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To not really have much sympathy?

(127 Posts)
cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 15:59:04

The writer complains that she can't have babies because she resents the idea of moving out of London.

Others in the article complain they can't afford houses and so won't have children.

AIBU to think that yes house prices are mad but if you really 'dream' of having babies then there are ways to make that happen and it's not 'impossible' unless you are unfortunate enough to be infertile (in which case there may be other options if you are willing to consider adoption/fostering).

I have to say the whole thing comes across to me as a bit whiny.

Vagabond Sat 14-Nov-15 16:24:48

I think with housing prices in London and childcare costs, it is increasingly difficult for couples to contemplate how they will have families whilst remaining in the capital. These are true facts.

How could you be unsympathetic to that?

Perhaps London is her home, and she more than resents having to move away from it to expect a normal life of having children etc. Also, the big jobs are in London. Until the Gov't tries incentives to move big companies elsewhere, Londoners are basically fucked.

I always give sympathy for a person's situation. I think YAB Mean.

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 16:26:34

Fair enough Vaga. I suppose I see it that, yes, that situation exists and it is shit but having babies is hardly an 'impossible dream' when you could make it happen by making some compromises?

TheBunnyOfDoom Sat 14-Nov-15 16:27:19

It is hard, though. Living in London is bloody expensive but lots of people live there for work. Not all jobs can be done in other cities, and even if you can move out, the cost of commuting can easily outweigh the benefits of cheaper rents and mortgages.

And childcare IS expensive. Lots of couples end up with one parent quitting work because childcare is more than their salary and, as a household, they can't afford to work at a loss each month.

So, I think YABU. It is VERY difficult for a lot of young, working couples to afford children these days.

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 16:29:02

I agree that it's expensive, but it's hardly impossible. The writer is a freelance journalist, so she's not exactly tied to London but she won't move out of there, in which case she won't be able to have children. IMO that's her own choice and there's not much use complaining about it.

megletthesecond Sat 14-Nov-15 16:29:19

Yabu. We're going to get to a stage where only London workers with wealthy family to support them can afford to live there.

Why shouldn't a journalist, museum worker or nurse be able to work, live and have a family in London?

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 14-Nov-15 16:31:00

I have no sympathy with guardian readers less still for ones who bemoan they can't afford a house in the most expensive part of the country but could probably easily afford one with a commute elsewhere

expatinscotland Sat 14-Nov-15 16:31:11


cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 16:31:41

'Why shouldn't a journalist, museum worker or nurse be able to work, live and have a family in London?'

They absolutely should meglet, and the housing situation is mad. But the writer's viewpoint is that she can't possibly have children, ever, due to the housing situation in London, which is clearly not the case.

TheBunnyOfDoom Sat 14-Nov-15 16:39:46

Well, yes, she could move, but the point is, families with two working parents SHOULD be able to afford to live and raise children in London, and as things stand, they can't.

And it's the same in the South East. Rent is astronomical so people can't save for a deposit, they can't move because they have jobs here, and childcare (especially for under 3's) is extortionate.

squiggleirl1 Sat 14-Nov-15 16:48:42

There's more to having kids than giving birth to them. It's generally accepted that it's a good thing to plan on seeing them after they are born.

Commuting takes time. Time away from your family. I've done a long commute whilst pregnant and with a small baby. It is shit. You're kids stay in childcare for long hours. You work a full day, and then spend hours travelling (a wholly unproductive repetitive use of your time) to spend precious little time with your kids at the part of the day when they are absolute worst as they are tired after a day spent with someone else.

I couldn't keep it up. I did what I did for my family, but long-term it was unsustainable. I was lucky though, the opportunity to work locally became a possibility for me. Not everybody has that possibility available to them.

Working full time is one thing. Commuting long distances to and from work whilst pregnant, or with small kids, or both, is a whole different ball game.

Postchildrenpregranny Sat 14-Nov-15 16:50:41

DD1 pays £890 a month rent for a tiny one bed flat in SE London .
Even with a partner she would find it hard to save fast enough .
Fortunately we can subsidise house purchase but it is only a two bed flat further out . Just possible with a baby .But if you added on childcare ..
She earns a very average salary and jobs in her field are few and far between outside London

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 16:54:04

I'm not disputing that things are hard. What bothered me was the tone of 'it's all entirely impossible, I'll never have children.' Yes her situation is hard, but there are options open to her, options she just won't take.

