Post # 1
..do you ever think “my parents really could have done a better job with ___”
Now that I am married and thinking about future children, I have been looking back on my childhood and find myself constantly saying “wow, I wish my parents taught me that” or “I wish our household had more structure” etc. From the exterior my childhood looks perfect. And it was pretty darn good: we grew up in a nice home in a NYC suburb, I had a stay-at-home mom, we had a second home and a large boat where we would spend the summers. Yes this was all nice, but it sometimes bothers me that my parents didn’t make sacrifices to help pay for our education. I am the only one to have graduated from college out of 3 children, and am saddled with $80,000 in debt that my husband is helping to pay off. This debt has influenced what job I can take (or afford to take so I can afford those $800 a month student loan payments), has prevented me from going to grad school, and delayed when my husband and I can start a family. BTW on top of this my husband and I paid for 80% of our wedding. This whole thing has been so frustrating because I am delaying my career by not going to grad school because of my parent’s choices. I can’t imagine not saving a penny for my child’s college fund meanwhile buying luxury items for myself.
Am I the only person thinking like this???? Is this normal??
Post # 3
I totally do, but then feel immediately guilty after. But yes, there are a few things I thing they did “wrong”. I will never say them outloud, but will make sure to learn from them when I raise my kids.
Post # 4
hm.. i am betting that your feelings are totally normal and probably most people’s experience. personally though, i can’t really find fault with my childhood. My parents aren’t perfect people and I don’t think I could really expect them to be… but over all I hope I can do as well with my kids as they did with me. They somehow managed to walk the line between being the “cool parents” but still having us respect them and I’m honestly not quite sure how they did it haha. In regards to money, they did the best they could. Neither of my parents were college grads and they definitely did not enjoy many luxuries as I was growing up. They didn’t save any money for my education and I guess they probably COULD have if they’d really tried… but they did help me some through school in terms of helping out with living expenses and such. I feel like they always did the best they could and I actually feel kind of guilty for accepting as much help as I did from them. And I have 80K in loans too btw 🙂
I guess I could see maybe being resentful since your family had so many extras and yet they didn’t cover or help with education… but I kind of feel like education is supposed to be paid for by the kid and IF the parent can help its a big bonus.
Post # 5
I don’t ever look back that way. My parents did an amazing job. Maybe we didn’t have everything and maybe I had to work for my education, but I always had food, cloths, a warm place to live, and alot of love. My parents worked really hard to raise us. The raise us to be good honorable people, to respect life, to respect others, to have manners, to work hard. I could go on and on. My parents are two of my best friends and I will always respect them for what they did and do for us and for giving us all the great foundations that they did.
Try not to look back with what could have been, but look to the future with what can be. Your future is what you make of it.
Post # 6
I feel so guilty saying how I really feel about my childhood out loud….but it is honest. I hate the fact that I can’t recall more than a few times when I feel like my parents “taught” me something or gave me a life lesson, or made me feel like I really can do anything I want. Just a few months ago i was talking to my dad about how I would like to go to grad school and he made the comment “well you probably won’t. you’ll be pregnant within a few months of being married and that’s it.” WTF who says that to their daughter!!? It made me feel so sh*tty and now I constantly worry if he is right and I never will amount to anything. I never want to make my daughter feel that way.
Post # 7
I think everyone has things that they wish they were different. In my case, my education is something that I know that my parent’s did right! They started saving money for my college experience when I was an infant. Literally, they started a savings account for me with some of the money that I was given at birth. Then they started saving a little bit here and there to make a difference. I didn’t have to take any loans, which has been a tremendous blessing, because I have had the oddest career life of anyone I know. I think it would be a sicking feeling to be that in debt right out of college. (I don’t make as much money as some of my friend’s do, but I think that I have been able to save more of what I do make because of my parent’s gift to me.)
Post # 8
@missbliss – I think that is so wonderful that your parents did that for you – what an amazing gift. I hope to be able to do that for my kids one day.
