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To wonder what I have done compared to others I knew?

(26 Posts)
whatsallthehullaballoo Sun 29-May-11 21:13:39

Well I have just been on FB looking up old friends from 5 years ago, before I had children. We all worked together in retail and all had finished or started university/ college etc. In the last 5 years I have had two children and am now a childminder and married.

I have seen so many of the friends I knew doing really well - one is a teacher now, another a paramedic - another is a Police Officer and another working in HR in London. I feel.....a little bit like a failure. I do not feel I have achieved so much - although I do not regret my children at all.

We were all good friends once - now I wouldn't even friend request them as I would feel a little embarrassed.

StealthPolarBear Sun 29-May-11 21:15:05

The ones that don't have so much to boast about it won't have put thatmuch detail down.
Plus, how many of the childless ones are childless through choice do you think?

K999 Sun 29-May-11 21:16:12

Never feel embarrassed by who you are or what you do.

For all you know they may be unhappy, wishing they were married and having kids?

As long as you're happy that's all that counts. smile

southeastastra Sun 29-May-11 21:16:53

have they all had children too?

whatsallthehullaballoo Sun 29-May-11 21:18:52

I cannot see much - but no, most have not had children yet. I did not mean the post to come across as it did - just that I feel they are doing really well and I have just kind of muddles along....

However, I guess like some have suggested - their fb page does not tell the full story!

worraliberty Sun 29-May-11 21:18:52

It's like the old saying....

"Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"

They either like you for who and what you are, or they're not worth bothering about smile

whatsallthehullaballoo Sun 29-May-11 21:24:41

It gets worse - just found an old friend from school who now works for the BBC and last month did a live interview from Westminster.... I am a nobody...

<goes to bed>

K999 Sun 29-May-11 21:28:38

My friend posted on Friends Reunited that he was an astronaut....grin

zukiecat Sun 29-May-11 21:29:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

darleneoconnor Sun 29-May-11 21:32:11

they would probably be jealous of your happy family!

It's swings and roundabouts.

WineComesInAtTheMouth Sun 29-May-11 21:37:39

I have job I love, but no children. I just never met the right man and now it's too late. You are so lucky. smile

You are not a nobody. You are a mummy.

That is a pretty big achievement in my book smile

SnuffleTurtle153 Sun 29-May-11 21:39:44

I did my MSc a couple of years ago and became good friends with a girl on my course. We both got a good grade but mine was slightly higher, and my dissertation won an award and got published. I went on to have an OK, but not amazing, job, and recently had my DS; she is now pursuing a PHd and works for a leading research company in London (the sort of job I dream about). So I know what you mean... When I read her updates on Facebook I feel an almost overwhelming envy that I didn't try harder.... But then I look at my DH and my DS, and realise I would never, ever change anything about my life. The life I have is the life I chose and I'm sure there are aspects of it that others would be envious of also. Like darleneoconnor says, it's swings and roundabouts. Be proud of everything you are.

AprilRose Sun 29-May-11 21:40:49

Don't you dare feel like a nobody! You're a mother, which in my (childless) opinion is the pinnacle of having 'done something'

I fear this may be a case of the grass being greener. I've managed to hold down a 'career' (not what I wanted, but it's something I'm good at) for the last 4 1/2 years, since leaving uni, and have just recently bought my first house, and yet I'm unbearably envious (in a nice way, not a seething way) of my best friend, who is married and has a gorgeous 22month old daughter. She often touts the house-ownership thing as being something to be proud of, and whilst I am, I don't think it in anyway compares to having a child.

So yeah... I may not have worked with you for 5 years ago, but for what it's worth, I reckon you've got a heck of a lot to be proud of with what you have!

redexpat Sun 29-May-11 21:44:06

They'll be jealous OF YOU when they struggle to have kids because of their careers. Teaching and police are really tough stressful jobs, and just because they have them doesnt mean that they are any good at them! And just because someone lives in London it doesn't mean much either.

I'm sure you're the best childminder around. And there is a long time until you'll retire. PLENTY of time for a change of direction if that's what you want.

whatsallthehullaballoo Sun 29-May-11 21:44:23

I would never have 'traded' my children for a career at all. They have made me happier than any other thing in the world could have. I guess it has just shown me what I could have achieved BUT my life is not over, I am still in my late 20's and so my time may come yet!! It would be good to do something that my children would be proud of iyswim.

whatsallthehullaballoo Sun 29-May-11 21:45:15

Oh and thanks everyone - smile

barbie007 Sun 29-May-11 21:46:07

It's easy to think that others have a more exciting/fulfilling life than the one we lead.

But the reality is that we all get on with it as best as we can and you seem to have chosen a path that makes you happy so don't be ashamed of it.

emsyj Sun 29-May-11 21:47:27

Fgs, who chooses friends and measures their worth based on perceived 'career success'???

