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Why do middle class people have busier social lives?

(346 Posts)
swimmingpoolshower Wed 29-Jan-20 00:16:33

Feel I may get flamed here but...
I'm WC, maybe a bit MC cos I went to uni. I am also a part time cleaner for MC families and have lots of MC friends. Why do MC people always have so much going on?

Is it money to be able to do things?
Boredom of doing the same things?
Letting off steam from stressful jobs?

No judgement at all but every weekend is house warming, birthday meals, theatre, trips to museums, and that's when you're not 'away for the weekend.' Centre parcs, Rome, Cotswolds, Air BnB in the city. It's January, everywhere is going to be cold.

I think I'm a bit jealous tbh.

NC4Now Wed 29-Jan-20 00:27:04

They have more money and so do their friends. Don’t worry OP, my weekends are - clean the house, watch Corrie, maybe go to the pub...

I’m a bit jealous but not overly so

flowerpot6 Wed 29-Jan-20 00:27:14

I'm from a WC background, but MC by education. I think it's a changing societal thing. I know I have a lot more friends than my mum ever did when she was my age - I think because of going to uni and having kids a bit later in life. I think things are a bit more 'equal' now as well (not enough), but I have nights out, Dh has nights out but we split the childcare at home. My mum's life was either at work or child-rearing and just getting on with it, she had no social life at all, whilst my dad was in the pub with his mates.

Lifeinthedeep Wed 29-Jan-20 00:29:37

It’s money.
I want to do these things. I can’t.

I also want a steam mop, fancy display towells, and nice boxes that organise my food cupboards. But I let it go because the odd day out is more important- hence why my house looks a bit messy and there isn’t a hind of grey or duck egg blue in sight.

lifeinthedeep Wed 29-Jan-20 00:30:40


elliejjtiny Wed 29-Jan-20 00:30:52

If you have money you can afford to go out more.

Elle7rose Wed 29-Jan-20 00:34:09

Agree with Lifeinthedeep- it's because they have the money to do it.

Most people if given the money would enjoy weekends away, travel to exotic places, meet friends for lunch/coffee regularly and host huge celebrations for all special occasions.

I don't think it's necessarily a class thing though. I'm middle class in the sense that both of my parents were highly educated professionals but we were not wealthy when I was growing up and due to chronic illness I'm on a very low income now.

Retroflex Wed 29-Jan-20 00:40:58

I think the entire "class" system is outdated and a horrible way to look at the world.

I'm disabled, during the week I love nothing more than being in my home, cooking, chatting to friends and family on the phone, as my husband and I have ridiculously demanding jobs mentally.

At the weekend however, I like to plan our "escape" which usually involves packing my scooter and the dogs into the car, with a picnic, a few bottles of water for the dogs, a few flasks of coffee for us, along with food and snacks, filling the car with petrol and going on adventures with our pets. Granted it was a lot easier to plan when I was physically walking, and mountains are now a no go area, but it breaks up the monotony, and gives us something to look forward to after a working week, even if we don't want to spend £££'s on the process...

Don't worry about what other people are doing, and if you're jealous ask yourself why? And if there is something which you can change, do it...

DdraigGoch Wed 29-Jan-20 00:49:44

They employ you as a part-time cleaner precisely so that they have time to do other things.

Thesispieces Wed 29-Jan-20 00:50:49

Money. Not many’s ‘days out’ are entirely free or cheaper than being in (especialky knce you have children). So if you can afford it, there is sooo much you can do. I have colleagues that are single without kids who spend almost every school night after work spending ££ on alternative therapy. Anything from facial acupressure to meditation classes. If they didnt have the money I’m sure they’d be home watching Corrie. FWIW I wouldn’t say they’re any more fulfilled. That’s what counts really.

swimmingpoolshower Wed 29-Jan-20 00:52:27

Is it purely money?
My PIL now are comfortable after paying off the mortgage. They still don't 'do' an awful lot, if we don't invite them somewhere they will generally just potter all weekend. That would drive me barmy. Yet I don't have the money to indulge in all the various activities that the people I clean for do, they must budget £200 per weekend!
I wonder if it's this idea of making the most of your time and giving dc's wonderful experiences. Are we becoming more driven to make the most of things? Why is that? Is it social media opening our eyes to different activities/ hobbies or is it a competition to see how much can be fitted into 48 hours?

