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To think it's too late to change anything and I've wasted my life and all my daughters lives

(100 Posts)
Poweredbypepsi Thu 04-Aug-11 10:23:37

Speaking to my daughter today (6 years old) she told me that when she grows up she wants to "just look after my babies like mum". I have never done ANYTHING with my life, I did very well at school and went to a decent university again did well the first two years but by the final year was pregnant with dd and it sort of took a back seat I passed but only with a 2:2. ( was history degree).

I got married to dh settled down, had three more children and am now expecting our 5th ( first 4 planned this one not).I am 27 now. I have helped dh set up his business and secure his career but done nothing myself. No jobs nothing.

Now I am pregnant we have multiple preschool children, I have no work experience, my degree isn't good enough to do any postgraduate courses and I wouldn't get a student loan to do another undergraduate course even if I didn't have childcare to worry about.

I followed in my mums footsteps SAHM ( although she died when I wa 17). And when my first daughter was born I did have a part time shop job but my dad and family made me feel so crap about it (not dh he doesn't mind what I Do) I quit. My dad was always saying "part time worker is part time mother".

Now I have 3 daughters well could be 4 I don't know what my current baby is yet and I have passed on low expectations to them.

I can't see how I can change this now dhs job means he isn't available pretty much any day ( the business is still young takes up alot(!) of time so I jus don't see how I can do anything else now.

Aibu to think I can't change things now?

CoffeeDog Thu 04-Aug-11 10:26:54

You could flip the coin and say you daughters see what an amazing job you do and how fantastic you are as a mummy, and be really flattered they want to be just like you ;)

Your still pretty young 5 yrs younger than me ;) so i think there is hope for you yet the way things are going we will be working for another 40 yrs so plenty of time to work your way up/retrain etc...

AlpinePony Thu 04-Aug-11 10:27:21

YABU for thinking your life is over, for being "spoken down to" by your father and for thinking that you need a postgrad qualification to get a job - not quite sure what a PhD in History would get you anyway. confused

Your life is not over, you are so young and there is so much out there.

scurryfunge Thu 04-Aug-11 10:28:25

Your role is still valid. You are raising children!

Can you take on a role within the family business for now?

squeakytoy Thu 04-Aug-11 10:29:03

Stop being so hard on yourself. There is nothing wrong with being a mum who chooses to stay and home and raise her family, nothing at all!

In a few weeks time your daughter will probably want to be a vet, then a nurse, maybe a firefighter... but at the moment you are her world, and she wants to be like you.. so take it as a compliment!

Four children IS more than a full time job for gods sakes!! Enjoy your time with them, dont be wondering "what if".

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Thu 04-Aug-11 10:29:09

Why do you think that being a SAHM is having low expectations?
You have 5 children to think about and raise and shape. The comment was made by a 6 year old who thinks that it is a wonderful thing you are doing. Ask her again at 16 and she may think differently.
If you have an equal relationship with your partner, with mutual respect and support, with division of all the things that have to happen to keep your family unit happy and healthy, then your children will grow to see the complexities and the worth of what you are doing.

esselle Thu 04-Aug-11 10:29:21

Stop being so bloody negative!!

I have always wanted to be a SAHM. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to stay at home and raise my children while Dh goes out to work.

It is important to me that I am here for my 3 children and feel that it is the most valuable job I can ever do.

Maybe you just need to change your attitude...

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 04-Aug-11 10:30:06

You are still very young,, in 6 years time you will only be 33 and all your children will be at primary school, you could easily do a qualification then or train for a job...

There is plenty of time to change things. I know someone who started training to be a doctor in their 30s...

You can do anything if you really want to.

OddBoots Thu 04-Aug-11 10:30:13

you are 27, still young.There is nothing wasted about that. I have explained to my children that I spent some of my adult life SAM but as we are now not likely to retire until 70 there are still years of working life left. My children are now in school so I am working part time in a pre-school and studying part time with the OU.

I have told them that their own working lives will probably be even longer so they might want to think of more than one career to fill it and that SAH with children for part of the time is fine.

