Do you want your kids to grow up like you?

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This is a subject that is really, really close to my heart and one that I don’t yet have any answers to – so expect more related posts in the future!

I didn’t grow up in the UK. I came here for university when I was 18. My dad is British, my Mum isn’t, so, while it’s part of my heritage and I’ve always called myself British (I have a British accent too), I don’t think I ever really expected to settle here for the rest of my life.

Cue Mr Bug, Surrey boy born and bred, walking into my life. My expectations about my future life have had to undergo quite a big change and I think one of the hardest parts of this change has been the realisation that I may very well br bringing up my children in the UK.

That’s really strange for me. Because it means that they won’t have the upbringing and the childhood that I had. I grew up abroad, in four countries – before moving to the UK. A big chunk of my identity has been growing up surrounded by different cultures and identities – the different-ness rather than the same-ness of those around me. I went to an international school which was a melting pot of nationalities – the common thing that bound all of us is that we were growing up in a country that wasn’t our own. Even now, people who grew up like I did ‘get’ me in a way that people who grew up in a small town in Scotland get each other. There is a commonality there, if that’s a word.

There’s lots of positives about my upbringing. There are also negatives: I’ve never had one place to call home; I’ve never put down roots; the answer to the question “Where are you from?” is always fraught with difficulty. But it’s such a key part of my identity that it’s odd to imagine that I won’t be passing this on to my children.

We live in Surrey at the moment, about an hour from where Mr Bug spent his entire childhood. There are lots of real positives about his upbringing. There are also negatives. But it’s the negatives that scare me because they aren’t MY negatives, they aren’t the drawbacks that I can identify with as the same drawbacks I went through, growing up. I worry about navigating my children through these because I have no experience of them; they are foreign to me.

I worry that I’m being too prescriptive. I guess the main issue is that I know my childhood was a good one and I know it worked because I lived it. I imagine it’s harder to guide your own children through someone else’s childhood, through someone else’s life. You want what is best for them and, often, what is ‘best’ (in your small world view) is what you have tried and tested yourself.

This is how I feel now, who knows what I’ll think and feel when Baby Bug actually turns up next March? I will just have to wait and see.

If you like my ramblings, please follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Ethan & Evelyn

Mummuddlingthrough
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14 thoughts on “Do you want your kids to grow up like you?

  1. I got distracted by your HG post! Visiting from #coolmumsclub. Yes I can understand, hard to know what to want for our little ones and how much we should take from our own experiences etc. Hmm a very interesting read for me. X

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    1. littlebug

      Thank you! I was worried I hadn’t explained this properly and it just sounded like I was being mental and wanting my kids to live my life again. It is interesting especially in this day and age because you’re likely to move around more and also be with a partner who may have different experiences/values/ideals from you. Really glad it resonated. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. min1980

    I found this fascinating as I am one of those people who grew up in the same town where my forebears have lived for hundreds of years, so the complete opposite! I guess there are many ways that our children’s childhoods will not be like ours though, such as the all-pervasiveness of technology now which wasn’t the case when we were young. I’m sure they-and you-will be just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. littlebug

      That’s amazing you and your family have always lived in the same town – I often wondered what that must be like. You’re so right about technology etc, I think whatever childhood they have, it will be very different again to what we had (my husband said the same thing last night). Time will tell! Thanks lots for your comment. 🙂

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  3. This is very interesting. Childhood is so important I think. It is probably why I started my blog. I want to share my children’s childhood. I want them to enjoy theirs. I didn’t enjoy my childhood as much though I was sent to a good school and all – there is something missing. I was sent to study in the UK since I was 10 years old. I didn’t really have a place where I can call home. At holidays time, I would be sent to various language schools. I like it but it wasn’t home. Though having said that I came from a big family – so whenever I go home, (Thailand), it doesn’t feel like home. I did not have my own room. I did not have my own space. I have become real bad in the Thai language in itself. My Thai reading and writing skills have become terrible. I can still speak and listening is fine but people would view me as a foreigner. I didn’t feel like Thailand was longer my home – “home”. I am blessed that I can provide a room each to my children and I want them to feel here is a place where they can call home. 🙂 Thank you for your fascinating post and linking up with me. #FabFridayPost p.s. please don’t forget the badge. Thank you. xx

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    1. littlebug

      Thank you – I think that’s such a good point about how you just want your children to ENJOY their childhood…at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing, isn’t it! That sounds pretty tough to have grown up without space for yourself. I’m sure it’s going to be so interesting for your kids when they grow up to hear all about your childhood and heritage.

      I’ve swapped the badges round so hopefully yours should appear but let me know if you can’t see it! Thanks for the linky xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Morgan Prince

    An interesting post and made me think. Here’s what I think… you can’t bring your children up to be like anyone but themselves. Their upbringing will depend on your circumstances as they grow. That may or may not change, and it’s all a learning experience anyway. I grew up in the UK, spent most of my childhood in one place. That is until my parents divorced when I was 14. I didn’t want children for a long time because of the fear that if I divorced it would affect my children. These days though, having been married for 8 years with two children, it is not something I think about. The point is although our childhood will influence the way we bring up our children it cannot be a THE way they grow up. They are not us. They will have different likes and dislikes. They will become someone different. For you, I think both having a different upbringing is a good thing. You each have positives to bring to parenting and can each offer something different to your children.

    Parenting is such a learning experience that no matter what happened in the past, it won’t necessarily help you. You’ve just got to ‘wing it’. It’s what we all do, and hope upon hope that we don’t mess our children up!

    I really enjoyed reading this. Sorry for the epic reply! 🙂
    #coolmumclub

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    1. littlebug

      I think your point about each partner bringing something different and positive is so true – it means that, together as a new family, you forge your own path which is a combination of both of your pasts but building on a new and different future. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before – thank you 🙂

      Haha, I love the phrase ‘wing it’ – I definitely feel like that’s what I’ll be doing.

      Thanks so much for your considered and thoughtful comment, it really made me think! #coolmumclub

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  5. This was a great post, thanks for sharing it with us. I think you could make this into something amazing. Yes your children are going to have a life that is/was completely different from your own, based on the location alone….but this could be something so amazing for them. They get to learn from you about lots of other cultures and places and traditions. Be inspired to visit these places and have stories to tell a it their mother. #marvmondays

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    1. littlebug

      You’re so right – there’s no reason to look at this as a negative, it could be something to share with our kids when they grow up to help broaden their horizons. (Also…a good excuse for a holiday right! ;-))

      Thank you for your comment! #marvmondays

      Liked by 1 person

  6. moderatemum

    It sounds like bug has the best of both worlds with the two of you. My partner and I also had differences in our upbringings – I come from a big city and have a large family; he comes from a small place and has few relatives. We can both really appreciate the positives of the other person’s experience and probably each push our son in the direction away from our own backgrounds.

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    1. littlebug

      Thank you, this is a great way of looking at it. I love that the differences between you and your partner are helping to forge a new path for your son. 🙂

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  7. This is such an interesting read! As someone who’s lived in the same place my whole life I’ve never really thought about the positives of travelling or having my children brought up around a number of different cultures but I can see how that would be a very good thing! Thankyou for linking up to Marvellous Mondays, hope to see you again next week! Kaye xo #MarvMondays

    Like

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