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Sadness that DD won't have the childhood I did

(52 Posts)
CountryDreamer16 Thu 30-Jul-20 12:45:04

I know this is massively a first world problem, and that we are lucky in the grand scheme of things. We are healthy, comfortable and there is always food on the table. But I had a baby girl earlier this year and I keep thinking how my current life isn't what I dreamed of for my children.

I grew up in a big detached house just outside of a nice, tiny village. We didn't have a lot of "things" but looking back, my childhood was a dream. I remember how my surroundings and experiences captivated my imagination. Paddling in streams, tree houses, going to see the cows and horses. I thought that by now, I would have something similar for my own children... But we can only afford a terraced house in a very large, much less rural village a few miles away. We hear buses going past in the evening rather than an owl hooting. I miss it terribly myself, but I also feel so sad that my children will never get to look back on their childhood the way I do.

It's not money that I want, but unfortunately that's what we would need to get that sort of life (house). DH and I have both massively under-achieved career-wise despite being highly educated. Him because he found a job he absolutely loves but is poorly paid, and me because I have severe anxiety and have always let it hold me back.

Really not sure why I'm posting this, just having a reflective day.

OP’s posts: |
chopc Thu 30-Jul-20 12:46:56

As your daughter is a baby - you have time to change things. Get help for your anxiety - it can be a battle you can win. Then you can get the better paid career that could possibly give you what you crave

itstrue Thu 30-Jul-20 12:49:06

I think you will find that almost all children don't have those things. Give yourself a break smile

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Thu 30-Jul-20 12:49:42

That's just the average life for most children. A lot of children are much worse off. You could have that life if you wanted to. If your dh could get a better paying job then he could and if you got treatment for your anxiety then you could too 🤷 you have chosen the life you have.

Sooverthemill Thu 30-Jul-20 12:50:17

I think you should try very hard to enjoy what you do have. Which is a home, a child and a husband who loves you ( I hope) and the ability to pay your bills. Always wishing for what you don't have won't make you happy but enjoying each day as it comes will

WinnieLowCo Thu 30-Jul-20 12:50:52

My children and I are in a much smaller shabbier house on the rougher side of town and they're at state schools, not private, but I am a better mother! I may not be perfect but this much I know, I am a better mother.

idyllic childhoods make me suspicious tbh!

mosquitofeast Thu 30-Jul-20 12:52:11

You'll me a great mum. If you give your daughter lots of time and attention, support her interests and education, listen to her, and plan fun things with her., she'll have everything she needs for a lovely childhood.

ageingdisgracefully Thu 30-Jul-20 12:52:36

I think the same way. I live in a lovely urban location with lots of parks and open space.

I grew up in the Welsh Valleys, where we had lots of freedom and company and a lovely community where everyone knew/was related to everyone else.

We had bugger all in terms of possessions but it didn't matter.

DD is much more "privileged" but I regret on her behalf that kids don't play out, that neighbours are indifferent and so much of her childhood has been structured and full-on. She's happy but won't experience the childhood I had.

I'm probably overthinking.

RedskyAtnight Thu 30-Jul-20 12:53:00

Your children won't look back at their childhood with the same memories that you have. They will have their own memories which will be equally precious and will mean as much to them.

Your children are not you. They won't even necessarily appreciate the things you did, even if you do provide them.

Floralnomad Thu 30-Jul-20 12:53:53

But most of the things on your list you can still do with your child - paddling in streams , going to see animals etc . You need to stop idealising about the things you can’t do and make the best of what you can do .

usernamewastaken Thu 30-Jul-20 12:55:11

Your life sounds perfect! You're giving her a wonderful childhood as it is; happy parents. I also have severe anxiety and the very thought of going to an interview to progress up the ladder, fills me with dread. But that's fine: I'm comfortable, we have occasional treats and we have a lot of love. I've resigned myself to be happy rather than chase the next pay grade. More money more problems!

Binterested Thu 30-Jul-20 12:55:42

I had a suburban childhood so didn’t grow up with those things. But English seaside holidays and camping with youth groups filled in the gaps. Currently on holiday in a v rural location and enjoying reliving those times.

When she’s older she can join the scouts and have access to all that.

titchy Thu 30-Jul-20 12:56:00

OP look at all the threads on here where people ask about moving somewhere rural with kids. Almost all of them say don't do it, it's hideous being remote and they'd be depriving the kids of activities and being close to friends!