There are people who have not had paid work for most if not all their working lives but it is still not wasted if they have contributed by bringing up children or given back to the community in some other way, we need a mix to form a society.

IDontThinkSoDoYOU Thu 04-Aug-11 10:31:09

Yes, you are being unreasonable. You can always go back and learn more if you want to or find a job that fits in around your children even if you have to wait a few more years until they are all at school. The pre school times doesn't last for ever (although it can feel like it!).

I didn't go back to work until all 3 of mine were at school full time. Now I have 2 jobs. There is plenty of time for you.

Don't underestimate yourself, look at what you have achieved so far.

Sometimes it can feel like unless someone is paying you then it's all a bit worthless but it isn't.

There is plenty of time for you to change your childrens expectations if you want to.

CMOTdibbler Thu 04-Aug-11 10:31:13

You haven't wasted your life - a 2:2 is still a prefectly good degree, you have 5 lovely children, and a DH. And you are still only 27 ! Loads of time to decide what else you want.

How about thinking about a PGCE to teach history once your littlies are in nursery/school ? You'd get to use all your skills, and it would fit with the children nicely ?

feckwit Thu 04-Aug-11 10:31:15

Do YOU want a job or are you just bowing to what you think other people's expectations of you are? It sounds like you think very negatively of yourself.

I agree with the poster above, why does the fact your daughter wants to do what you do, mean you are a bad role model? What could be more fnatastic than being a successful mother whose children obviously admire her?

But if you yourself feel you are not doing or achieving what you aspire to, then only you can change that. What job would you like? How can you get TO the point of acquiring it?

bubblesincoffee Thu 04-Aug-11 10:32:55

You can't change things right now, because you are pregnant and have small children, but that doesn't mean you can't do things other than be a Mum in the future.

First, you need to start valuing the role you do have in life. Being a Mum is not easy, especially to that many childre.

Then you need to realise that you will have time to do things you want to do when your children are older. Success is not only defined by the educational qualifications you have, there is loads you could do to contibute to society and to add to your own life.

ilovepizza Thu 04-Aug-11 10:33:29

You are still so young - you've done a lot already, almost 5 children and a degree. That's more than a lot of people. I think it's normal to doubt yourself sometimes. When the time is right you can achieve what you want to.

exexpat Thu 04-Aug-11 10:34:11

If you stop at five, by the time they are all at school you will still be in your early 30s - plenty young enough to start a new career or course of study. And you have a bit of time before then to work out what you want to do, whether study something new or start at a basic level in a job that could lead to an interesting career. And in the meantime be proud of doing a good job bringing up four (soon five) young children.

And about what your daughter said - I think a lot of 6-year-olds want to be mummies or possibly teachers, because that is what they see most people doing. If you're worried, just make sure you point out all the women doing other things too, and maybe talk to her about ideas you have for what you can do when she and her siblings have grown up.

manicinsomniac Thu 04-Aug-11 10:34:37

You can easily change things as they grow older. Your degree won't go away, you can use it to access professional training courses or whatever really. Then, as your children grow up, they may think that they can look after their babies while they're young and still do something with their lives later. You're only 27, don't be so hard on yourself.

In a way I've ended up in the total opposite position from you from the same circumstances. I got pregnant in my second year at university and now have 2 daughters. I'm also 27. But I was always single so finishing my degree well was essential as was working full time. I'm a teacher but both my daughters have been in full time day care from 2 months olds. Someone who has done as you have done could turn around and say that I have damaged my children's perception of family life by prioritising my career and that doing as you have done would have been the better option.

We all make different choices for the best reasons we have at that time. It doesn't have to to be forever though.

solidgoldbrass Thu 04-Aug-11 10:35:05

ONe of the good things about having your DC when you are young is that, as they grow up, you are still young yourself, young enough to choose what you want to do. What would you like to do? You could perhaps do an OU course or something, studying to your own timetable.