Retroflex Wed 29-Jan-20 00:52:57


You say that you want nice boxes to organise your food cupboard, my husband has a love of super noodles and pasta 'n' Sauce packets, I keep them in gift bags! I also use gift bags for other items, such as packet mixes (for when I've had my hospital treatments and can't be bothered cooking, it's easier than husband doing it badly) etc.

I have bought large glass storage jars from Ikea, with the same closure as mason jars, for essential items like rice, lentils, pearl barley, dried pasta (for when I can't be bothered making fresh etc), and these were relatively inexpensive.

When it comes to "show" towels, I always check the sales of larger shops, where you can really pick up bargains on hand towels and matching face cloths! I prefer to wrap myself up in a huge bath sheet after my shower, but I don't keep these on "show", just the smaller sizes, so they don't need to match!

As for the steam mop... Do your research before buying! They're not all fantastic! And consider what areas you plan to use it in! I had one for downstairs, and another for bathrooms... I now don't have either anymore, because they just all that they were made out to be! I much prefer old fashioned methods I guess...

Retroflex Wed 29-Jan-20 00:57:13

@swimmingpoolshower and @Thesispieces

There are a lot of activities which you can do with children either free or at a very low cost... There are a lot of Facebook groups which give suggestions, or create "events" to garner interest.

During holidays, a lot of the galleries allow children in free of charge... It takes careful planning, but there are events out there which would be a good day out if its your type of thing...

Dreamscomingtrue Wed 29-Jan-20 00:57:55

I’m working class, in my 60’s now. Not university educated, I wasn’t given the chance, just a few ‘O’ levels, but I’ve done some further education in the past few years, Learning IT skills.

I watch how much I spend on food and clothes etc. Always looking for bargains, cutting back on eating meat and mainly getting clothes in the sales or charity shops, where they are often new, with the original tags still on.

I’ve worked all my life, part time when my children were growing up. I now own my own home, Live in a nice area, so I guess some people might consider me middle class, but I don’t. I won’t get my pension until I’m 66, so live on a limited amount of income.

I go out once or twice a week to the theatre, or to see a band or a singer, but I rarely spend more than £15/20. I’m happy to sit in the cheapest seats.

My local Odeon does cheap tickets for my age group. I belong to my local Leisure Centre, swim or do exercise classes most days. Again with a good monthly deal for my age group. I’m equally as happy going for a walk in the sunshine in my local park, either on my own, or playing with my grandchildren.

I’ve travelled to European cities for cheap weekend breaks with EasyJet and Ryanair for very little money, eat in local places, stay in cheap B&B’s.

So basically I enjoy my life on a limited budget but try to enjoy life on a daily basis without spending too much. I don’t think that you need to spend a fortune to enjoy yourself. I think that Sometimes it’s your attitude to life that can make all the difference.

midnightmisssuki Wed 29-Jan-20 00:59:28

Money. My parents didn’t really have much money so we didn’t go out much, I’m married now and both my husband and I earn decent salaries, most weekends we are out and once a week on a school night we probably have a dinner to go to.

steff13 Wed 29-Jan-20 01:07:00

Could you buy a steam mop and claim it as a business expense? I don't know how things work there, but that's what my cleaner did. She uses it for work and at home. She just has each family buy their own set of pads for it, so she's not using the same ones for everyone.

Kwkwjwkek Wed 29-Jan-20 01:09:06

Social media...seeing what everyone else’s doing and wanting to compete. Also having more money helps!......

