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Anyone else the child of MIXED-CLASS parents, who went to private school with assisted place????

(11 Posts)
Haya1 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:20:56

I find parenting my four young children difficult in some ways - and I think that's partly down to my background.
My mother is from a working-class background. My mother's mother went into service at 14 and slept under the kitchen table in the house she worked in. My mother was a nurse. My grandmother had social advancement aspirations for my mother, and encouraged her to study nursing in Oxford and meet an academic... Through her first academic, she met my father - very middle class, professor at the Wharton School in US and LSE here.
I feel a sense of dislocation with friends and in society around me in some ways similar to the way my British Asian sister-in-law feels. AND I haven't found anyone else with a similar background. There are many facets to it, that I think only someone with a similar background might fully understand. As a family we had no friends, because we did not fit in with any social group.
Further dislocation - I went to a high-achieving private (day) school in the late 1980s and 90s with a government assisted place. So all my friends from there were very middle class - no 'mixed-class' parents.
To complicate matters, we had no money, and I was one of the only ones growing up on the dole. The few other poorer students had parents who were both working-class, so they had their own support system.
I have always felt on the outside, and find this very difficult while parenting young children because I have no true support networks. My father is dead, and my mother and I, due to the differences in our education and opportunities, have very little in common, and anyway, she's not a kind, sympathetic type of woman!
Any other mixed-class, assisted places mothers out there!!!!???????

Haya1 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:21:22

Don't know if this was the right part of the forum to post on..

Haya1 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:30:23

Just a bit more to add - my mother was encouraged by her mother to shun her background, so I don't know that side of my family at all, or have family friends from that side. My grandmother always seemed very different and confusing to us.
My father had a career wobble just after I was born (when he was 40) and left universities to plough his own furrow. This meant very few friends and colleagues for him either.
I was very close to my father, who was very gentle and kind, and always had a terrible relationship with my mother, who was angry, scary and explosive. So, along with my schooling, I identify much more with my 'middle class' side. and yet - I am not like them. I don't have their privileges, their ease, their financial backing. I didn't manage to succeed at work due to lack of confidence. My mother always talked my siblings and me down, told us how terrible we were. She had/has no restraint!

silverangel Thu 28-Mar-13 16:01:48

I don't think your issues are anything to do with class but to do with your mother. She sounds difficult and controlling and anyone from any 'class' can be that.

Loislane78 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:09:43

Don't mean to sound harsh as i think you have a real issue about this but you're looking at this all wrong and it sounds like you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder sad

If you want to meet new people and extend your network for both yourself and your children, then it really doesn't matter what background anyone is from. Perhaps you think people care because you judge others and therefore think they do the same to you. You meet people who have similar interests, moral code, sense of humour etc. and they may/may not have similar background.

These days everyone is 'socially mobile'. I'm from a working class background and was first in my family to go to uni. Did alright for myself and now live in a v middle class area (hate the term). Academically and interest wise I have little in common with my family but we still have a laugh together and I embrace my roots. My friends are people I enjoy spending time with; from PhDs to stay at home mums who worked in retail - so what? I take people as I find them and hope they do the same to me.

Just get out there and meet some people and don't over think it - simples smile

LoopaDaLoopa Thu 28-Mar-13 16:15:44

Mr response was going to start with "I don't mean to be harsh..." but then I saw the one above mine.

To be honest, I think you're attributing your issues to something else entirely. We all have our cross to bear. Mine is far heavier than yours, ans everyone's are different, but you just need to deal with it. No good will come of this unnecessary soul searching.
Your mother doesn't sound particularly nice. That's nothing to do with class or assisted places.
As we go through life, we meet people from ll different backgrounds. Many people can be your friend, not just those with identical experiences. I think you need to let a lot go and just be yourself.

QTPie Thu 28-Mar-13 17:41:26

Agree with the above.

Although some therapy/counselling may help you work through your issues, ultimately your life is for you to shape: there is absolutely nothing to stop you going out there and taking life by the horns and making friends (only shallow people only look within their own social circle for friends - so your mixed background should not be a handicap).

Both my parents were from very working class backgrounds (my Dad's family were poor). They both got an education and professional training. I went to a comprehensive school, but worked hard and got two degrees. Also don't get on with my Mum very much! But my life (and friends and happiness) are my own making and nobody else's.

Don't live in the past: take control and move on.


BramblyHedge Thu 28-Mar-13 18:02:39

I think you need to let go. There is no such thing as a conventional background. I went to private boarding school paid for by the government as my dad worked abroad for the government. I hardly saw my parents and it has made me insecure. However this is in the past and I can't change the past. The only thing I can influence is the future. I know lots of people through work and school and everyone has a past and issues and hang ups. There is no such thing as normal.

beela Thu 28-Mar-13 22:03:28

Well my background - on paper - is not dissimilar to yours. My dad's family were working class (mining background) and my mum's a bit posher (clergy etc). I went to a private day school via an assisted place, because my dad was disabled and on various disability benefits and my mum was his full time carer, so we had no money. My dad has also passed away.

However - I've never had any issues with my upbringing or background. I love both sides of my family, and I have some really close friends from school, who I still see regularly 17 years after leaving. We had family friends from various different social backgrounds when I was growing up, although the ones we saw most regularly were from the pta at mine and my brother's infant school (not private). I had a very happy childhood and would count myself as a well adjusted and happy adult.

So... I guess I am technically a 'mixed class assisted place mother' but I have never defined myself like that (I've never really thought about it before), and I would agree with previous posters that your issues may stem from your relationship with mother rather than your perceived class?

EarthtoMajorTom Fri 29-Mar-13 23:13:57

Hi haya1, from similar background myself and understand where you're coming from, especially over going to high achieving private school with financially secure kids. I agree with some of the other posters above though in that I reckon your insecurities and lack of confidence are probably a lot more to do with the difficult relationship with your mother.
Was she very class conscious? If she was, it might have assumed more importance in your mind too.

DaveMccave Fri 29-Mar-13 23:49:16

I think you are fixating on the class thing too much. I know where you're coming from totally. I went to a very expensive boarding school on an assisted place and charity donations and my parents were on the dole on and off. I felt judged by peers at home who didn't know my circumstances for being 'rich and posh' , and didn't fit in with the rich kids in school either. I have other 'mixed class' issues as you put it but I don't think it matters. I did fixate on class for years.

Now I have friends from various social backgrounds, as do most people these days. I've met most of my 'mum' friends online, as I'm sure many others do, so click more with people with similar parenting issues and ideas. which encompasses all manner of backgrounds. I think you have confidence issues, how old are your children? It's much easier to meet people with babies. Join groups, message people on netmums meet a mum, join Ntenatal groups on here etc

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