To not want a career? (Serious)

(441 Posts)
MustWakeUp Sun 23-Jun-13 11:32:46

Hi all,

I know it's not a very pc thing to say these days and my parents who are oxbridge educated high achievers are baffled by my 'low ambitions' (anything that isn't law/med/finance = low ambitions and future of mediocrity to them). I understand that this isn't the opinion of most women, but this is just how I feel.

I've never had this burning ambition to be a career woman - I finished my A levels last summer and got 4 A*'s in maths, further maths, physics & art so it's not that I'm not academic. I loved school and I love learning but I just don't want a career. When we had careers advisors come into our school from about yr 9-yr 13 they would tell me about all the different things I could work as for e.g. accountant, actuary, physicist, economist and so on, but the problem was they all just sounded dead boring. I have shadowed plenty of my parents friends in all sorts of science-y and numerate jobs and I honestly don't know how they do it. It is just not suited to me at all.

My parents are only concerned with £££ and prestige. I'm a good painter & I write poetry and I've sold a few of my paintings and had some of my poems published and now my parents (mum especially) are pushing me to do more & more & more, they are turning something I enjoy and find relaxing into a money generating passionless thing.

What I would love to do with my life more than anything is travel the world doing odd jobs the way I'm doing now and then settle down at 25ish & have my own family & be a SAHM but still continue with my painting and poetry. <bliss>

Since finishing my A-levels I've been doing that (sort of) - I temp for a 2-3 months and sell a few paintings, then I travel for as long as my money will last, when I run out of cash I come back for another 2-3 months and temp and paint again...I have seen the most beautiful sights and met the most fascinating and oddest people during this last year and I love my life the way it is now....I am free to go where I please and do what I want, I have no one to answer to at all! I wake up everyday feeling so happy and chill. But the trouble is my parents see me as squandering my 'potential' and have now recruited my aunts, uncles, ex-form tutors even my preacher!!!! to talk some 'sense' into me and to tell me that I need to apply for university and stop living 'like a dirty hippie' hmm and I'm beginning to have doubts myself.....(not about uni, would love to be in higher education someday - but university will always be there!)

so tell me MN, is it BU for some people to just not be interested in the rat race and the corporate world and careers in general? I mean surely, some people just want different things?

NatashaBee Sun 23-Jun-13 11:35:13

It would be boring if we were all the same! Most people go into the rat race and then spend a lot of time working out how to get out of it again by reducing down their outgoings, cutting down their working hours to achieve a better balance, or trying to turn a hobby into a living. Nothing wrong at all with never getting into it in the first place.

HKat Sun 23-Jun-13 11:40:23

You might feel differently in a few years, even if you don't go down the routes your parents want. At 19 I was doing full time bar work -by 24 I'd had enough and went to uni. I actually did do law but this led me to a different career, and certainly not one I'd have envisaged or wanted after my a levels! Do what's right for you.

whoknowsyou Sun 23-Jun-13 11:40:47

Well, if you are coming back home to your parent's house each time your money runs out they are subsidising your relaxed stress-free lifestyle so perhaps you can start to understand why they are a little frustrated at your reluctance to move towards becoming self-supporting.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sun 23-Jun-13 11:41:53

As a parent I want my children to succeed in life..To be able go into that big wide world and have all the opportunities to do whatever they want.
I can see how your parents associate success with money but to me success is doing something you love and living the life we want to lead.
I've not got a great education so I want my dc to try their hardest so, like you, they have so many options.
It seems to me you are living your dream life and shouldn't change it no matter who is trying too.
Be firm with those around you, to me your life sounds amazing...something I wish I had done at your age.
Good luck

Tryharder Sun 23-Jun-13 11:43:07

Well, writing poetry and painting is a career for many people who make a living from it.

You can be a SAHM at the age of 25 if you find a DH who is able to support you.

I think it's easy to say you are not bothered about money when you clearly come from a background where money has never been a problem and you have high expectations of meeting and marrying a man who will continue to support you in the style to which you have been accustomed.

I think you sound naive - and very lucky that you have been able to pursue your hobbies and travel without having to earn a good salary to support a family.

Trills Sun 23-Jun-13 11:43:24

Why is "career woman" a phrase and "career man" is not?

You seem to be making a lot of generalisation about "the rate race" and "the corporate world".

I think YABU to not at the very least want to be an independent self-supporting adult.

battlestarB Sun 23-Jun-13 11:43:32

don't those sort of people just become university lecturers themselves? wink

whoknowsyou Sun 23-Jun-13 11:45:33

Your vision of becoming a SAHM also seems to assume you'll find a partner earning enough to take over supporting you whilst you undertake your preferred role of SAHM.

