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Think Carefully Before Opting for Private Education

(1000 Posts)
PRMum2012 Mon 29-Apr-13 23:50:44

i am a mum of two (23 months and 3 in august)I am self-employed, part time and married to a lovely architect. We have a great life and two happy kids.

On paper I would say I have not done too badly with my life and my aim is to work full time as soon as possible now my kids are a bit older. If the work was available I would happily work full time now.

Despite setting up my own business I can't help feeling like a failure that I can't afford for my own children, what my parents did for me.... It annoys me that I put so much importance on it ... I am now passionate about finding a decent local primary school for my children so they don't feel the same pressure i do now, when they are older and looking for schools for their kids ....but i'll be honest ......assuming i can afford it i would try and do it from 11 if i can....!!!!...

Hopefully by then, my kids will have an input too and they will be forming their own opinions on the issue.

Depending on mortgage and family support I can't see that it's possible for anyone with two kids earning under £80,000 - £1000,000 + (as a family income) to afford private education anymore, my advice is unless you have a thriving business or two, work as a dr, lawyer or banker.... Forget it.

It's really hard to watch my younger sibling do it for her kids, they are paying for private prep while we cant afford it.... But it really upsets me I feel like this... why can't I just be happy for them and quietly satisfied that I don't need to pay on top of my taxes for my kids education.

For my own primary education i went privately, tried the local school for secondary education but was bullied so moved back to the private system.... I had a mix of private and state during secondary - my second private school was amazing but the second state school I attended for 6th form (my choice) was great too so why is this all having such an impact on what I want for my own kids.

My DH is much more laid back, he went privately all the way through but doesn't place as much value on it as I do/did....I wish I felt the same way but all I feel now is pressure to earn more money so I can pay for them both from 11.

exoticfruits Mon 06-May-13 22:54:20

I also fail utterly to see why a woman who chooses to take a few years off paid employment is 'serving a man' or why on earth they should never get out of the house and have a strange obsession with cleaning! I have said many times that the only time I have had a cleaner was when I was a SAHM-life was too varied and busy to do it. Once I was back at work it was more routine and easier to fit in-I no longer needed a cleaner.

Wuldric Mon 06-May-13 22:59:56

Work is something you do in order to live-obviously you want it to be interesting and you need to earn enough to live-beyond that you need plenty of time to do the things you want.

That's the comprehension gulf in a nutshell. For me, as it is for Xenia, and for lamentably few women (but many men) work is something that you WANT to do. Not something you need to do in order to live.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Mon 06-May-13 23:14:30

My Chinese SIL was telling me about her uncle and aunt who worked three and a half jobs between the two of them, back home, just so that their DD could study in the UK. She married fresh out of university and two years later gave up work to start a family.

Not my money, not my DD so I'm not getting judgy pants about it but I thought that Xenia might appreciate the story smile

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 07:01:18

You can't assume that your DCs want the same as you. The uncle and aunt had ambitions for their DD but don't appear to have realised that she might not have wanted them! The aunt would have been far better getting more qualifications herself than projecting on to her DD.
Some DDs will be highly impressed with a full time, working mother and emulate her, others will look at her and think 'no way'- and you can't predict which way. You can set yourself up as a role model in your own mind, but it doesn't mean that others see you that way.
I admire Xenia, she works hard - knows what she wants and gets it. Nothing wrong at all - except her expectation that we all want it - or we all should want it.
A position of power is out for me. You can't have one and say 'I need to finish by 4.30pm every Monday because I am a Beaver leader- I can work later occasionally, but I need at least a week's notice to sort an alternative' - or 'No, I can't fly to Paris on Wednesday- it is my DC's school sports day' or 'I can't come into work on Tues that I booked off because I have already promised my mother that I am taking her out for her birthday' etc. Maybe you can get away with some of these things at the very top, but you certainly can't on the way up. I don't want to miss them all on the way up- they are far too important to me.

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 07:04:40

I expect there were miserable housewives who were 'serving men' in 1950s but that was 60 years ago- SAHM choose it those days - people who choose generally like the choice and if they don't they change it.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 07:41:04

'projecting on to her DD'

The parents wanted their DD to have an education and that's 'projecting'???

bella65 Tue 07-May-13 08:23:21

We will never get women to positions of power if they all wimp out and stay home

What a load of tosh.

Sorry- but have you missed the fact that we had a woman Prime Minister for 11 years- or were you too busy with your own career to notice?

