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AIBU to envy my children’s lives?

(82 Posts)
SussexGirl60 Sat 19-May-18 19:30:58

Does anyone else find that they are envious of their adult children’s lives? I know there’s lots of talk about needing to financially support them as they struggle so much.....but that hasn’t been necessary in our case, except when they were going through university. We’re not a wealthy family but times have changed through the generations and we didn’t have all the opportunities that they seem to have these days....and the disposable income. Their lives just seem to be so full...of holidays, travel, trips out, meals out, and fun...even with bringing up young children. I’m so pleased for them and wouldn’t want it any other way but I feel I’ve always worked hard, struggled to makes ends meet, and not had the same opportunities at all.. we gave up a lot to give our family a good upbringing,as did lots of our friends at the time...and life seems to have just shot by now. I can hear how resentful and miserable this sounds-and I know I should make an effort for myself now but I just can’t seem to find a way forward-and my husband doesn’t feel the same at all.?

annsixty Sat 19-May-18 20:04:42

This does not apply to me as both my children have broken marriages but I do know exactly what you mean.
My D's marriage before the split was what I hoped it would be and what I aspired to.This must sound weird and contrary but I hope someone understands.
I find it very hard to explain.

pensionpat Sat 19-May-18 20:07:50

If we have AC who are wealthier than us, with better social lives etc, remember that all that comes at a price. They are probably both working, children at nursery, weekends are a mad whirl, no time to relax and de stress. The will have careers with much responsibility and long hours. Plus a commute. They might envy the previous generation who had time with their family, and jobs that they could Leave behind at the end of the day. There is sometimes no escape when emails can catch them at any time.

NanaandGrampy Sat 19-May-18 20:10:51

No, I can’t say I feel the same way Sussexgirl .

Everything we did we did to put them in a better place than we were in at their age, so I don’t regret a second, neither do I feel left out, left behind or that life has passed me by.

We retired early and enjoy every day even those filled with nothing more exciting than coffee at the garden centre. I think the secret might be in enjoying the small stuff.

Willow500 Sat 19-May-18 20:31:31

I can't say I agree either I'm afraid. My eldest son is in a highly paid job but with it comes with incredible stress, he has put one daughter through uni and another about to leave school with all the financial commitments that entails and they have a mortgage like the national debt. I don't see anything about their lives I envy. The other at 43 has just started a family on the other side of the world, has struggled all his working life financially trying to live his dream and although now it's coming to fruition he works 6 days a week and also late nights over the weekend so spends very little precious time with his sons.

Yes we have worked hard all our lives too and have never had any money for holidays, have had near financial ruin and been through some tough times. Given that I still wouldn't want to swap our lives for theirs.

BlueBelle Sat 19-May-18 20:46:06

No never my whole aim in life was to make sure my kids had a better life than me it’s only worked fully in one out of three but I m still wishing
Every time something good happens to them or my grandkids it’s like it’s happening to me so I never never ever feel envious of anything just so happy That’s all I want in life is to feel they have a good time they all work hard and deserve it, luv em

SueDonim Sat 19-May-18 21:04:35

No, I don't envy my children's lives. I think they all have pretty good, interesting, lives but they are their lives to live. I have lived and still have my own life to live and intend to enjoy it my own way!

Allegretto Sat 19-May-18 21:09:03

My children are doing well, but I don’t envy the future I think they may have. My DH and I married young(ish) and had our children early. We managed to retire at 57 and were able to travel and really enjoy those years. The careers we had grew increasingly stressful but I think the level of stress my children will face in their work will escalate beyond that which we experienced. I cannot see them being able to enjoy early retirement as we have done.

SussexGirl60 Sat 19-May-18 21:10:53

Thanks for these comments-and they do all make sense. Maybe I just need to give myself a good talking to! Of course, I wouldn’t want them to be having a hard time and yes, now you say it, they do have stressful jobs and things are very full on. Perhaps I’m looking at their lives through rose tinted spectacles-or just wishing I was young again!?

paddyann Sat 19-May-18 22:00:43

never envied my AC but would still love to be able to have my own babies,makes me sad to realise that part of my life is over .

harrigran Sun 20-May-18 07:49:14

No I do not envy my AC, my DD spends her working life travelling the world and it is not as glamorous as it sounds. DS and DIL both have stressful jobs and childcare to juggle, they deserve every holiday or day out.
I think you need to concentrate on what you can be doing yourself instead of fixating on others.

NanKate Sun 20-May-18 08:03:28

I have been blessed with a very happy marriage but my DS is experiencing a very unhappy divorce and having to live with a bullying/manipulative wife whilst trying to give his two young sons some normality. So I don’t envy him one bit.