Do you have no intention of becoming independent in life ?

Fairylea Sun 23-Jun-13 11:45:43

I am like you. I actually gave up a career in senior marketing to be a sahm with a dh who earns just above minimum wage. Never been happier. smile

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 11:45:45

I totally understand how you feel & how you see your life panning out, as well as why you are fed up of being preached at.

However, you are doing that from a very 'cushioned' place. Have you read any of the threads on here by people who cannot make ends meet, who cannot pay the rent/mortgage? Who cannot afford food?

You are young and have a good brain, you enjoyed school & learning - you would be stupid to waste those advantages/skills. It gets much harder as you get older. Spend a few years now, while you are young, able to learn easily and are supported by your parents - getting a good degree and some experience behind you. When you have done that, then you will always have that behind you and you can decide 'what next' and if that's doing what you are doing now -then great... there is nothing wrong with what you want out of life (or think you do right now), Nothing At All - BUT you should put yourself in a position where that is always 'an' option and not your only one.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your plans to travel and see the world while you are young. I think your plan to go from that to a SAHM at 25 without establishing some kind of career is crazy though. What if you don't meet a man? What if the man you meet cheats/abuses you/dies? Even most SAHMs return to work at some point. To think you will never need to work and can just live off a husband until you die is very unrealistic.

Mumsyblouse Sun 23-Jun-13 11:47:56

If you can fund it without relying on others, this sounds a lovely lifestyle, but it's a bit cheeky to find some guy and expect him to work very long hours so you can stay home and potter about, once the early years of childrearing are over, unless you are up front about that from the start. I also suspect that at the moment, you are living in a very nice house when you return to your parents, bought by their career money, and similarly might think the same will happen when older, I've seen this a logt- people who believe they are dropping out when really they are still using the material trappings of other people's hard earned money (e.g. houses, bills) but are very dismissive of their choices.

If you are genuinely happy with very little money-wise and don't expect to live off others who are working in traditional career jobs, then I think your life sounds a good one, and you should definitely pursue the art- just think about how you can become self-financing or really downsizing your lifestyle to fit your own choices.

orangeandemons Sun 23-Jun-13 11:48:45

It what if you don't find a dh at 25?

What if you can't afford to be a sham?

What if you never find a dh?

I think we would all love to do what you do, I would. I'm creative and would love to have time to do my stuff...but I don't have time, as food has to be on the table, mortgage has to be paid.

So nice work if you can get it, but tbh, I think yo will find it an impossible dream. I have a19 year old ds, if he tied up with someone like you I would be a bit hmm. Especially at your age...it just seems like laziness and wanting someone else to look after you to me. Well it's a tough old world, and we all have to work to support ourselves.

How would you work out the finances if your dh was ill/ redundant

onedev Sun 23-Jun-13 11:49:02

As long as you can support yourself & aren't looking for anyone else to do that (state, parents or whoever) then you can do / be whoever you want to be!! Independence is key.

You are young though & may feel differently in a few years. Good luck with however you choose to proceed.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 23-Jun-13 11:50:39

Not all sciency jobs are boring.

Have you considered working in a field that would help others, for a charity, for medical research etc somethign worth getting out of bed for in the morning?

You don't need to be part of the rat race, however it is highly unfair of you to sponge off your parents whilst you live out your chilled lifestyle, it's not their repsonsibility to fund it.

May I suggest as a beginning you move out of your parents house, then they stop having a say in how you live your chilled life.

conorsrockers Sun 23-Jun-13 11:53:04

My best friend is/was just like you. She eventually married and has a lovely life mainly because she doesn't hanker after material things. Life is just too short to do something you don't enjoy if you don't need to. Just because you CAN do it, doesn't mean you HAVE to.

VinegarDrinker Sun 23-Jun-13 11:53:20

There's nothing wrong with an artistic career - it can still be a career. The word doesn't need to be associated with wearing a suit and working 9-5.

I personally wouldn't aspire to be financially supported by someone else forever, I don't think it's particularly sensible or good for your self esteem.

Equally I'm not sure you can be so confident you would love life as a SAHM prior to having kids.

I have a "career" (that your folks would approve of!) - what does it provide me with? Academic/intellectual challenge, a massively expanded sense of the world and everyone in it, social interaction and stimulation, financial independence (including the ability to afford to live in the area I grew up in which is now v expensive), self esteem, a sense of fulfilling a duty to society, contributing financially and socially to society on a wider level....