And for some women the most powerful position they can have is being a good mother, bringing up the next generation to have happy and fulfilling lives. Power isn't exclusive to the boardroom.


mumsneedwine Tue 07-May-13 08:33:40

I have a bit of a sore head as we may have stayed in the pub a bit too long - it was sunny ! No work today so I'm going to be a 'housewife' and lie in the garden with a good book.
I think it's great that woman want, and can now have, varied lives and careers. How wonderful is it that our kids get to see lots of different ways to live and they get to make their own choice, whether its high powered career girl or mum at home - or a bit of both !
Oh and I got home from pub and my husband had done all the ironing, cooked and cleaned and made sure school bags were packed. We work as a team, even when I did stay home to be with my kiddies. That's what feminism is about.
Right, need to find the nurofen and another cup of coffee.

Xenia Tue 07-May-13 09:21:57

Feminism is not about the glorification of the domestic sphere and it is not wonderful that loads of women choose to be housewives or think they choose.

As for the Chinese sadly they murder more baby girls than even the Indians each year in the womb and it is can be quite hard even in a culture which praises hard work like China and Japan to be rid of sexism. It is one of the sad things about Chinese and Russian communism (if you are a communist) that it failed so very badly to give women proper rights and power. Western democracy has done better. Finland was found today to be the best country on the planet for women on a range of scores from how many women politicians there are to deaths in childbirth.

Women have about 10 - 20% of positions of power in the UK. It is absolutely pathetic and in large part caused because until 30 they do very well, better than men, but then they marry men who earn a bit more and give up work to mind babies and never get back on a proper career track. By the time they are my age many regret it and come on mumsnet credit crunch threads trying to find where to buy the cheapest chicken. By then it is too late.

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 09:44:40

The parents wanted their DD to have an education and that's 'projecting'???

Of course it is. Parents look at their baby and decide they are going to go to university, get a good degree and be a doctor etc. They need to wait and see what sort of DC they have-maybe they want to sail yachts across the Med for millionaires, be a surfing instructor, an actor, a dress designer, have their own pottery etc etc etc. Everyone want their DC to have an education-it is up to the DC what they do with it.

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 09:47:25

There is a list in the Times today of 50 things to do before you die. I can't say that I agree with them all, but I have done the bulk of them-some I might still do and some I have no desire to-however they are wider ranging. I have done the sky dive which I think is a fairly good example to my DSs that a woman can tackle anything!!

1 Stop worrying about money
2 . . . and about what other people think
3 Take two holidays a year
4 Enjoy the little comforts in life
5 Experience different cultures
6 Work to live, rather than live to work
7 Pay off all debts
8 Be true to yourself
9 Concentrate on what you have, rather than what you don’t have
10 Use money on experiences rather than saving for a rainy day
11 Make time for family and friends
12 Try all types of food
13 Find true love
14 Visit at least 25 different countries
15 Go outside more
16 Learn a new language
17 Be well thought of by family
18 Help a member of your family out when they really need it
19 Lose a stone in weight
20 Treat each day like it’s your last
21 Visit all of Britain’s historical landmarks
22 Book an impulsive holiday
23 Volunteer for a good cause
24 Take up a challenge
25 Go on safari
26 Blow a load of money in one shopping trip, just because you can
27 Learn a new instrument
28 Be married for longer than 20 years
29 Leave money for the grandchildren
30 Start a family
31 Earn more than your age
32 Have a pet
33 Drive a really fast car
34 Travel alone
35 Be able to keep the kids on the straight and narrow
36 Meet strangers
37 Move away from home to an unfamiliar place
38 Have a one-night stand
39 Pass your driving test
40 Get a degree
41 Rescue someone
42 Date someone exciting but completely wrong for you
43 Get a promotion
44 Reach desired career peak by 40
45 Have an all-night drinking session
46 Perform something on stage in front of others
47 Snog a stranger
48 Plan a surprise party
49 Try an adrenaline-packed activity such as sky-diving
50 Spend time with children, even if they aren’t yours

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 07-May-13 09:55:36

My take on women dropping out of work to bring up their families is that for many women it's part of their personality not to do things by half measures. They like to do a job properly or not at all. When they go back to work after having babies and find that the additional demands on them means they can only do an average job, they feel uncomfortable and decide to concentrate on one thing at a time.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 10:04:03

Xenia - Not that I am defending what goes on in China but it isn't 100% sexism.

Sons are values because (in theory) they look after the parents in their old age. You can argue that its sexist because the guy can join the woman's family but that's a different discussion.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 10:21:45

exotic - a lot of the things on the list require money and/or no kids in tow which is kind of what Xenia is saying (did I just agree with Xenia?)

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 10:31:46

It was a list compiled by a survey and since lots of people see success in terms of money a lot will need money to do them. Others don't take money- it all depends on your perspective.

