Saturday 16 November 2013

When I grow up I want to be like you

As a young mum with 3 kids, working a variety of jobs as a youth worker, care assistant, bar maid and in a chip shop doing anything and everything to pay the mortgage, working around my ex husbands shifts, going without holidays and trying to keep an ancient car on the road, no sky TV or game consoles, scrimping on the shopping and as for nights out, they were a no go.

I used to look at couples in their 40s with kids at Uni or that had left home and never thought for one minute that it may have been difficult for them. I hadn’t seen them working their way up the ladder, I just saw them as lucky and assumed that they had always been in that position.

I asked  a friends mum one day if kids really cost that much and was it because they had now left home that they had foreign holidays, wore designer clothes, owned a car each and their house was decorated beautifully.

She replied that she saw herself in me, she was reminded of the leaner years, the financial difficulties faced with raising a young family, when they ate jam sarnies and took the kids camping in a borrowed tent.

I asked her what her secret was and she replied…just sheer hard work, a joint effort, not worrying about how other people lived, not trying to compete with others therefore not getting into debt. Never turning down an opportunity and of course after 25 years the mortgage was paid off, she’d been able to study and develop a career as the last of her children went to school, how her husband had worked up through the company and how they'd supported each other.

Yet I still didn’t see how that could all happen to me, when the time would come that I would be in a similar position with other people assuming I don’t know what it’s like to struggle or to go without, unable to provide the little luxuries.
I'm no longer in touch with this woman, but I think about her words often, I'd love to just pop back to the UK and find her to say 'thank you' and that I wish I'd just chilled out more about it all.
If you want it, you can have it, you can aim high, it doesn’t matter if you fall short of your goal, if you don’t aim high you’ll never get anywhere.

I aimed high, my kids aim high, sometimes we fail and I see others taking delight, I see others with that look of ‘been there, done that’  on their face.

My ‘high’ isn’t the same as yours, or anyone else's, I don’t look down on you, that’s your perception, I want more from life and I sure as hell going to make sure I get it.

1 comment:

  1. I was never one to keep up with the neighbours. I'm happy that my eldest has graduated from college and that the other two are in university. I've met my goals, our children are happy and healthy. Now it is time for my husband and I to make new ones, but they will be our own and whether or not others like those goals is not my concern.