Did you ever stop and wonder how you got to the point you’re at now. Since my girls started talking, they constantly come out with expressions and questions that highlight such a contrast to my own childhood. In one generation, there has been a drastic shift and it’s partly down to the sacrifices my parents made to give me the best shot in life.
My mum was raised in a house with no indoor plumbing, the toilet was outside and she was bathed in a tub in front of the fire. She didn’t finish school but got a job working in a factory. Mum met Dad at 16 and they got married at 18. When I came along a few years later, my mum began childminding for 50p an hour.
My Dad got a job as a porter in a hospital and worked terrible hours then came home to renervate the run down house they’d managed to buy. There was no central heating and the floorboards they had were bare. But with hard work and determination they made it a home and increased its value giving them a chance at a better life.
My sister arrived and we moved to a bigger house. Mum got a job in a school so she could still be home for us and Dad started training to be a nurse. Year after year, they plugged away to improve themselves and the life they were providing for us. As a child, you don’t really notice these things, but looking back now, I see how hard it must have been. The unsociable hours, missing Christmas and balancing the work/life balance were all struggles they faced.
However, their work ethic rubbed off on me. I never felt limited in my pursuits. I knew whatever I wanted to do, that they’d support me. For me that’s worth more than any material gift. The gift of belief in me, is what drove me to follow my passions. Apart from my Dad’s Nursing diploma, I was the first in my family to go to university.
Fast forward to today and I’m now raising three and a half year old twin girls. Even though my parenting style may not be exactly like my folks, there are so many things I take from my childhood and want for my own children. Yet the life they lead is quite different.
Here are 5 Ways I know I’m raising middle class kids
Can I have falafels with my cous cous mummy?
I’m not saying I was fed on chicken nuggets and chips but it makes me laugh that at such a young age they have such a wide pallet and experience with food. Certain foods weren’t readily available 30 years ago but now we can all enjoy these type of foods. Even the littlest in your family.
You’ re most welcome
Manners were always important in my family but from somewhere they’ve picked up this phrase. They sound so incredibly cute and posh when they say it.
Having a playroom and ironing room
I didn’t have a playroom. No one I knew did. My girls are so lucky to have a lovely space dedicated to their play. It’s also nice for Mummy and Daddy so we can contain their toys. An ironing room…I don’t even iron. It’s actually just a spare room but as it has the ironing board in there, it’s been dubbed the ironing room. I can’t imagine what people think when my girls mention the ironing room.
Seabass over fishfingers
Not only do my girls eat a wide range of food but they also have quite sophisticated tastebuds. Given the choice they’d opt for seabass over fishfingers. They’d also pick mash over chips. Strange children.
Having a cleaner
If you’d asked me before I’d had children whether I’d have a cleaner, I’d think it was such a waste of money. Now, however I see it as an investment in my time. I’ll happily go without other luxuries to free up the time I’d spend cleaning. For my girls it’s just a normal thing. They probably think everyone has a cleaner.
One of the hard parts of being a stay at home parent is worrying that you’re not showing your children what it means to work. As girls, I want them to know they can achieve whatever they want. That includes choosing to give up your career to be a SAHM if that’s what’s best for your family.
What do your children say that makes you laugh?