APlaceOnTheCouch Sat 14-Nov-15 16:54:24

YANBU it's whiny and entitled. Everyone has to prioritise, weigh up pros and cons, then make decisions accordingly. It's part of being a grown-up.

Katarzyna79 Sat 14-Nov-15 16:56:46

I think yabu and yanbu. its npt easy tp move and if u had a well paid secure job woild you move for a lesser paid job to a not so desirable area? i think i could ive not worked whilst married carer and small kids. But my husband has had jobs he was happy in ok paid andsome terrible pay.lived in some bpx houses in bad conditions in not so nice areas. Not everyone has the same tolerance to do this. If i never had my husband i dont think id risk moving unless i had a secure job and could make ends meet even if it was lower pay.

But ur point about infertlity is valid and i agree. If ypuve never had kids and want 1 you will be more willing to make sacrifices to have your child even if it means uprooting.

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 16:59:33

Kat - the writer doesn't have a secure job, she's a freelancer.

You have children because you've made the compromises that are necessary. She's not willing to do that. Tough luck for her I think. She seems to think that she should have everything she wants - her job, the location, a house, a baby and that if she doesn't have those things it's just awful wah wah wah.

I understand her being annoyed and disappointed but as APlace said - compromise is part of being an adult.

Potatoface2 Sat 14-Nov-15 17:01:18

isnt the point of this story that people who dont work and live in london supported by benefits can afford to have children...its the might not say it but thats what i get from this....and the irony of one of them stating her mother bought her council house!

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 17:04:06

Some of DH's colleagues have complained they aren't able to afford a house in our city (east midlands), but they absolutely can afford a house, they just can't afford exactly the house they want, in the area they want.

WitteryTwittery Sat 14-Nov-15 17:05:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floisme Sat 14-Nov-15 17:07:39

If everyone has to move out of London to start a family, it's going to be a very strange place in ten or twenty years time.

cailindana Sat 14-Nov-15 17:09:16

That sounds really tough Wittery and I understand that it is hard for people to live in London. But that's not the thrust of the article - she does mention house prices etc but she doesn't discuss the policies and inequalities that have brought that situation about (which would have made for a good article). Instead the whole article is a whine about how she and her friends can't ever have children, which is entirely not the case.

PenelopeChipShop Sat 14-Nov-15 17:17:01

I read that and thought something similar, OP. Of corse house prices are crazy in London but for her to practically insist that was the beginning and end of the reason she 'can't' have a family is disingenuous and, imo, disrespectful to those who can't conceive due to infertility.

What she seemed to be saying was that she could only entertain s very specific type of middle class upbringing for her potential child and living in a desirable 'nappy valley' area of London was a big part of it.

We were living somewhere like that when I got pregnant and my latently leave was great - so many activities for families, easy to get around, loads of like minded people etc etc. but when we looked around with a view to buying a place as opposed to renting, we couldn't remotely afford it. Moved out to suburbia when ds was 18 months. I really really miss London, but the move was worth it to have a house we can actually swing a cat in, and indeed our second child, who's due next year.

If you want a family you can't have everything, frankly she doesn't sound very mature to me.

redannie118 Sat 14-Nov-15 17:32:24

Mmm tricky one this. Yes living in london is ridiculous expensive but think about the benefits you reap as apposed to the rest of the country. Perfect example is all public sector workers get a massive pay increase for doing the exact same job in london than in any other part of the country. For example im a civil servant and if I was doing my job in london I would be getting 6000 a year more than I do now. Lots of cities are very expensive to live in but everyone else does not receive that kind of salary, just theres the employment thing,the whole " the jobs are in london" thing is perfectly correct, because when the government decides to shut down huges swathes of industry they do it outside of london. The fact is people choose to live in london as its the capital, no one forces them too. Before they whine on about " oh poor me I cant afford children and a house in the subburbs"come and take a train up to one of the cities in the north,where we cant afford children as our wages have not increased beyond minimum wage in 15 years,jobs are as rare as hens teeth life is beyong grim and most people who work full time,live in tiny one bed flats and walk to work every day as they cant afford the is hard for pretty much everyone at the min sad but true

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Nov-15 17:33:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Sat 14-Nov-15 17:36:44

It's a bit 'cut off your nose to spite your face', I think.

It's not unreasonable to complain about the economics and the incredibly tough choices (there are a whole generation of us after all).

It IS unreasonable to make the choice to not have DC rather than compromise other things and then claim you've been prevented from having the DC you dream of.


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