Your child will have a much happier childhood with parents who value employment they love rather than salary.

wheresmyhairytoe Thu 30-Jul-20 12:56:36

You can have days out or holidays paddling in streams, walking in forests etc.
You can enrich her life by visiting museums, art galleries, theatre.
You can read her stories, sing to her and give her opportunities.

You love her and that's what children need.

Dairymilkmuncher Thu 30-Jul-20 12:57:18

It's really what you make of it. I grew up in a farm and had it all on my door step but stayed in a lot of my childhood to watch tv! My kids live in a village now but we hop in the car or on a train and have the best adventures of new places and go discover birds and flowers and streams. They have a lot more quality time with me in nature than I did with my parents. I do wish I could give them a massive garden and our own house instead of renting but I think it's natural to always want better for your children than you can actually provide

whereorwhere Thu 30-Jul-20 12:58:35

I do get that. But she won't know any different and will be perfectly happy with what you have

user1493413286 Thu 30-Jul-20 13:00:42

Your childhood doesn’t sound too dissimilar to mine but in my teens I felt hugely suffocated living somewhere so small and rural: as soon as I could I left and have sworn I’ll never go back to such rural living and won’t bring children up in a village. We moved to a small town to bring up our DC after living in a city and I sometimes question that. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you may have loved that childhood but there’s no gaurantee that your DD would and I think you may be looking back on it with rose tinted glasses

WhatsTheFrequencyKennneth Thu 30-Jul-20 13:01:41

Your child will have lovely memories of all different sorts. You can take them on trips to the park and have adventures there. It doesn't take much to capture their imaginations. Perhaps to an adult the surroundings aren't idilic but if you present it to them in a fun way they see adventure in a big tree or a back lane.
Please try to shift your perspective.

Myneighboursnorlax Thu 30-Jul-20 13:02:08

Do your parents still live in your childhood house? (Apologies if they’re no longer around) If so then your daughter can still have those exact same memories as you from whenever she visits or stays with her grandparents 😊

Lucylivesinamushroomhouse Thu 30-Jul-20 13:03:34

I live in inner city London but I feel 100% secure that my kids are having a wonderful, wonderful childhood!

They are loved, they have great friends, a very happy mum (I’m a city person 😂), we laugh a lot and for kids, just a trip to the playground is lots of fun. Yeh streams and cows and stuff are great, but that’s what holidays are for!

I grew up London then moved to the countryside aged 8 and I can honestly say my memories of my early childhood in London are GREAT. Sitting on the top deck of the bus pretending to drive it, muddy puddles in the park, hogging the playground swings and with my best friend. Happy happy times! I think unless there’s abuse or some such, most people look back on their childhood rosily.

Having said that, being a teenager in the countryside was dull af and I’d have much rather had a regular bus service than the sound of owls!

Hope that cheers you up a bit.

OverTheRainbow88 Thu 30-Jul-20 13:06:07

. Paddling in streams, tree houses, going to see the cows and horses. I thought that by now, I would have something similar for my own children

You can still do all that with your dd 😊. A house is a house, somewhere to sleep, you can go off on adventures.

RandomTree Thu 30-Jul-20 13:07:21

I grew up in London with no garden, but my childhood memories include roller skating on the street (we lived in a cul de sac), flying kites and playing hide and seek on Hampstead Heath, and climbing trees and camping out in my Grandmother's garden in the country. You can create those experiences for your kids OP!

Lelophants Thu 30-Jul-20 13:07:29

I think it is very easy to see your childhood through rose tinted glasses. It does sound lovely, but unless there is some horrific abuse it often does.

For a girl the world is actually better today than it was 20 years ago. Maybe she wont end up with the severe anxiety you have? To think she had a loving mother and a father who loves his job (this is so rare!)

Therapy for you sounds like a wonderful idea. And as pp have said, if you do want to change your job then you can!

Catsup Thu 30-Jul-20 13:08:32

Rural comes with transport issues where everything has to be planned in advance. When I was young I found it dull, and when DC was young even a simple outing to go swimming was a pain. You say you're semi rural? So I'm guessing lots of easy reach green spaces alongside the decent bus services? To my mind that's the best of both worlds. Plus smaller house to me means more cozy/less cleaning 😁

Lelophants Thu 30-Jul-20 13:09:11

I also agree that it's hard not to think of your children as you, especially the same sex. She is a different person to you and will not think of it in the same way regardless.

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