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How do you manage when you're living squashed?
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 7:53 am
Raising a family is hard enough, doing it without space is even harder..
I'm angry at my parents for not allowing me to go to uni and then marrying me off at a young age to a boy who also had no degree either. Then we get pregnant and have 2 kids and only now do I realise how we were set up for failure and a miserable time. Because now I have toddlers and can't even go study and even if I would do so it would take ages to qualify and start getting payed a decent wage.


Why is the orthodox way so twisted when it causes so much innocent people pain?
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amother




Royalblue


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 8:08 am
Easy to blame parents for everything when they were just trying to do what they thought was good for you.
When you got married, you were an adult and agreed to marry your husband . Surely you wouldn’t have been forced into anything had you put your foot down and disagreed to marriage.
Thousands upon thousands of people go back to school after they are married with children. Yes, it’s harder and you will have to take it at a slower pace but it can definitely be done.
If that is what you really want I would encourage you make the necessary plans. It can be done. I think you should go for it!
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 8:15 am
I'm sorry you feel you were given no choice in your life.

I've also got two kids. My eldest is now 3 and a bit, so I don't think he counts as a toddler anymore, but he's definitely still in the age of needing attention.

Regarding space: I live in 45 square meters, however that translates in your book. We are constantly reducing and giving away stuff, and honestly? I find it very freeing to have only what we need.

Regarding studies: there are many online degrees which are easily tailored to a mother's schedule. I'm starting a course at Open University online this semester, and I hope to continue doing one to two a semester until I have time to finish a degree. Meanwhile, I hope to keep my mind sharp, and thus refresh my parenting.

My "boy" had a degree he couldn't use here, so he just studied two years to become a tour guide, while working as a security guard. He's waiting for the oral exam in January to qualify, and he's working hard, and I'm a house mom so we don't have to pay for anything but the basics. It's doable, and a pleasant way to live.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:00 am
There are three challenges here. The first is how to manage living 'squashed.' The second is how to better your circumstances so that you don't need to live 'squashed.' The third, and by far the most difficult to manage, is your resentment against your parents, who you are blaming for causing your first two challenges. So I'd tackle challenge #3 first.

Most parents set their children up for a life that they think will bring them happiness and satisfaction. For my own kids, that means I am trying to give them a solid education, exposure to a wide variety of hobbies and interests and people and professions. For your folks, it seems they thought marriage at a young age and a more insulated upbringing would bring you joy in life. Turns out you want something different. That isn't thier fault; they loved you and tried to give you the tools you needed to succeed in the life they thought would be good for you. My husband was brought up similar. His parents prepared him for the life they thought would bring him happiness: full time kollel. With this end in mind, his(already meager) secular education stopped in 8th grade, and he was given a robust and enthusiastic education in torah learning. Turns out that as an older teen he decided that this lifestlye was not going to bring him happiness and satisfaction. At that age he was able to start making his own choices. Which brings us back to you. If you want to tackle challenge #1 and #2, you can. Your an adult. My husband got his highschool diploma when we had one kid, graduated with his BA when we had 3, and will complete his masters in a few months, with 4. He'll work while doing his doctorate online at night; it will take him between 3-6 years to complete, depending on how fast he does it. The trick here is that if you continue to blame #1 and #2 on your parents, you wont get very far. Drop your resentment. It will drown you if you let it. Your an adult. There is a lot of power in your hands. If you want a different life, you can have it. Thank your parents for the love they (hopefully) gave you and the effort they put into trying to set you up for a good life according to their reckoning and move on.

As for the second two challenges:

Living squashed is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Google small apartment living for numerous tips in how to organize yourself. Google marie kondo for tips on how to get rid of junk and pare down your posessions down to what is nessisary and joyful. We lived with four children in a tiny two bedroom basement. We were very happy. The key was organization and attitude.