And four days a week I get to bake, paint, glue, stick, climb, dig, cuddle, read and tickle all day. I love my life grin

(NB This post is in no way meant to knock other people's choices)

rainrainandmorerain Sun 23-Jun-13 11:54:06

OP - Are you seeking approval for the way you feel because you are not getting it from your parents? What are your friends of a similar age doing? presumably you are having conversations about life 'next steps' with them - I don't think your concerns will be unique to you.

FWIW, I don't think it is realistic to be making decisions about your whole life based on the way you feel as someone in their late teens (assuming you are), having just finished your A levels. I also don't expect you to pay any attention to that statement! You're a teenager, it is partly your job to ignore what older people say....

Why not think of what you are doing now, which is a kind of amiable and interesting/fulfilling drifting, as what you want to do NOW? and probably for the next couple of years at least? You don't sound very concerned about money (someone from a v poor family finishing A levels would very likely have a different outlook wrt work/study/money). Fine. You don't have to tell your parents or anyone that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. You can't possibly know that anyway. You will probably feel differently about all sorts of things as you get older. That's life. Travelling and living very hand to mouth are things that are best done when you only have yourself to look after, and no responsibility for anyone else, so this is the best time for you to do it.

As long as you are happy to be self supporting in your decisions, then you can ask your parents to back off and just let you go your own way for a couple of years, and then you'll see how you feel. If you are expecting them to support you/give you free board whenever you come back from your travels having spent all your money, then you are not in such a strong position to argue for your independence.

BTW, just be careful about setting up an opposition between 'fulfilling, creative, poor' life and 'career/ratrace/obsession with money'. A few of us manage to find jobs that are creative, fulfilling, and also allow us to earn enough money to pay our way, look after our families and be independent. And you would be surprised at who paints/writes poetry in their spare time.

(and I don't think 'pc' means what you think it means! smile)

TimeofChange Sun 23-Jun-13 11:54:39

OP: You have had an amazing year out, but you are not self supporting.

You are benefiting greatly from your parents' ££££ and prestige that you knock.

I expect you save all the money you earn from temping, whilst living in your parents' house (all bills paid) and eating food that they buy, maybe even driving around in a car they have bought.

If you want a simpler life you must be self supporting to be taken seriously, not sponge off others who live in the despised rat race.

Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but my Australian niece did what you are doing, but lived with her GPs (my parents) whilst working.
She paid not one single penny towards her keep, but cost my hard up parents quite a lot of money in bigger phone bills, heating, water, petrol & food.

Best wishes to you.

Pendulum Sun 23-Jun-13 11:55:31

It's very easy to be snippy about the 'rat race' when you're not responsible for putting food on the table. How will you buy food and clothes for the children you plan to have? How will you fund university for them if they wish to go? Will you make enough from selling paintings to grow a proper pension fund so that you will not be impoverished in your old age? What if you don't meet a man who wants to support your chosen lifestyle?

And by the way - there is no such thing as a 'career woman'. It is a media invention that implies there is something unnatural about women earning their own money.

Badvoc Sun 23-Jun-13 11:57:25

ATM you seem to be able to do as you please. It sounds like your life is pretty good and I can understand you wanting this to continue.
Ime You cannot live like that as a Sahm.
I would suggest that you offer help to a local sure start centre it similar to see what the life if a sahm on a small wage/benefits is actually like.

Gosh yes do move out, pay your own way in life, stop sponging off your poor parents.

Unless of course you have your own place that you drift in and out of, all chilled like

HoppinMad Sun 23-Jun-13 11:59:23

Yanbu in a way, as you only live once. Its natural to want to make the most of your life without others (though they mean well) insisting on how you should lead it. You sound happy and young, travelling is a great way to meet people, have experiences, and perhaps you may even discover a career that you wouldn't mind going into.

Having said that, it seems your parents are funding your lifestyle when you return home skint, and you may not have this luxury in the long-term. Nor is there the guarantee that you will meet somebody who is well off enough to allow you to be sahm.

I think it is wise to discus the future with your parents, it will reduce their worrying and help you become more realistic. Maybe reach some sort of compromise - eg you 'chill' for another year or so, and after that, seriously consider going into HE/ get a job so you are no longer reliant on their money.

jelliebelly Sun 23-Jun-13 12:00:23

I'm sure lots of people would love that idyllic sounding lifestyle but would you love it quite the same if you had nothing to come back to? Who will provide for your children? Who will pay for your mortgage and household bills? Who will provide for your retirement? I think you sound very naive and suspect you may look back at this in a few years time and cringe. You'll do very well to find a dh at age 25 willing and able to provide for you in the same way that your parents do now.

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