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AIBU to feel a bit conflicted?

2 replies

ScumbagBigTelly · 21/09/2022 01:52

I start a new job on Monday. It pays me more money but I need it. I'm a single parent and have been working in low paid jobs and claiming first tax credits then universal credit for almost 18 years. When my son was young pretty much all of my wage went on childcare and rent. It was stressful. I couldn't afford a car and walked 20 minutes to drop off then 20 minutes to bus stop, wait for bus, go to work, do the same in reverse often with late fines added when the bus was late.

There was never any spare. Not money not time not headspace.

I've done all that paying rent all the time. I always knew that my income would drop drastically when he got to 18 and that at that point I wouldn't be able to afford to rent a place with a bedroom for him on what I earned. So I tried hard at work, got promotion to an extent, still wouldn't be enough so I'm taking the leap and going for a different job that pays more. Fortunately I got it due to doing work far beyond my pay grade in my current job over a period of years.

So ... success, I guess. But it's been a grind and now I'm 50 and I'm tired. And I will have to keep on working at this rate until at least 70 just to afford my rent which I pay forever.

Help me feel a bit more positive about this. Rn I just feel like I've struggled to get to the point where I can make rent at age 50 and honestly I feel like a failure that it's proved so difficult. I don't feel triumphant or elated that I'm finally earning enough to pay rent without state help, just slightly relieved and focusing on the long long road ahead. Which looks pretty fucking bleak and hard.

At a time in life when most people are scaling down work I'm ramping it up, and I'm so, so tired. I've had a few health problems these past few years, I'm worried there's more in store, and I wish things were different.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

9 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
shipwreckedonhighseas · 21/09/2022 02:44

I really feel for you. Congratulations on your new job. But yes, bittersweet.

NumberTheory · 21/09/2022 03:40

You aren’t alone. I think lots of people 50+ are going to be trying to ramp things up - with the cost of living crisis, the reality of no pensions until 70 and the stagnated economy you aren’t going to be the only one who’s found that things are harder now than they’d hoped for.

You’re an incredible mum. I can see why it’s a bit disheartening. But your DS will be working at some point and able to contribute and then he’ll probably move on to his own place and you can down size a bit. But you’ll still have the better paying job and maybe able to enjoy some fo the fruits of that in a more personal way rather just knowing you’ve done your best for your DS.

And though you’d rather have a bit of a different life, nevertheless - congratulations on the job. It’s hard work bringing up a kid on your own. Doing that and building a career is something to be proud of.

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