You sound like you want a differnt life than the one your living. Bettering your lifestyle is in your hands. Sit down with your husband and make a ten year plan. Who should go back to school? Him? You? Both of you? Online schooling at night? More traditional classroom schooling during the day? Whose going to make a salary that can support your schooling? Do you have family you can count on for tuition money or child care? In our case, our parents could not provide any support, either financial or in practical help with our kids. That made it a bit more difficult, but it was still doable. I worked, he went to school, and we both supported each other in the dream of education, self-actualization, and financial solvency. You guys can do it!
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shmosmom




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:03 am
I live in a small apartment that would be perfect for two people, except we have three people living here. About a year ago I implemented a very strict one in one out rule.
Got a new dress, new pair of shoes? Find one to throw out. Someone gifted me with new suitcases? Donated my old ones (that were still almost brand new) to a family member. I may one day regret giving them away, as I like to have a separate light blue shoe, or all different size suitcases but right now I need to focus on not feeling like I live in a storage cube.
The hardest time is between seasons, like now when you still need the long sleeve and the short sleeves accessible, booties and sandles, caps and beanies etc but by the time fall hits we solidify to one wardrobe.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:03 am
amother [ Royalblue ] wrote:
Easy to blame parents for everything when they were just trying to do what they thought was good for you.
When you got married, you were an adult and agreed to marry your husband . Surely you wouldn’t have been forced into anything had you put your foot down and disagreed to marriage.
Thousands upon thousands of people go back to school after they are married with children. Yes, it’s harder and you will have to take it at a slower pace but it can definitely be done.
If that is what you really want I would encourage you make the necessary plans. It can be done. I think you should go for it!


Assuming she most likely comes from a community where either you get married or get labeled as a rebel, she's right. That's the only option presented to girls, and are taught this one path since childhood. If she'd refused to get married, she'd most likely have to resettle in a different community.

Even if thousands do it, returning to school with two babies, is extremely difficult. Even with online programs. Of course, it's doable, but it's a struggle for a good few years.

So I agree with the OP's question. Why do we twist everything around to make everything so difficult, when there are perfectly acceptable ways, without compromising on the Torah, to set up a yiddishe home in a beautiful fashion.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:05 am
Why assume everyone is the same?
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Amarante




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:27 am
Liking DVOM's post anonymously isn't enough. There is really nothing I can add to her analysis and advice.

You are still young and both you and your husband have the ability to turn things around. Where there is a will there is a way even if it isn't easy.; You seem like you are a smart woman and your husband, although lacking secular education, also has a good mind. You are therefore ahead of the game in terms of getting the tools you need to achieve the life you need.

It would be presumptuous for me to offer family planning advice so I will tread lightly but in your situation I would try not to expand my family and focus for the next years on achieving the ability to support your family - and future children - as well as you can.

My best friend had two children - a full time job and managed to get an MBA so it is certainly possible to juggle everything especially when one is young and has more energy. I realize her situation isn't the same as she had already gotten a BA before she had her children but she was still juggling a home, full time job , children and going to school. There are tools that you can find that make what seems an insurmountable obstacle feasible - you take it one day at a time and one obstacle at a time.
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naturalmom5




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:36 am
And when I was trying to spare some innocent boy all this tzar in another thread
I was the bad one
Continue on
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amother




Blonde


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:42 am
naturalmom5 wrote:
And when I was trying to spare some innocent boy all this tzar in another thread
I was the bad one
Continue on


Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Nah, there's something wrong with me, you, the OP and all the ones in the same shoes. We're just haters, or weak people who are unable to handle the beauty of struggles in life & instead look to find fault & blame others.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:44 am
Amarante wrote:
Liking DVOM's post anonymously isn't enough. There is really nothing I can add to her analysis and advice.

You are still young and both you and your husband have the ability to turn things around. Where there is a will there is a way even if it isn't easy.; You seem like you are a smart woman and your husband, although lacking secular education, also has a good mind. You are therefore ahead of the game in terms of getting the tools you need to achieve the life you need.

It would be presumptuous for me to offer family planning advice so I will tread lightly but in your situation I would try not to expand my family and focus for the next years on achieving the ability to support your family - and future children - as well as you can.

My best friend had two children - a full time job and managed to get an MBA so it is certainly possible to juggle everything especially when one is young and has more energy. I realize her situation isn't the same as she had already gotten a BA before she had her children but she was still juggling a home, full time job , children and going to school. There are tools that you can find that make what seems an insurmountable obstacle feasible - you take it one day at a time and one obstacle at a time.