Post # 9
I think there are two things that bother me when I look back. One is that I don’t know how to make mistakes and be ok with it (I’m getting better) mainly because every time I made a mistake I’d get criticized (largely from my father who was raised in a military household but it really depended on the subject matter). I think it wasn’t so much the criticism either as not being taught to turn it into a learning experience and being criticized for things that I felt should have been fine (making a B in AP Calculus was one). Another thing, as awful as it is, is that I wish my parents would have been divorced earlier. They were never really happy while I was growing up and since they just got divorced when i was 19, about 3 and a half years ago, they still haven’t been able to move past it. I feel like we all would have been happier if they could have gone through all of this when I was younger (I know I can’t know this for sure but I do know that the first time my father left when I was 16 I wasn’t sad at all about it and was actually relieved). I feel guilty thinking these things sometimes too but I know saying it out loud helps and I know we’re all starting to slowly move past the divorce and overall I know my parents did try their best. So I guess what I’ll try to do for my kids is help them learn from mistakes, let them make mistakes to learn from, and know when it’s time to try to mend things.
Post # 10
I have 2 kids now, and I didn’t have the greatest childhood, so I make sure I try to do things differently than my parents. Not that they were wrong really, just things I don’t like… For example my mother is a slob… A couple years ago my best friends mom “taught” me how to clean house…
Post # 11
I am grateful that my parents started saving the moment we each we born and that is one thing that I will make sure to do when I have kids.
Post # 12
I am quite blessed to have had a great childhood – teen years. The only thing I wish that my parents would’ve taken the time go over financial information with me such as balancing my checkbook, not using the credit cards. I got into some trouble in college and it took me YEARS until it was fixed. I have learned my lesson but I think it would’ve been helpful if someone would’ve taken the time to assist me. This kind of stuff wasn’t even offered in my high school at that time.
Post # 13
As I’m getting older I find myself saying things or doing things that remind me of my parents or my childhood. I am literally becoming my parents. I’m proud of that though. My parents did an amazing job raising me, and apart from one situation I wouldn’t have changed anything. I can only hope that I’ll be able to raise my children to feel the same way about the job I do raising them.
Post # 14
I think the only thing I would change isnt really my childhood more just my mom. She needs to stop watching the news and thinking everything that happens on the news is going to happen to everyone! 🙂
Other than that my parents did a great job, they were always at all the school stuff with us.My parents are savers so anything we ever wanted to do we were able to. We always took vacations. And they taught us how important it is to pay your bills on time. They also tried to teach us to save but im just not a saver im a shopper 🙂
Post # 15
I think there are so many parenting decisions you have to make… and usually people take things from their own childhood and try to improve upon them. Like – my Mom grew up in a very poor household and had to help out lots while her Mom was at work. She was cooking and doing tons of housecleaning at the age of 12. So she never made my brother and I do chores. Now my brother and I both hate housecleaning and we’re really messy compared to our parents! But… I really did appreciate the financial smarts my parents instilled in me. They were always very open about their finances and salaries. My Mom would show me how she budgeted for our household and money was never a secret. My FI’s parents never talked about money around the kids and never gave them financial advice. So my FI is terrible with saving and money and I’m the one who budgets. So I will teach my kids about money.
Post # 16
Well, I wish my parents hadn’t been so overprotective, and I mean about everything. I got my first job, because my father had connections, and my other jobs were businesses that my father opened himself. Now, I’m a college graduate who can’t find a job for anything, because I really don’t have any experience when it comes to applying places and having interviews. He opened his own book publishing company to publish my books, and I still struggle because I don’t feel like I earned the title of author. I wish he would have helped me send in query letters and helped me find an agent instead. Oh, and I know he did this so I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of being rejected like he was. He told me so himself.
Also, I have a degree that has numerous jobs in which to use it. (I’m an English major.) Well, I felt as if my father tried to push me to look at jobs that I really had no interest in. For instance, I took a journalism class in high school, and I knew after taking that class that I had absolutely no interest in a job in journalism. My father was always trying to push me that way, even setting up meetings with people in the industry for me and then making me go to them.
I really don’t feel that I was adequately prepared for the career world. I’m been looking for and applying to jobs since last May and absolutely nothing has come through.