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to want to appear to be more working class than lower, I mean, working class

(33 Posts)
adelvice Sun 02-Jan-11 23:58:31

Over the last few weeks and months I have noticed more and more what a divide in the community there is between the Middle Class Mums and the Working Class Mums and it feels like we're back at school with the attractive, well turned out "popular" ones going one way and the kids from the council estates and highstreet branded gear going the other and just like when we were at school, I can't help but want to be more like the popular ones and would like for once to feel like I'm running with the in-crowd.

It feels bad though that my DD does not do the clubs, groups and other activities as the other mums one because I work and secondly because I really cannot afford the £4.50 a lesson fees! Also, I don't dare invite any of the mums to our house to try to make friendships as I work full time and struggle to keep the house tip top and would hate for them to see how we live!

I wonder though if I'm the only working class mum who is feeling the class divide at the moment?

I've name changed by the way as I don't want you to find out that I'm really a lower class bum and don't really shop at Boden at all, and instead just paw at the pages waiting for it to be on ebay the sale

classydiva Mon 03-Jan-11 00:03:56

I dont see a divide, I see it is there when on a thread people talk about being middle class.

What is middle class.

My parents worked, we had a lovely home, I wore the latest clothes.

Im now 46 unfortunately cannot work after working from the age of 16 to 40 in a very well paid job, my eldest is taking a Maths degree and will earn in excess of 100k when he starts work, my youngest is going the same route.

I live in a home which is better than average, but Im working class because I worked for it.

Middle class surely is whereby people dont have to work, they come from money.

A thread on here a female who was a teacher said she believed she might be middle class now because of her profession and I thought how so? A teacher will earn 75% less than my son who will always be working class.

This divide shit real pisses me off.

Charlottejbt Mon 03-Jan-11 00:07:01

Great post, not at all unreasonable. I was bullied at a horrible comprehensive for being 'posh', then ignored by all the Bullingdon types at Oxford because I was 'common'! My first uni boyfriend even dumped me because his mates were teasing him about dating someone from a state school. So, not unreasonable to feel a certain awkwardness around issues of class, just bloody unreasonable of people to externalise their own feelings of insecurity by trying to make others feel insecure about their backgrounds!!

GiddyPickle Mon 03-Jan-11 00:12:16

Class isn't the same as income. It can be how you earn your money or where it comes from / came from. You can be working class on £100k or upper class on £10k.
It is also not about how you live. You can be a middle class slob or a working class neat freak. The most untidy eccentric lady I know at the school is also probably the richest by a long long way. The ones with the most immaculate hair and polished nails aren't the wealthiest (that I know of - they may have secret wads of cash in their very normal semis)
Basically there are people we all get on better with than others and I don't really see class (or earnings or having a tidy house) has anything to do with that. People have far more important things in common generally than the size of their bank balance.

midlandsmumof4 Mon 03-Jan-11 00:12:35

You sound lovely & and very normal. WORKING class is the way to be. Boden???

Charlottejbt Mon 03-Jan-11 00:13:07

classydiva, I think the old language of 'working class' vs 'middle class' no longer serves, now that a plumber earns more than a teacher. I like to think in terms of 'have' and 'have not', which sounds horribly chippy but it does seem to sum up, in a rather unscientific way, the difference between those who have to struggle to pay the rent and the bills and those who are financially secure and have no such worries. Hence those who struggle being reluctant to agree to playdates with wealthier families whose gaffs are vast and immaculate, if I understand the OP correctly? And of course the insidious pressure to keep up with the Joneses in the virtual world as well. YANBU!

Charlottejbt Mon 03-Jan-11 00:14:58

GiddyPickle, that's very comforting. I wish the snooty mums round my way saw it like that! smile

hatesponge Mon 03-Jan-11 00:32:04

charlotte, having been to a comp and to Oxbridge I could have written your first post (although I never even had a boyfriend at uni, as I was too common and poor for the public school tory boys to look twice at me!)

I agree that there is more of an economic than class angle to it nowadays - I know 25/30 years ago when I was growing up, in my area everyone was working class, and mostly had a similar level of income, lived in similar houses etc. Thinking of my DC, and where we live, whilst in strict class terms I think most would term themselves working class, there are huge economic divides.

I'm more conscious of it because as I work full time, have a degree and whats regarded as a well paid job, and I know because of that theres a presumption by lots of the mums that I have plenty of money...which sadly couldn't be further from the truth!

atswimtwolengths Mon 03-Jan-11 00:44:07

Classydiva, what sort of jobs are your children going into?