On the other hand I do envy him being nearly 44. I want to spend more time with my DH and at 71/72 respectively another 10 - 15 years seems so short.

travelsafar Sun 20-May-18 08:13:27

sussexgirl60 i dont envy my AC their lives but i do kind of know what you mean. I just wish that i was a parent now adays.There seems to be so much help and guidance out there on bringing up children. I always felt i wasn't a very good mother basically through lack of guidance and ignorance. If i was a young mum now my life and my childrens would be so different. If only we could turn the clock back. hmm

Grandma70s Sun 20-May-18 08:37:45

I don’t envy them at all, apart from the fact that one of them has a daughter, which I didn’t. They are much better off than I ever was, but they certainly pay for it in hard work and stress. I was able to be a stay-at-home mother, which I greatly valued and which seems impossible now for most people. The constant juggling of childcare is awful. I was just there to meet the children from school and care for them if they were ill, no need to panic. I wouldn’t like their life.

Humbertbear Sun 20-May-18 08:39:04

My son and his wife have way loads more money than we ever had but they both work very hard and don’t have the social life that we had. Also the GC have various problems that my son and daughter never had. I don’t envy them at all but I do have a general envy for those young mums I see meeting friends in local restaurants for lunch. I couldn’t even afford to take my young children out for coffee and meeting up with Friends meant going to each other’s houses and having shepherds pie or suasages for lunch.

ninathenana Sun 20-May-18 09:11:20

Sadly there is nothing in either of my childrens lives to envy.
DS cannot find work and is socially isolated due to ASD.
DD married a waste of space and despite working hard whilst married and help from us both financially and childcare whilst she worked she has always lived virtually hand to mouth. Her new partner has health problems and isn't working at present, so keeping a roof over their heads is down to her. She only manages to sees her children once a month, as they live 3 hrs away with their father, although she is planning on moving to be near them.
I could go on, but I won't bore you.

wildswan16 Sun 20-May-18 09:45:37

I certainly envy my children - but only in a jealous kind of way. They have been so much more adventurous than I could ever have dared to be - working in many different countries, seeing and experiencing things I have never seen and I have loved experiencing some of it through them. I am immensely proud of their confidence and independence.

I think we all imagine and hope to give our children a "better" life than our own - but that is all relative. My children are probably not much richer, but they are all totally self-supporting and embracing their lives in a very different way.

I am glad they have not gone down the route so many seem to follow - burdening themselves with ridiculous mortgages and twelve hour a day jobs.

I am proud of them, but also a little proud of myself - for somehow managing to produce them !!

henetha Sun 20-May-18 10:02:07

No, I don't envy my childrens lives. They are both doing reasonably well, but both have their stresses and problems. I'm proud of how they turned out to be decent, hardworking and honest but have never felt a moment of envy.

Granny23 Sun 20-May-18 10:25:40

We operate as a whole Family. If one member is having difficulties the rest support and help them. If one member has a success, we all celebrate. Perhaps we have been very lucky, in that our 2DDs are the best and closest of friends (having fought like cat and dog through their early childhood) and their DC, our DGC, have a special bond too.
The SILs have slotted into this set up happily, although (or perhaps because) their own families are beset with sibling rivalries. Just luck? or is it to do with a mind set of all for one and one for all?

maryhoffman37 Sun 20-May-18 10:29:27

No, it wouldn't occur to me to feel anything like this. But I think SussexGirl60 is possibly experiencing a bit of depression and if she can't share it with her husband it's good to bring it up here. How are you off financially now, Sussex Girl? Can you afford more treats so that you don't need to envy your AC's lifestyle? As others have said, it comes at a price. Have you considered doing some training or a course in something than interests you? Then you'd be too busy to be wistful.

Jaycee5 Sun 20-May-18 10:30:38

It is a shame to feel envious but I do find it irritating when so many people (usually the media) keep banging on about how good we had it (I wish) and how we are all now asset rich and should give some of it up to 'millenials'. I don't know where the idea that we all bought properties in our 20s. Before the 1970s it was difficult for women to even get a mortgage without a male guarantor.
I won't envy the younger generation and I would be happy if they would stop envying the life that they believe that we led.

Jazzy1527 Sun 20-May-18 10:32:11

I think its sometimes just getting older. Ive just hit sixty, and feeling it! I look at my happily married daughter. They have two beautiful children, 7 and 2, a lovely house and no money worries. However, as my just retired husband and i lie in bed with a coffee at 10am in the morning, i dont envy her when she tells me the little one is waking at 5am every morning. There are good and bad things at every stage in life. And a lot of youngsters live their amazing lifestyle with a huge cloud of debt hanging over them.

Coconut Sun 20-May-18 10:34:19

My am in life was to ensure as best I could that my 3 AC did not have the struggles that I had. They are all highly successful now and lead lovely affluent lives, and they do include me, take me away, out to dinner etc But, this generation do have their own struggles, stress does accompany high achievers, and they work long hours etc I actually don’t envy Mums these days, as so many have to put babies into nurseries so that they can return to work. Personally I wouldn’t have missed a minute of mine when they were little and no money could ever compensate me for that. Swings and roundabouts ....

David1968 Sun 20-May-18 10:36:02

Pensionpat, I think you are spot on. Our DS has been fortunate with home, family and career, but their family life is constantly hectic, with the balancing of children, work and home life. DGC are forever whizzing about with activities. I'm glad that they are happy, healthy, employed and solvent, with their own home, but I don't envy them.

Bellasnana Sun 20-May-18 10:51:04

I can honestly say I do not envy anyone, least of all my children.