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AIBU?

To feel like I’ve fucked my life up

69 replies

dandelion1038 · 08/10/2022 20:24

I’m 30 and feel like I’ve ruined my adult life. I did well academically and got straight A’s and A*’s, but got into an abusive relationship shortly after finishing school and ended up having two children, I feel like it has been an upward struggle since then.

I love DC so much but I feel really ashamed with how little I have accomplished in life. Once they were both in school I flitted between a few different low paid and low skilled jobs, then finally ended up in higher education and got a 2:1 in my degree.

I graduated June 2021 and I’ve done very little since then to make any sort of career progression, just worked in schools as a teaching assistant or lunchtime assistant so I don’t have to worry about holiday childcare for DC. I also struggle with a lack of confidence when it comes to work and applying for better jobs.

I feel constantly worried about money, what I am doing job wise, and carry around a lot of shame that I had potential to do well in life but I screwed it all up by getting with a really nasty man.

Has anyone got any words of wisdom or has been in a similar situation to me and managed to turn things around? I feel really lost and alone at the moment 😔

OP posts:
Fran2508 · 08/10/2022 20:29

Dandelion - please don’t feel bad as you are doing brilliantly. You have cared for your children and managed to study for a degree. You have rvetytjing in place for the next stage of your life. To provide a stable life for your little ones whilst gaining a degree takes enormous effort and courage. I see you as someone achieving great things in demanding circumstances. Well done and keep going. Xxc

BritishDesiGirl · 08/10/2022 20:31

You haven't messed up your life, your a intelligent and strong woman!

Raising two children and getting your degree, providing for your children are not things people who have messed up their lives do OP .


Your confidence has been knocked and l think you feel you are not deserving of more. Have you thought about what sort of career you would like to have? What interests you? Start there. Research, find the best way of getting into it. There are so many avenues now, you will find your fit.


Best of luck

PriOn1 · 08/10/2022 20:31

Have you separated from him, or are you still together?

I’ve had some similar feelings in my time, though possibly not so extreme. I’m now in my fifties, finally divorced from him, way behind with my pension, but life is generally good and I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again.

I’m now thinking of the future and working towards improving my pension. I can’t get back the time and potential I once believed I had, but I finally feel contented and that’s something I had almost given up hope of ever feeling again.

WhatsAVideo · 08/10/2022 20:33

I didn’t even start Uni until I was 32 and single with 3DC, so you’re doing better than me!

I’m on my fourth year - had to drop to part time during my second year thanks to Covid as frankly, my subject is 60% lab time and Uni was totally shut. I’d have suspended my studies entirely but knew I’d go bat shit as a SAHM.

Then during the second part of my second year, we had a huge crisis and I did have to suspend in January 2022, so I’m back AGAIN doing it now, and hoping life doesn’t come at me for the next 2 years!

When I first started, 2 were in primary/wrap around and 1 in day nursery, now my eldest 2 are in secondary and it’s much, much easier. How old are your DCs?

Summer holiday childcare is a nightmare though, I don’t think people realise how little is actually available. I’ve lived in both deprived and affluent areas and that was the one thing they had in common.

bonzaitree · 08/10/2022 20:35

You have a degree and 2 kids AND got out of an abusive relationship.

You're an absolute hero my love! All 3 are a massive achievement! Take care!

gah2teenagers · 08/10/2022 20:35

If you have a degree and work in schools why not apply for a pgce. You will get a student loan possibly with universal credit top up and be a teacher a year later.

scotspancake86 · 08/10/2022 20:36

Please don't be harsh on yourself! You really haven't fucked up. You've got 2 lovely kids and degree (congrats on achieving it) and that's only really 10'years into being an adult. Plenty of time to get into the career/life you want. I know plenty of people who felt like they were plodding along on their 20s, but things fell into place in their 30s. You obviously want to be in a happier situation...I'm sure you'll get it. Wishing you every success!Smile

WhatsAVideo · 08/10/2022 20:37

And as someone who also managed to escape an abusive relationship, well done, and don’t underestimate the toll that will still take on your sense of self worth and self esteem, even years later.

WhatsAVideo · 08/10/2022 20:39

gah2teenagers · 08/10/2022 20:35

If you have a degree and work in schools why not apply for a pgce. You will get a student loan possibly with universal credit top up and be a teacher a year later.

I don’t know PGCEs are funded as frankly you couldn’t pay me enough to teach, all 4 of my friends that are teachers have left in the last few years.

However, Masters funding is a fucker in general, as the loan barely covers tuition, let alone living expenses, and UC would expect you to work.

nickelbabe · 08/10/2022 20:39

You're not unreasonable to think it.
You would bbe unreasonable tto believe it.

You haven't fucked your life up, and it's okay to admit that you're going through a shit time.

You actually sound more like you've got your shit together tthan you think you have.

Apply for those jobs, and if you're struggling mentally, ask for real life help and support. Even ringing thr Samaritans is good if you don't feel.you can talk to friends. They're not just there for crises.

Merlott · 08/10/2022 20:44

Sounds like you're doing really well and have a lot of things that other people would want but don't have.

The DC need your time and focus now but that won't be as intense for ever. You are in a great position with your degree and also that you ARE working, to develop that over the next few years into a career that you can progress in.

Take your time, look 5 and 10 years ahead and feel reassured that your goals are achievable.