And for anyone who cares, money has nothing to do with class.

charliesmommy Mon 03-Jan-11 00:47:00

I would say class is more about lifestyle, manners, behaviour and attitude, than money.

cornshilk007 Mon 03-Jan-11 00:47:43

OP where have you seen this divide? I know plwnty of mums who want to be seen as middle class but they were always like this.

WimpleOfTheBallet Mon 03-Jan-11 00:54:33

I have had some of your worries myself...given that my DD is at a school with loads of very well off kids..then I realised that my insecurities are just that...mine...not hers.

I don't go to the school...she does...and she is very happy. SO I stopped worrying about it all and became more detatched. I've had my turn.

Charlottejbt Mon 03-Jan-11 00:59:49

hatesponge, I enjoyed your post. I actually went to the same college as George Osborne who left just before I went up, and I think that knowing what these types were like at 20 only deepens my hatred of this government. (Not wishing to get too political in this thread, but I was briefly driven into the arms of the Socialist Workers Party in my first term, until I realised that I had to spend most mornings freezing my bits off trying to sell newspapers to factory workers who were very sensibly not buying them. I've been a keen armchair socialist ever since.)

Litchick Mon 03-Jan-11 09:06:11

adelvice - don't feel intimidated by the Mums in the 'in crowd'.

I bet if you met me, you'd think I was one of them.

But I'm from very humble stock and am as happy chatting with Mums from a council estate, as I am mixing it with my friends with millions.

My DC attend very posh indie schools but have many friends from their outside activities and these children come from all walks of life. They are all welcome in my house, and I'd be happy having a cuppa in any of theirs. My only rules are they must be good people.

Don't make assumptions. It just holds you back.

spikeycow Mon 03-Jan-11 09:20:32

Class has nothing to do with manners.

classydiva Mon 03-Jan-11 09:25:03

atswimtwolengths

Investment banking.

needcoffee1982 Mon 03-Jan-11 09:33:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JeezyPeeps Mon 03-Jan-11 09:40:55

I guess I am lucky, because I am from a place where class is not relevant. We have millionaires dressed in jeans supping pints with labourers and taxi drivers, and you would not be able to tell which is which.

But its a funny thing - class must have once upon a time been on the school curriculum as I was taught about it at school. One teacher asked all the class what their dad's did for a living, and they were told whether it was working or middle class. One child answered 'lorry driver'. The teacher told her that they were middle class.

Guess what the teacher's husband did for a living...

There are some idiot wives here that think they are a cut above because of the work that their husbands do (to be honest though, they stick to themselves as no-one else wants to know them!) but generally you get on with people or you don't based on who they are. Class is irrelevant.

porcamiseria Mon 03-Jan-11 10:19:39

OP I think you should big yourself up, and not worry about other people

funnily enough we live a fairly mixed area, not middle class for sure. our DS goes to pre school in a more middle class area and I cant stand the Mums there. Its not just me, a few people have noted it. They think they are special, and are really unfriendly. ironically as I am going back to work FT this year I dont let it bother me, as they are just a minor radar blip

sounds to me like you have self confidence issues, Id work on that rather than giving a shit about the not-so-yummu-mummys

needcoffee1982 Mon 03-Jan-11 10:36:38

i think the only reason the mums ignoring me upsets me is cause i dont see anyone else on a daily basis. just my DCs. see family maybe once a week

Chil1234 Mon 03-Jan-11 10:45:37

This is about you rather than them, isn't it? You don't feel 'worthy' of mixing with people that you think are somehow above you and that kind of inferiority complex/insecurity will hold you back in any situation, not just the school-gate crowd. If you want to invite people round that seem nice, do so. Real friends will take you as they find you. Bitchy women will crit you behind your back even if you live in a mansion.... such is life.

BaggedandTagged Mon 03-Jan-11 10:52:03

If anything, I think MN is full of working class wannabes-

eg, "well I'm a barrister, and I went to Oxbridge, but I went to a state school for a term and go in Primark so I'm definitely working class"

You're not. By the fact that you do a white collar job that requires a serious amount of tertiary education you are middle class. Accept it.

Agree that the old class definitions don't really stand anymore, as there are so few people doing manual jobs compared to a generation ago- it used to be that if you did a manual or trade job you were working class. If you did an "office" job, you were middle class. That said, if you do a job which requires a tertiary education you are likely to be middle class.*

*(unless of course you subscribe to the theory that you remain whatever class you were born into whatever you do in the rest of your lifetime)

GooseFatRoasties Mon 03-Jan-11 10:53:55

jeezypeeps-where are you from?

sarah293 Mon 03-Jan-11 10:59:16

Message withdrawn

usualsuspect Mon 03-Jan-11 11:24:56

The trick is not to feel inferior to anyone ...I live on a council estate ,so what...my ds has friends from all walks of life ...they come to my house he goes to theirs ,nobody cares

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