What Would You Do? – Planning for Our Children’s Futures

by Momma · 1 comment

I don’t really have a witty opening line for today’s entry, or a compelling story to tell.  I just have a blazing looming worry that I’m hoping ya’all can shed some perspective on.  Now, I get that in the grand scheme of things, this is a concern that many people only wish to have… but to me it’s huge and getting closer all the time.

You see, we’re working really hard at getting out of debt.   We’ve “snowballed” and “snowflaked” our debts fanatically enough that I see there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.  It won’t be this year, and may not be next year, but it’s coming.  That’s not the problem (obviously).

Here’s the problem… Mark and I have 6 children, total.  Two of them are already in college.  One of them is a Junior in high school.  By the time we’re in a position to fund college accounts, half of our children will be beyond needing them.

When I think about this, I spend a lot of time kicking myself for not getting our stuff together sooner.  I worry that the older girls will resent us because “oh sure, NOW you have money to help with college”.  Granted, neither Mark nor I had any help with college expenses, but nonetheless, this makes me feel like a failure.

How do we deal with the hurt feelings and let downs of the older children, when they see us doing more for their siblings than we can do for them?  How do we, as parents, figure out a way to make the inequity go away?  Is that possible?

Have you experienced this before, either as the parent or the child?  How WOULD you deal with it, if you were in our shoes?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michele September 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I enjoyed your post. My husband and I are experiencing a similar situation but perhaps even more precarious as our earnings have taken a huge hit this year. We never thought we’d be facing financial issues after enjoying career successes earlier in our lives. Especially since we play by the rules, work hard and tirelessly and did all the right things. That said, when I was substitute teaching the other day I had a student complain that a game we were playing wasn’t fair. Another child piped up (a 4th grader), “A fair is a place where you go to show a pig and a pie; it is not a state of being.” I loved that expression. So in answer to how I explain things to my children (and myself), I say, life’s not fair; deal with it and move on.

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