NeckPainChairSearch Wed 29-Jan-20 01:09:13

We do loads of stuff with/for the DC - a fair bit of traveling, lots of NT and EH visits, the odd trip with overnight stays so we can take in a bit of the city and so on. I prefer doing things and experiences rather than 'stuff' and we prioritize that - neither me nor DH care about labels or buying tons of new clothes or whatever.

However! If it wasn't for kids, our social landscape would look very different, I suspect!

No social media here, so we're not Instagramming our way around the place grin

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 29-Jan-20 01:12:43

I wonder if it's this idea of making the most of your time and giving dc's wonderful experiences.

I think this tends to be a more middle-class value than working class but I don't think it's just that. But my own upbringing was very working and we I did lots. I was rarely home at the weekends once I was teen and that was true for lots of my friends too. We went hiking and climbing and camping, went to clubs and pub quizzes and hosted "dinner parties" (sometimes just pizza!). Lots of us were highly involved in sports and a some were in bands. We were all really busy.

What we didn't have were responsibilities that wore us out trying to fit in work, overtime, chaotic commutes on public transport, whining kids and chores making us just want to crash on the sofa. - That was much more our parents' life. So I think there is a lot to be said for the money (enough money to have a cleaner instead of wondering if you should do a bit of cleaning as your second job, for instance) aspect enabling you to keep it up. Then it becomes your norm and it's just what you do.

stopgap Wed 29-Jan-20 01:12:46

Money. This weekend we are out to dinner with friends Friday night, Saturday night to the theatre, children’s party Sunday lunchtime and a Super Bowl party Sunday evening. Most weekends are like this. We rarely go out during the week, however.

I grew up WC and weekends were spent visiting relatives or going food or clothes shopping. We only went to restaurants two or three times a year.

RantyAnty Wed 29-Jan-20 01:52:19

Grew up working class.I think my parents spent their money wisely and didn't have expensive vices. Plus there was no cable tv, mobile phones, not much fast food.

We always lived in a nice home that we owned, had 2 late model used cars, great holiday every year. Designer clothes and fancy parties weren't a thing either.

Weekends were spent gardening, fishing, thrifting, projects with mum and dad. matinee movies sometimes.

As a grown up with more money, we'd take adventure drives for fun. ExH didn't like flying so I would go places alone, often combined with work. Lots of concerts. We'd occasionally have a big shopping spree after being paid in full for a big project.

When DC were small, they had sport, music, dance, art.

Nothing lavish or trying to keep up lifestyle. I suppose we'd buy high end for things that were important like computer equipment, office chair that would be used daily. Work goes much better with a great chair and desk. A luxury car if I have to commute long for a project or for our adventure drives. No neck and back strain is well worth the cost!

Bluerussian Wed 29-Jan-20 01:59:31

It depends very much on the individual, swimmingpoolshower and please remember that not all middle class people are particularly well off.

I think if people are better off and enjoy a busy social life, are very hospitable and have fun, they would do the same if they were not middle class but had a good income.

Some of those who can't afford all that would if they could.

Others prefer a quiet life, thinking, reading, watching drama, mainly at home. It's just how they are regardless of class or money. I am like that actually, prefer my own company.

You really can't generalise.

puds11 Wed 29-Jan-20 02:00:37

Definitely money! I was a poor, single mum. My DD and I went out, but not loads and generally to free or cheap places.

I married and now we have a decent disposable income. I can’t remember the last time we spent a day of the weekend just in the house, bar when we all had norovirus.

We do also do free activities like park run, local museums and a lot of walking, however my DD now does clubs and things I wouldn’t have been able to afford before.

NightsOfCabiria Wed 29-Jan-20 02:01:24

middle and upper class people have historically had more cultural capital due to higher income and education/awareness about alternative activities,

If thats the norm in your social circle then you’ll participate.

The thinking is that it leads to a richer life.

It comes at a price though.

clairindespair Wed 29-Jan-20 02:03:39

I think it’s money. I’m a single mum and I’m absolutely on the poverty line and I’d love to have activities and days out but it’s just not possible - some probably don’t have to work so have more free time.

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