January 20, 2019 at 4:46 am #275725YesGeeParticipant
I am a forty year old guy. Until I had kids, I would compare myself very rarely to others and was generally content with what I had. After having kids, I am comparing myself to my friends and others – about providing opportunities for my kids as others do (music classes, swim lessons, gifted programs). I have a lot of economic anxiety for my children (how are they going to survive in this competitive world?). I live in suburbs where parents are hyper-involved in their children’s lives. We are a single income family and it creates a big difference in disposable income when compared with others.
I have been coping with dysthymia (low-grade depression) for past 15 years, I am on medication. Struggling with depression, I don’t have a big social life. I am immigrant to US, the generally isolated life style doesn’t help in any way either.
I have reasonable self-awareness. But being in the suburb environment that I am in – comparison, envy, inadequacy, insecurity has gotten me. I don’t know how to break this cycle and get out of it.
Please help.January 20, 2019 at 7:42 am #275735anitaParticipant
Millions of children, from immigrant families and non immigrant families, living in the suburbs or in the cities, with no economical difficulties, plenty of money, “music classes, swim lessons, gifted programs”, vacations to far away places, expensive toys etc. etc. are suffering because they don’t have this one thing in their home: a good feeling, a safe feeling.
Instead, there are fights, arguments, yelling, accusations, between parents and between parents and children. And then, between children and children inside the home.
If you and your wife provide your children with that good, safe feeling, if there is no aggression in the home, you are doing so much better than millions of parents with better financial ability.
It is interesting how many parents compete with each other, but the competition is not about, or not all about who wears the fanciest clothes or drives the fanciest car, it is also about who buys their kids music classes and who doesn’t, who goes to the more expensive vacation with their kids and who can’t afford that, using their children as things in a competition, so to feel better about themselves.
Value your children for the people that they are, get to know more about what they think, what they feel, what is important to them, what motivates them, and you will be so far, far ahead of millions of parents.
You’ve suffered from low grade depression since you were 25. Is that when you had your first child?
anitaJanuary 20, 2019 at 10:22 am #275777InkyParticipant
I assure you that even in your very own suburb there are plenty of parents who choose to stay home for vacations, who only have their child in just one after school activity and who let him/her navigate their own way to get into college.
Be one of those parents who is above it all. Choose your friends wisely. Become friends with the parents of your children’s friends. Join the local rec center. Join a religious/spiritual community. You don’t have to become best pals with anyone, but just being involved in the community and having occasional face time with people is good for you AND your kids. Enjoy the rhythm of suburban life.
Teach your children what really matters. And if the other adults aren’t careful, they might learn something! 😉
January 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm #275881YesGeeParticipant
- This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Inky.
Thank you Anita and Inky for your valuable inputs. Your inputs are actionable and practical – I will work on them.
Anita, to answer your question – I had my first kid when I was 33. They are 6 years and 3 years now.
Thanks again!January 20, 2019 at 5:24 pm #275883January 21, 2019 at 7:50 am #275953anitaParticipant
Your kids, three and six, are in the midst of their Formative Years. What they learn now will stay with them lifetime. Keep your home calm for them at all times, never yelling, never fighting. And then attend to them positively, with a smile, let them know you see them and hear them, and you understand.
Let them grow up in safety and positive attention and they will learn how to function well in life. Safety in their home will do for them a whole lot, while expensive travels and music lessons and such in an unsafe home where no one attends to them will do nothing at all for them, nothing of significance.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by anita.