Why not do it prior to marriage when one has the energy & the time to do it. Why set it up in a way to become a very delicate & highly stressful juggling act?
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Amarante




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:49 am
amother [ Blonde ] wrote:
Why not do it prior to marriage when one has the energy & the time to do it. Why set it up in a way to become a very delicate & highly stressful juggling act?


I'm not sure why you are addressing this question to me.

I posted about my friend to point out that it is possible to go to school, work full time and raise children if one prioritize.

My friend was quite a bit older than what I think the OP is and had completed her BA and had a masters degree prior to her marriage marriage. She was working at a pretty good job when she had children. She didn't realize she wanted her MBA until a later point as she actually had an masters degree in another field which she had gotten prior to marriage.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:49 am
There's a lot of community pressure, not just parental pressure. Plus there are hormones. You can't ignore biology.

I want my kids to get their education and training before they get married. Society is working against me. They see their friends getting engaged. I want them to hold off until they have initials after their names.

OTOH, I see my nieces and nephews not married in their 30s.

I once heard a chossid cynically describe the system as you marry them off when they are young and dumb. Then you celebrate the birth of the first. By the time they are on their second, they are stuck.
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amother




Periwinkle


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:55 am
you pick your community, you pick your pressure.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 9:55 am
amother [ Blonde ] wrote:
Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

Nah, there's something wrong with me, you, the OP and all the ones in the same shoes. We're just haters, or weak people who are unable to handle the beauty of struggles in life & instead look to find fault & blame others.


I think you're being sarcastic, Blonde, but I actually think your right.

Hating your parents for setting you on a path you're choosing to leave will, in the end, make you weak. Resentment is paralyzing. All the time and energy OP is channeling into bemoaning her fate and blaming her folks will get her nowhere, and can perpetuate a sense of 'victimhood' that prevents any positive action.
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 10:01 am
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
you pick your community, you pick your pressure.


Yup.

I sat up a girl whose family didn't "let" date before her (MA? PhD?). She was miserable. Also some non dating people meet their bashert and do not enjoy the wait. I would not have agreed to it. No one is stuck (ok, almost no one, in non abusive). There are changes toward right or left constantly.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 10:04 am
DVOM wrote:
I think you're being sarcastic, Blonde, but I actually think your right.

Hating your parents for setting you on a path you're choosing to leave will, in the end, make you weak. Resentment is paralyzing. All the time and energy OP is channeling into bemoaning her fate and blaming her folks will get her nowhere, and can perpetuate a sense of 'victimhood' that prevents any positive action.


Oh, I don't blame my parents at all. They were just doing what my community has taught them to do, that this is the only way to live properly as a Yid. And I don't so much find fault as to how the community got there, as I understand the process of it.

What I do take issue with, is now that the result is affecting so many lives, and becoming pretty obvious, people are putting on blinders, or burying their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it. Never mind, even doing something about it. And even more so, pointing fingers at those struggling with it all that their struggles are due to their own shortcomings is what really takes the cake.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 10:08 am
amother [ Periwinkle ] wrote:
you pick your community, you pick your pressure.


You pick your community, or are you born into it?

Can an 18 year old who's been taught one path in life all through her years, really have the presence of mind at that young age to know that the said path is not a good match for her? Especially without much thought given to it as they're told it all gets worked out after they're married? Plus to have what it takes to set up life in a new community?

As squishy pointed out:

"I once heard a chossid cynically describe the system as you marry them off when they are young and dumb. Then you celebrate the birth of the first. By the time they are on their second, they are stuck."

Do you know how many of my friends and family quoted this in their mid 20s?
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Sebastian




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 10:15 am
OP, as far as living squashed goes, I'm assuming you're in Brooklyn. Maybe you should look to move.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 10:18 am
amother [ Royalblue ] wrote:
Easy to blame parents for everything when they were just trying to do what they thought was good for you.
When you got married, you were an adult and agreed to marry your husband . Surely you wouldn’t have been forced into anything had you put your foot down and disagreed to marriage.
Thousands upon thousands of people go back to school after they are married with children. Yes, it’s harder and you will have to take it at a slower pace but it can definitely be done.
If that is what you really want I would encourage you make the necessary plans. It can be done. I think you should go for it!


She comes from a culture where these choices are not obvious to these very young women.
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