Are modern parents completely spoiled? 25



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An article caught our eye the other day in which a woman complained her children were a “blight” on her marriage.

Listening to this woman’s list of complaints about how her life revolves around her children, and that they are ruining her marriage makes us want to reach down the internet and shake her!

If only she knew how fast life goes and how quickly they grow up and are gone. Are modern parents really so spoiled that they can’t enjoy their children any more?

Kate Morris, a writer from London, describes a typical day in life, which starts with her 11-year-old waking her up in the night, involves lots of shouting to get everyone out the door in time, and ends on the couch, cuddled up to her 14-year-old son while watching TV. How blessed she is!

But no, the writer says, “I can’t remember the last time I snuggled up to my husband, hid my face in his chest during a scary film, or even held his hand. The problem is our children are our constant companions.”

Ms Morris explains that she and her husband didn’t have great childhoods and are determined be around for their kids. But…

“When we were children, there were much stricter boundaries. Children did not stay up with the adults, or socialise with them, or sleep in their parents’ beds. We, on the other hand, seem to have no boundaries at all. Our children spill over into all aspects of our lives.”

The mother of two laments the lack of support from the children’s grandparents, who live far away, and the dullness of her present life compared to her past as a foreign correspondent, the fact that all their hard-earned money goes to the children’s piano lessons and other activities, that any spare time is filled with helping with homework and ferrying children to sports.

“Weekends can be soul-destroying,” writes Ms Morris. “They are all about the children, and as they have grown older their demands have not abated.”

What really gets our goat, though, is when Ms Morris describes the early years of parenthood, in which her husband was supportive and pitched in to help with nappy changing and bottle feeds.

“Our early evenings were spent simultaneously bathing one child and reading to the other. My husband spent interminable nights rocking babies to sleep. When we had two children, we spent entire weekends working around their timetables of naps and feeding times.”

Ha! How many men of our generation are only too willing to boast about the ONE nappy they changed in 1974?

The article, for which the author’s two beautiful children were photographed, is largely about the lack of time, energy and space left over in the parents’ relationship, but – judging by most of the comments, the real issue here is that Ms Morris resents her children. And that’s just not fair.

We’ve all had moments where we wished for more time and less responsibility. But to practically wish your kids away is simply too much.

Ms Morris writes, “There are times when I feel like running away and leaving everybody, or just fast-forwarding a few years until they are independent or have left home. But the minute I picture Luke and I sitting alone together, I feel sad and bereft. What will we do with that spare time?”

Tell us: Did you ever feel the same way as this mother? Does your daughter? What would you say to this mother, given the chance? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. How sad that she feels like that about er on the end of it now as my last daughter has just left home.i now have empty nest syndrome ! I had 4 children and a husband that worked away at sea.ihad to be mum and dad and it was really hard work ! I had no one to give me a break,and yes there were plenty of times I would have loved to have time for myself.but never once have I or my husband resented our kids.i only wish it hadn’t gone so quick ! I hope her children never read what she has written.

  2. What a selfish, self-centred person. I just pray those darling children never get to read her comments, it will break them. I have been a single parent for 40 years and have bought up my four children alone. NEVER ONCE have I considered my children a burden on my time. I’m now nearly 61 years old and my 21 year old daughter still likes to cuddle up to me in bed or on my knee while watching tele and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. I did feel at times overwhelmed but never felt like running away. My daughter is 28 and has 3 boys and all she wants to do is escape. I live with her as she is divorced, her boys are amazing, everyone thinks they are wonderful.

  4. All parents feel overwhelmed at times, and it’s perfectly normal. But, seriously, this couple need some parenting assistance. Boundaries are there for a reason, and having them won’t traumatize their children for life. The children have taken over their lives, because they’ve allowed them too!

  5. She is lucky that she was able to have children. My wife and I were not so lucky, but we took an interest in children from Childrens’ homes and others who had one or other need. We now have had 10 foster children, three staying with us at the moment. Needless to say, we have had ups and downs like everyone has with their own children, but I would not swop one of them for anything in the world. Apart from anything else, they have given us Grandchildren and being a grandparent ( I am sure many will agree with me, ) is the most wonderful thing in the world.

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  6. Things are different now… kids could make their own way to sports events etc., and of course so could I…we didn’t think twice about walking or cycling to the activities we were lucky enough to be involved in. I went to ballroom dancing classes and loved it but my parents scraped to pay for the tuition. Now, kids have to be taken(driven) to these things, and there’s a lot of options. And parents are expected to stand on the sidelines. And my grandparents were just down the road! So we were always popping in to see them. We had specific boundaries, bed times etc., and we were responsible for getting ourselves up for school…if we were late we were punished.
    I was a single parent, with a full time business, from the time my children were under five, so my kids were brought up with a lot of love and a little bit of neglect.
    I feel for this couple. They are making a rod for their own backs, as they will never be free to enjoy each other’s company…..your children are still your children, even when they are 50 years old!

  7. We were brought up to appreciate out children for the time we had them. Yes we got overwhelmed sometimes but we always put them first. Today in this me me society some of our young people think of themselves first so there is never anything left for anyone else. I am pleased to say that my children do not think this way and are always there for there children or they would have me to answer to.

  8. Children are the greatest gift you will ever be given. Sure, they’re demanding as babies and toddlers, tire you out with their constant questions and ongoing needs, and make you think those teenage years will never end, but no other ‘job’ will ever bring you as much satisfaction as watching them grow into delightful young people who care about their world and the people in it by volunteering their time to help those less fortunate – as mine did when she became an adult. Every single relationship is what you put into it and the sacrifices you make when they’re young are what helps to make this world a better place in the long run because of the lessons they learnt at your knee. Set a few rules about bedtimes and ‘time-out’ so you can still smell the roses with your hubby but don’t squander or resent their childhood to keep your dreams alive. Help them make good ones themselves by your example. You can still have those cuddle times on the couch in front of them, just be sensitive not to take it too far to ‘gross them out’ – it will probably show them what a happy marriage can be.

  9. I look back now and just wish I had that time,and the time with the grand children all again. I revelled(and still do) in every moment,good and back. Maybe when she gets older she’ll look back and wish she’d not felt like that!

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