can't think of any way of letting anyone know that this is on offer. confused Anyway, £1 a pop isn't exactly 'business'...wink

scottishmummy Tue 03-Aug-10 19:43:07

psm i think you need to externalise less hoping someone/something else sorts you out.bulk of this is down to you,it really is
bulk of your posts are still rooted in past and other people
be reflective but not maudlin
look for themes/triggers/cues in your life.any recurrent patterns.once identified what can you do to avoid them
you cannot change the past but can alter your present

good luck in what you chose,and less focus on past, past boyfriends/parents.look at here and now

thumbwitch Tue 03-Aug-10 23:05:43

fartblossom - I wasn't suggesting you actually kick your DH out - I had picked up on the fact that you love him and everything else about him was good - just that you threaten him with it if he doesn't get his act together. Except then you might have to follow through when you don't want to, which wouldn't be a good thing. What else would put a rocket up his bum?

supersalstrawberry Tue 03-Aug-10 23:14:14

You can't change the past

You can shape your future

having spent wasted years looking back on my teens and young adult life wishing I'd done things differently, I realised the only way to change my life for the better was to stop hoping some miracle would happen, get proactive and change it myself

so I did, things changed, it was bloody hard work but well worth it.

wouldliketoknow Wed 04-Aug-10 08:57:50

i found this thread i think it deserves some attention
Offensive men's t-shirt sold by Peacocks

fartblossom Wed 04-Aug-10 09:21:26

I know you weren't thumbwitch, but to me when I read it, it does sound like I dont have much other option to get him to change. Ive tried that before and he says he will get a job or whatever, but then he doesnt do anything. Apart from actually carrying out the threat Im a bit stuck with that really. Right now Im waiting for him to want something we cant afford, but of course there isnt any is there? Typical. He's quite happy with going without.

I just confirming why I wouldnt want to get rid especially when I know so many women wouldnt put up with it like the mug that I am grin

spiritmum Wed 04-Aug-10 09:52:20

Fartblossom, ignore me if I'm getting repetitive, but you can't change someone else, he has to want to change himself.

Maybe if you change he'll wake up and realize what he's missing out on. Maybe. And if he doesn't, that's his business too. But you will have changed, which can only be good.

As for not wanting stuff, my goodness I would love to be like that! It is such a free way to live! Wanting stuff you can't have is so depressing. No wonder he chooses to do otherwise! He's 'happy going without'. Happy! Why would he want to make himself unhappy then?

spiritmum

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