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 10:33:22

When I say the bulk - I only mean more than 50% in my case.

Wuldric Tue 07-May-13 10:40:29

Gosh - I read that list and I have done every single one of them, apart from visiting every landmark in the UK. Quite truthfully and not showing off.

Does that mean I am ready to die?

bella65 Tue 07-May-13 10:44:19

But Xenia- you seem to want to bully women into submission.

You want them to do what suits you and your personality.
Not all women want that.

And what gives you the right to say what they should do with their lives?

The reason that so few women are in 'power' as you call it, is for many reasons, but one of them quite clearly is that they simply don't want to be! Thanks god. Many women are quite happy to eschew the board room and do something that is more meaningful to their lives than play office politics and all that goes with it.

You have a very narrow view of what you regard as 'success'.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 10:50:28

bella - this forum is full of people telling us that we are bad people for choosing selective schools, private or state, for tutoring our kids, for not buying organic chicken even.

So do you really want to dump on Xenia for expressing her opinions on SAHMs?

higgle Tue 07-May-13 10:50:42

If you can't afford it all the way and want private education I'd suggest you do it up to age 11. Firstly it is cheaper when they are younger and secondly the discipline instilled and the range of activities makes a great impression on the younger child. We send our two to prep achool to 11 and they then sailed into grammar school and have done really well. The discipline of daily prep at an early age means they have never once had to be told to do their homework and they are motivated and keen.

DS 1 graduated from Oxford last year and now has a really good job, DS2 has a place lined up at a good university ( his subject of choice is not one done at Oxford, though he did think about classics as he loves latin) for the autumn.

musicalfamily Tue 07-May-13 11:01:44

I was a bit shocked this weekend when I heard my daughter (8) role playing with her brother, who wanted to be a daddy and take care of the children. "NO - you cant' do that - men go out to work and women look after children".

I am horrified that having a mum that works in a professional job and a dad that does equal share of looking after children and taking them to school etc she still subconsciously thinks that way.

I suspect that the environment around them is stronger than the role models and examples she is getting in her own family. Food for thought.

Xenia Tue 07-May-13 11:17:52

My son last year said his teacher had suggested women cook (that is not his experience as his big brother cooks for him every night) and he had thought the male teacher's comment (boy's school) was sexist. I certainly agree that children can be surrounded by sexist examples and as children move into teenage years influences of peers and at school are often more important than parents. In some ways that is one reason I have preferred single sex schools for my daughters as cool girls do science and maths and are very good at it. Also boys of 12 sing in choirs if there are no girls in the school or the choir. If girls are around they tend to drop out more from what might be seen as girls' things.

Of course I do not expect all women to rise to positions of power nor all men (100 is the average IQ and many are below that) and lots of people aren't interested but if the pool from which you hire leaders aged 40+ is 90% male because all the women have "gone domestic" and leaned right out then women do not advance. It is this 30+ issue and women marrying richer men who earn more which is one of the main reasons women are held back. They disappear. They become invisible - they have their arms down the loo and they are working on the PTA.

Also whilst it may be true some women are perfectionists that is not a good way to be and the previously successful women at work who give it all up to put 100% into their children are usually the ones who have the rude shock as bringing up a child is about love and compromise and it is not like getting your presentation in on time or hitting a target. Those perfectionist mothers (or fathers for that matter) are often the least well suited to being home.

MTS, I was the person lauding the batter farmed eggs and Tesco value chickens - I am already beyond the pale for many.

wordfactory Tue 07-May-13 11:26:19

bella I think it's just far too convenient to tell us that the reason women are so under represented in all professional arenas is because we don't want to do it!

I mean for years we were told that it was because we weren't capable! And now women will no longer listen to such shit, you change tack and say it's because we don't want to? That we just above all that?

Well that's very very convenient for the men then.

Look, I'm all for women being SAHMs if that's what they really want (as opposed to being given little choice through unaffordable child care, or having partners who won't accept their share of responsibility)...but let's not pretend that it's what all women want and is the reason we don't see women in positions of influence.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Tue 07-May-13 11:51:53

It's 'funny' how the women who go on about how the family unit is more important to.them than their careers and how they aren't prepared to work unfamily friendly hours etc etc are the same women who go on about how its sexism that stops women from achieving positions of power.

Sorry boss but I can't stay for the 5pm Tele conference with the NY office because I have a school concert to go to. By the way, how about promoting me to the senior sales manager slot that had just opened up? grin

The expression about eating cakes springs to mind.

seeker Tue 07-May-13 12:01:48

Are they the same women? Not in my experience!

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