I buried my dreams for the kids

One morning, Cecilia sat in her backyard watching her grandchildren play, and when she saw her daughter Laura, who gave up her

One morning, Cecilia sat in her backyard watching her grandchildren play, and when she saw her daughter Laura, who gave up her high flying career to care for her kids, hang the clothes to dry in the sun, she realised something – both Laura’s and her own dreams of being successful had been put in the back burner.

While there is still a chance for Laura to resurrect her once lucrative career, Cecilia believes that her dreams have been destroyed – by Laura.

Cecelia was a trained nurse and she loved her job. Seven years in the medical industry, she met Greg, an engineer. They eventually got married and after a year Greg was handpicked to head up a new office in the neighbouring state. Cecelia had to leave her job and before she knew it, they had five children running around in the house.

“When I stopped working, it was meant to be temporary. I always had the intention to return to nursing and make use of the knowledge and skills I had accumulated over years of education and training. But when we started having kids every other year, I put my dream in the back burner,” said Cecelia.

Now, at 62, Cecilia thinks she had made the wrong choice of sacrificing her dream job to raise her kids.

“Three more years and I will be moving to a nursing home. Greg’s long gone and my daughter has too many kids that there is no room for me in their lives. Her husband isn’t keen to have me around for more than a week at a time,” said Cecelia whose four other children live overseas.

“Some people say raising kids is an investment where they will care for you in return. I think that’s just b*llshit. Now, I’m the loser. I spent all that time raising my children that I forgot about my own needs and wants and it’s all too late,” cries Cecelia.

While Cecelia believes strongly that her ambitions had been squashed by raising her children, not everyone agrees.

Author Terrie Lynn Bittner said, “When my children were young, I decided to start freelancing as a writer. I finally reached the point where I was selling to good smaller magazines and getting “Almost” notes from big ones,”

“Then I needed to start homeschooling because even the principal admitted the schools couldn’t meet the advanced learning needs of my children. I had been writing from 4-6 AM so it wouldn’t take away from family time, but now I needed that time to prepare for homeschooling.

“I prayed and felt impressed that I should take a break from freelancing. I still did some writing–I wrote a column–but that wasn’t as emotionally difficult as freelancing.

“It was eight years before I felt I was to start again, and weeks after receiving that answer to my prayer I was offered a book contract by a publisher who had seen my column and website.

“If I hadn’t taken eight years off, I might have had a lot of books by now–I was just starting to learn to write them. I don’t for a moment regret the loss of those eight years of writing however.

“Neither of the two books I’ve published have changed my life for the better the way raising and educating my children did,” said Terrie.

“Now that they are all grown and on their own, I am sorry for every silly thing I did that took me away from them. None of the “me time” things gave me what parenting did. Books are nice, but families are forever, and that’s where I needed to spend my time, “Terrie admitted.

Brian Greenhow has a different view all together, “I never had any ambitions, I never gave up any dreams. When my children came along I finally realised that they were my dream, I just didn’t know it until then.”

Can you relate to Cecelia and Terrie’s stories?

  1. Francine  

    Cecilia, you have a caring spirit like most people who chose nursing . It is never too late to care and help others. I am sure that if you look around, there are people, children and even pets that could use your care. Can you still read , you can read to blind people, sick children or adult. Can you still walk or hug, you can help at a shelter. Do not give up, you are some talents and abilities you can still share.

  2. “As a society this {grandparent estrangement/alienation} is a very, very serious cultural problem. The fact that we as a society haven’t identified it and have a blind eye to it is appalling. Those parents who have invested the most in their children are most at risk” –Josh Coleman, PhD

  3. Dianne Evans  

    Well I would never look at my Children as an investment they do not ask too be born and how we raise them comes down too many factors some people can keep working some can not. If you have children for some sort of payback later in life you are not thinking clearly. If I help my children or grandchildren it is given with love and no expectation of pay back. Going into old age is another stage of life and loved ones and family are important but not always there so we have too do as always and look for our happiness with what we have and it comes from within.

  4. Marilyn  

    What a selfish outlook of life. My kids are my treasure and I have a career at 62. I worked part time on the school system til they were grown up studied at tech for medical reception duties and have since wirked at Defence!

  5. Riita DIG  

    I believe we should not look at our children as an investment, however my generation did not abandon their parents and grandparents the way a great deal of the newer generation does to follow the material world and the greed which somehow takes over. They don’t seem to realize that they will also get old one day and its not a picnic getting gold and that when You have lost your partner and your alone, you sometimes need to feel comforted by the thought that your children will find time not to make you feel alienated or forgotten my generation always found the time and always empathized and respected the elderly who paved eh way and sacrificed a lot in their generation to make the world a better place for their kids and grand kids.

  6. Janet  

    62 years old 3yrs till your in a “nursing home ” excuse me Aged Care Facility ! Get a grip girl !
    A good Quote I’ve started to live by
    If you don’t leave your past in the past , it will destroy your future .
    Live for what today has to offer,not for what yesterday has taken away .
    Working women .com

  7. Peta  

    62 is still young! Get out there and do something about it. If you sit around and wait for the kids to look after you, you’ll be waiting a long time!!!!!

  8. marilyn willson  

    I understand Celelia’s story,I am almost 70 and yes along the way I buried my dreams and expectations of what life should be if I do this or do that, then I buried my children and raised their children, now I have no home no future that that is not filled with fear, we literally finished raising the last child this year, but my husband 72 and myself have nothing for our retirement, and losing our home meant private rental which we can barely afford and have any sort of quality of life. I just hope I remember this journey in my next life and will not choose to have children or if I do will not put them first before myself.

    • Sue West  

      Wow I also have raised my 3 Daughters, I have lots of grandchildren whom I adore, I have worked most of my life, now I am in a predicament where I lost my partner to Cancer 16 months ago, we weren’t rich, we were paying off a beautiful caravan to live in permanently and travel, when he died I lost everything, have been staying with my Daughters, because I don’t have anywhere else, I’ve had to farm out my 2 Border Collies, it has been very difficult for me, my Daughters don’t particularly make me feel welcome and wanted, I love my children with all my heart but considering what I’ve been through I think they could be a bit more understanding

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