MrsTittleMouse Thu 04-Aug-11 10:35:54

I am actually a little bit jealous of women who have children in their twenties. I have seen so many women in my Mum's generation who have looked after the children and then found a whole new lease of life when the children are older. Even if you wait until most of your children are in high school, you will still be in your thirties and there will still be plenty of time for you to do something with your career. My Mum did exactly that and had a fantastic career the second time around, going much further than she ever would have believed, and even going back to college part-time.

I realise that your late thirties might seem terribly old from where you are now, but believe me, you won't feel it at the time (in my forties and still feeling very young, despite two small children exhausting me daily smile).

And of course, that's if you wait until they are in high school, nothing to say that you can't do something sooner. Your youngest will be in infant school in only 5 years, which will zoom by in a flash. smile

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Thu 04-Aug-11 10:36:06

'How about thinking about a PGCE to teach history once your littlies are in nursery/school ? You'd get to use all your skills, and it would fit with the children nicely ?'

I'd do a bit of research on that avenue before thinking it would be an easy option that fits in with children.

BertieBotts Thu 04-Aug-11 10:36:07

I wanted to be a SAHM at 6. Or an artist. Possibly both. I also wanted to live with my mum forever. A few years later I'd graduated to understanding that "artist" is a pretty rare career and so decided I wanted to be a mum, and I wanted to live next door to my sister and our children would be best friends as well as cousins. When I got into my teens I started looking at careers properly as we were encouraged at school and decided I wanted to be a graphic artist. Went to college, didn't quite get qualified for uni, did another course, got pregnant with DS, stayed at home with him for a bit, realised graphics was really not the area for me, also realised SAHM was not for me, and decided to go back into education to study for social work kind of area.

What do you WANT to do? Being a SAHM is intensely valuable. You're bringing up the next generation! smile But equally, if you want that part time job, or even a full time job, why not go for it? And your DDs are so young. There is so much time to talk to them about what they want to do in the future, and if that is to stay at home and raise children then that's still fine - as long as it's what they want to do.

onlylivinggirl Thu 04-Aug-11 10:36:59

I think the thing you have to ensure that your daughters know is that they have a choice and options for their future - they are not forced to be anything. Do you feel that being a SAHM is what you would choose to do or do you feel forced into the role?
The only concern that I would have is that choosing to be a SAHM relies on a woman (generally) finding a man to support her - and to a huge degree is out of her control- i think your daughers should be empowered to be in control of their own lives.

As for you- you are only 27 - there is lots of time for you- you have to decide what you want to do and work towards it - i know lots of people who have made career changes/retrained etc in late 20s and later - ranging from teaching, lawyers, medicine, accounting ...

NormanTebbit Thu 04-Aug-11 10:37:00

I am at home at the moment but hope to have a new career at the grand old age of 41!

Five happy, healthy children is no small achievement and your daughters will go on to do whatever they want because they have had a secure and happy base.

I know this is a mumsnet cliche but have you thought about the OPen University? I am half way through a second degree. There are many courses some are just short and you can fit it round the children.

OscarLove Thu 04-Aug-11 10:38:34

OP, You have not wasted your life at all! Being a SAHM is a great acheivement, especially with 4 little ones, and one on the way shockgrin You must be a saint! IMO, being a mum is a much more rewarding job, than anything else out there. After all, you've shaped your kids to the wonderful people they are, and if you would've been at work, it would've been some nursery nurse, some nanny or a childminder perhaps, but it was you who shared their baby and toddler years smile

superjobee Thu 04-Aug-11 10:41:46

my aunt was a sahm from her early 20s too, she raised 3 boys into pretty fine young men (ones done an engineering degree, ones a trained nurse and ones doing some bill gates style stuff that i dont understand smile) she is now 41 and a fully trained solicitor working her way up to being partner in the firm that fought to have her. your life is not over.

bananasplitz Thu 04-Aug-11 10:42:13

so you are 27 and thats it?

what about when you are 37, 47 and 57

will you be passed it at 30 and on the scrap heap? Sit and home and wish what could have been

well if you think it, you will be. I dont have time for woe is me'ers, i am victim whiners

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