Mumoftwo2021 · 08/10/2022 20:47

Sorry to hear how you feel.
Try not to judge your success based on what job you or salary you earn. What will mean more in years to come is the Mum you are, the friend you are, and the person you are.
Your children when they are older will remember how much you were around instead of working all the time at a tough career, they will remember the little things, there for school pick up, always at every play, school activity, there to have tea all together.
I think your being too hard on yourself and belittling some of the biggest achievements you have made xx

namechange3394 · 08/10/2022 20:47

You sound like you're doing brilliantly to me. It's not even been 18 months since you graduated and you have a job - it's not like you've been sitting about for years doing nothing!

What is your degree in?

WulyJmpr · 08/10/2022 20:49

I'd say you're doing bloody brilliantly. You're a hard working inspiration to your kids and everyone else for that matter.

EdgeOfACoin · 08/10/2022 21:00

30 is so much younger than you think!!

At 30 I was in a relatively low paid admin job. At 32 I started the process of retraining. At 34 I got an entry level position in my new career. By 37 I was a higher rate taxpayer. At 40, I am now roughly midway up the career ladder, with plenty of opportunities still ahead.

Honestly, I used to roll my eyes at people when they said that 30 was young. But they were right - it really is!

You've had children, you've knocked your abusive relationship on the head... now you can focus on the path ahead of you. Sounds to me like you're on the right track.

Umbrellabee · 08/10/2022 21:02

You are doing so well. You’ve got a degree, a job, lovely children who will I’m sure be proud of you. Just keep going, you are brilliant.

JulesCobb · 08/10/2022 21:03

Youve got time.

make an appointment with a career coach.

kookieboo · 08/10/2022 21:06

Have a look here and give them a ring they can help you look into ways to train and get some funding too perhaps. Good luck. You have so much ahead of you. Keep on looking ahead and give yourself a massive pat on the back for what you have achieved getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/mailinglist/signup/name?ds_rl=1267615&ds_rl=1267615&gclid=CjwKCAjwv4SaBhBPEiwA9YzZvJIw6m3J436iUOjamNr4bcQJcOIPByEoA4HsxfZLaRthFHQT_gKDXxoCSBEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

WhatsAVideo · 08/10/2022 21:08

EdgeOfACoin · 08/10/2022 21:00

30 is so much younger than you think!!

At 30 I was in a relatively low paid admin job. At 32 I started the process of retraining. At 34 I got an entry level position in my new career. By 37 I was a higher rate taxpayer. At 40, I am now roughly midway up the career ladder, with plenty of opportunities still ahead.

Honestly, I used to roll my eyes at people when they said that 30 was young. But they were right - it really is!

You've had children, you've knocked your abusive relationship on the head... now you can focus on the path ahead of you. Sounds to me like you're on the right track.

This. I was fretting about starting Uni at 32, especially as I’d also need a Masters, so I’d be 36-37 at best when I finished, 40 if I did a PhD (which I’ve decided I will be doing).

My Dad said “You’ll be 36/37 whatever you do, so you may as well be that age with a degree under your belt. And don’t forget I changed career at 45.”

As it happens, I’m 36 and haven’t even finished my UG yet thanks to various life events, but I’m a lot further along than I would have been if I’d never started.

I have the benefit of having watched my Dad change from a job he hated that he did as it was well paid, to working for himself and earning significantly less once I was in my late teens and he’d paid the mortgage off. By the time he was 50, he was more fulfilled with work than I’d ever seen him, so being in my 30s without a career I love wasn’t such a big deal.

User112 · 08/10/2022 21:14

Do you want to work in tech? You said you had As and A*s - were you good at maths?

Darbs76 · 08/10/2022 21:20

You’ve got plenty of time. Set yourself a 12 months plan, sort out holiday care options, look at what jobs you want to go into. There’s no rule book of when you do what in life, you’re doing great don’t doubt it

Punchline · 08/10/2022 21:28

OP what is your degree in?


I had my child at 18, went straight to university initially do assignments online, graduated, my first job was £20,000, 5 years later I was earning 4x that. Granted I don’t have 2 DC but in actual fact 2 can be better than 1.


You can do it! Just image 5years from now all the things you could accomplish. I understand some of the shame, it was only at 25 that I disclosed I had a child to anyone other than my line managers. No matter what anyone says or thinks the love you have for your DC is greater than any shame.❤️

Peachh · 08/10/2022 21:36

You have got this, raising 2 children is hard enough and you have a degree! Like PP suggested create a development plan for the next 12 months. You just need a break in you chosen industry and you will be rolling. You have proven you have the intelligence and determination now you just need to believe in yourself!

dandelion1038 · 08/10/2022 22:07

Thank you for all of the lovely and encouraging replies! I’m reading through them all now.

To answer a couple of questions - my degree is in Psychology, and I’m really not sure what I want to go into. I considered teaching, but I looked up the requirements for a PGCE (and other routes into teaching) and the hours which they require just wouldn’t be feasible for me while DC are little, I would need to be in my placement schools around 7am (and they could be up to 1h drive away). DC breakfast club only opens at 8am so I just wouldn’t be able to do it.

Other routes I’ve considered are social work, speech and language therapist, or a therapist of some kind - ideally working with children. But I’m pretty open to different careers, I just feel quite overwhelmed and slightly deflated about it all.

If I had some direction I’d feel loads better, but at the moment everything looks very demanding and like it would be impossible to juggle with DC.

thanks again to everyone who has replied so far, I really appreciate it and will respond to more tomorrow morning as I’m dropping off to sleep 💐

OP posts:
AThousandStarlings · 08/10/2022 22:21

I think you've done really well. Can you still use your university career department for guidance and opportunities ? Maybe get back in touch with them, they often offer support for several years after graduation.

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