Eleanor Roosevelt - "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent".

Why do you feel inferior to them?

whatsallthehullaballoo Mon 30-May-11 07:19:58

I suppose it is purely because I was also at university with many of them and as I have not been particularly career minded since having children I have not made that 'career' choice. Although, I have loved childminding and running my own business it is not generally regarded as a 'career' and despite how happy I am in my position at the moment.....I feel like I should have achieved more.

But, I am feeling much better this morning having slept on it....mainly because I do not have to work today and I am pretty sure many of those old friends will grin

Mishy1234 Mon 30-May-11 07:41:00

What you see on the surface quite often bears no resemblance to reality. The friends who you perceive as being successful will also have things they wish were different in their lives. For most of my 20's and 30's I was extremely successful career wise, but underneath it all it was taking years and rounds and rounds of IVF to conceive. Nobody knew anything about it at the time and quite a few of my friends who already had children were openly envious (in a very nice way of course!).

Also, now I've had children I consider childminding as one of the most challenging jobs out there. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it.

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 30-May-11 07:48:22

I'm 38 struggling to find a second career that I can now fit around the children. However I don't compare myself to others, but I think part of that is through age. In my mid to late 20's all of my friends including myself had amazing careers, all we wanted to do though was get married, have children and give up work. Most of us did. From being independent young females we are now dependant, range of part time jobs, cleaner, one works in Waitrose, one with children with special needs but are ultimately happy and fulfilled with the life we have.

You've had your children ( and may have more) but have another 30 plus years until retirement. I'm sure you'll find some kind of fulfillment outside of the children but if you don't then as long as you are happy you're onto a winner grin

Rowgtfc72 Mon 30-May-11 08:25:08

I got a BA (hons) in 1994. Now i have a dd and have only ever worked in factories as it fits round dd and dh shifts. Most of my uni friends have good jobs. Im not jealous or embarrassed as Im happy with my life. Are you? Thats all that matters really !

TheFlyingOnion Mon 30-May-11 08:29:34

Never cruise the fb pages of old friends when you are feeling low.

They are designed as little marketing ploys for the user... does anyone put "I feel like shit today because I hate my job", or "I wish I wasn't with my boyfriend but I'm too scared to leave" or "I'm so far in debt I don't know what to do"?

They do not.

Its all "look at me getting drunk with my mates, look at me in my wedding dress, look at me look at me" etc etc...

babybythesea Mon 30-May-11 08:34:07

I've done one, and am doing the other.
I had a career which, although it didn't pay well, I loved. I've also been able to travel so my FB proudly displays photos of trips to Mauritius, South Africa etc. I'm glad I did them, and I still work part-time as I did enjoy work and I've managed to get a good pt job in the same field. Now though, my FB page displays a slightly less 'exciting' lifestyle.

Now, my days are filled with saying things like 'Please take your finger out of my nose. If you need to pick a nose, pick your own.' and 'Get down, because you'll fall. You will, can you please get.... you see? You should have got down. Where does it hurt?'' and 'No, I'm not putting ice cream on your weetabix for breakfast. I know you like ice cream, but we're not eating it for breakfast. Or chocolate.' And 'But you put the paint on your hand yourself, to do a handprint, so why are you crying? I'll cuddle you in a second, let's just wash your hands... in a second... hands...hands... never mind, I can wash my hair.'

I wouldn't go back. (Well, sometimes, at 5.00am when my morning appears to be underway, and I can't yet put CBeebies on and lie half asleep on the sofa, and I look back wistfully to the days when I rolled out of bed to a 7.00am alarm!). My life is very different, and often very frustrating (we just don't wear our new dress in the bath ok?) but a lot of fun. I look at friends who have careers and who are still 'doing' things but who don't have kids and think 'You don't know what you're missing!' They have achieved, absolutely. But so have I. I have achieved a whole other person. I am trying to turn that person into someone who can go out into society and be a good person, someone who is kind, and considerate, and who can contribute to life in some way. I think that's worth something.

zipzap Mon 30-May-11 09:37:42

Know what you mean op. I opened up a Sunday newspaper a while back to discover not one but two uni friends in articles - one as one of the '40 under 40' most influential people in the uk or ones to watch sort of list. The other was heading up a political party (was from a different country).

I then looked up a few of the others from this group and discovered they were all going great guns in the city or being hailed as great entrepreneurs etc

I did subsequently bump into one of them and we met up a couple of times, she was just as nice as when we were students and we'd both ended up pregnant at the same time but then I got overtaken by other stuff after baby arrived separate from baby and we lost contact again.

Mind you the boss that had employed us all is probably the one to have the last laugh - she always reckoned the people she employed went on and did well, I haven't done badly but not reached the stellar heights the others did.

And yes I am glad to be where I am with dh and dc when I think about it with my rational sensible head on! But can't help dreamy head thinking what if sometimes grin

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