I used to promise to myself and my wife when we were young that after the children grew up, they would be able to live for themselves. My wife and I dreamed of visiting many countries in retirement, maintaining our health, traveling to the sea every year, and taking proper care of one another. Unfortunately, everything turned out to be completely wrong. Now we spend half of our pension on debt and send half to our children, who have never learned how to live on their own! We don’t expect help anymore.
When my wife became pregnant with my first child, I was already working a stable job, albeit not particularly satisfying. We rented a small apartment in a residential area on the city’s outskirts. We did not refuse help from our parents, but we did not demand it. Back then, times were not the greatest in the country, which left many young families in poverty.
Since Nathan was raised by his mother, he spent all his childhood with her. Because I couldn’t support them financially with only one job, I took on several part-time jobs, worked as a loader and driver, and did various other jobs to earn extra money for the family.
We had our daughter Maria when we already owned our house. Of course, money was easier for us during this time. However, I continued to work hard, and my wife also worked on the Internet, writing articles in the evenings while our children slept. However, she fell asleep on a cheap laptop she had previously bought for studying.
In the years that followed, as the children grew up and the older one was already in the third grade, my wife Michelle found a permanent job in her profession. Through this job, she became a journalist for a local news service. As the financial situation in the family improved, we started to save money for the future. We planned to buy a house on the outskirts of the city. This would give us more space for the children. We did not intend to have children again.
In time, we could afford to show the children the world. We have traveled to Latin America twice, as well as to Europe and Australia. We paid for and allowed them to have all the school trips, summer camps, and gadgets that they wanted.
It was all right for me when Nathan, the younger one, said he would like to attend Harvard. I was not against that either. We paid for his contract by taking out a loan, and we even allowed ourselves to purchase Maria a one-room apartment so she would not feel offended. The younger one was accepted to Yale University, where she met her fiancé, so it was only fitting that the boy’s parents assisted in the wedding.
In the same manner, I had to plunge into debt two years later to pay for my son’s wedding, in which he also wanted to go on a honeymoon. As the groom’s parents, we were obligated to provide for her. The daughter was embarrassed that she didn’t have a honeymoon, so on the wedding anniversary, they decided to pay for it themselves.
At that time, my wife was distraught because varicose veins began to bother her after our children were born. For prevention, she should have regularly endured a course of treatment, but in her youth, there wasn’t time for that, and now she has the money.
During the past few years, it seemed that every year the number of requests from the children grew more and more. The number of grandchildren appeared to increase, and the number of expenses increased. I was laid off at work, and my wife could not work due to her health issues. Her legs hurt more and more every day.
There were many times when she couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. She spent more than a month in the hospital, and neither her daughter nor her son could help pay for the medicine. Therefore, we could not fulfill her dreams of living an active and happy old age within the family circle. We are merely a place of financial support for our children, and our house is where their children can spend the summer.
In the next few years, we will live on small pensions, continue to pay our debts, and once again struggle to make ends meet. Was this lifetime of work worth it, or was it not?