Like many mothers out there, whose sprogs have up sticks and left home, I worry about their financial situation.
I think back to the time when I left home and how difficult I initially found it to budget and control my finances. However, my three kids (Tom, 31, June, 24 and Elspeth, 22) have got a economical issue bigger and heavier to contend with.
‘When the kids came along a few months later, me and the hubby were ready.’
When I left my childhood home of Little Totham to make the big move to Goldhanger at the young age of 21, I knew how much money I had and how much money I was going to make in the future.
I’d been diligently saving since I left school at 16, working at an estate agents during the week and picking up shifts at my local pub during the weekend. When I left Mum and Dad to move in with Nigel, after our wedding, I had quite the nest egg saved up! When the kids came along a few months later, me and the hubby were ready. Whilst I stayed at home to raise little Tom, Nige went on the road as a salesman, he struggled to get consistent sales, but I always knew he was trying his best. And at least we had my savings to fall back on and no real debts, (Nige never liked us to spend beyond our means, his thriftiness was one of the reasons why I loved him so much) unlike my unlucky kids!
‘I was overcome with fear that all my kids should forever be trying to pay off their tuition fees’
All three of mine, bright sparks that they are, went off to University.
I was the proudest Mother in Essex when Tom made it into Birmingham Uni, even though I knew it was a long way away and we wouldn’t be able to support him all the way. This was in 1985, so he didn’t have to pay any tuition fees, but he did have to take some money out to support himself. June spent 5 years on becoming a doctor in London, I was SO proud of her when she graduated, sadly our Nigel wasn’t there to see it. But after all the training she decided to go back to Uni and study History. 8 years of full time study had left her in debt, with me barely being able to support myself and little Elspeth, let alone her and Tom. So, when it came time for my baby Elspeth to fly the coop and travel to Cardiff for her Graphics Design course, I was overcome with fear that all my kids should forever be trying to pay off their tuition fees AND maintenance loans.
‘I sent them little care packages with notes hidden inside them: I told them that I loved them.’
I’m going to tell you know what I did to help my kids out of their financial problems…nothing.
I did nothing! I could do – nothing! Our job as Mum’s is to love, cherish and support our children from the time they pop out until we pop our clogs. But we can’t well do this, as well as pay off their debts and have time for ourselves at the same time, now can we?! That’s why, whenever I panicked over Tom’s redundancy, or found a reminder letter for Elspeth’s water bill I did all I could do. I rang them, I sent them little care packages with notes hidden inside them: I told them that I loved them. I trust that me and Nigel did the best we could do raising them, and that they’ll find their own way through life.