Do My Kids Need a Better Life Than Mine?

One evening a while back, I was sitting around with friends after a Calgary Stampeder football game when one of them said, “All we want for our kids is that they have a better life than us, right?”

Actually, when I think about my life, I have to wonder whether it is possible for my kids to have a better one. Mine’s been pretty darn good. I’ve always had a roof over my head and never gone hungry. Most importantly, I’ve always felt loved.


My sisters and I were fortunate to be born in this time and place.

  • Canadian women experience more equality than most women in the world. As a woman, I dress as I please, govern my own decisions and run my own life. Who could want more for their daughter?
  • Especially here and around Calgary, we breathe fresh air and drink fresh water. We have opportunities for an active lifestyle, ongoing education and gainful employment. And our kids get the same.
  • We can pick up our passports and travel freely to learn appreciation for other cultures and our home.

    I'm grateful for views like this.

    I’m grateful for views like this.


Growing up –

  • We used our imaginations to make something out of nothing. We played school, house and store in someone’s basement or out in the backyard.
  • We spent lots of time outdoors, exploring the woods, skiing, skipping or swinging in the park.
  • We had a mother who cooked healthy meals at home.
  • Eating out was a real treat. And when we did eat out, we used social skills to enhance the experience – manners and conversation.
  • Our vacations were dedicated family time at the lake or out on the west coast.
  • We grew up developing interactive relationships with friends. A date meant focusing on getting to know one another, in person.

    Beach time at Christina Lake.

    Beach time at Christina Lake. (Missing K4 who was a baby when this was taken)


I’ve never really wanted a better life for my kids. It’s like an unconscious habit of my generation to say so.

I’m sure the saying was passed down to us from previous generations who experienced the outfall of World War II and The Great Depression. They did without, scrimped, worried about where the next dollar would come from and how they’d feed their families. They really did want to make life better for their children.

I’m aware that not everyone shares my perspective or experience. Maybe you do want a better life than yours for your kids. But, if Buddy and Princess can say they’ve had a life as good as mine, I’ll be happy. And so should they.


10 thoughts on “Do My Kids Need a Better Life Than Mine?

  1. I liked this post Kath. It made me think about how grateful I was for all I had when my kids were younger. We gave them all we could-at some points we had money at others not so much. I know how my parents brought me up was how I wanted to bring my children up.(With a few personal tweaks here and there! :-)) Although we didn’t have a lot, what we did have was a lot of time given to us by my parents and my husband and I have done the same thing with our children. I would like my children to live their own lives in their own way and if they do that whether it be better, worse or similar then I know i’ve done my job right!
    P.S. Which one is you in the photograph?

    • You are right, Jan. Time given is so much more valuable than stuff, especially when applied to parenting. I am the little blond one in the photo. I have one more sister who was probably just a baby when that photo was taken.

  2. What a wonderful perspective! Your positive memories and desires for your kids are great. Your kids are very lucky, as were you it seems.It made me smile and feel warm inside.

    • I was and still am still very fortunate in life. True. I love how you share the feelings my posts bring out for you, Dottie. Thank you for that!

  3. Kathi… Hugs!! I love your positivity. You are right, you had a wonderful life and let me say your kids are lucky to have you as a mother. Your post says so much about looking on the bright side. However, I would want my child to have a better life than mine in some ways.
    My mother, though an angel, was–and is–extremely over protective. I try not to be that kind of mom because I felt it to be quite restrictive. Its actually a little understandable because our father died in a road accident when we were very very young. But still… And then after my father’s passing I had to live in a family that was fighting and quibbling–not in a cute, pleasant way–every damn day. I sure wouldnt want that for my son.
    I think I’d want for him the kind of life I had till my Papa was alive.
    So yes, in some ways, I do want my child to have a better life than mine.

    • Zehra, Thank you for sharing a piece of your life story. I am sorry you lost your father so young and that life became challenging for you. I can’t blame you for wanting something better for your son. It seems that you’ve identified what you do and don’t want for him. Your son is a lucky boy to have you for a mom. I’m convinced you will make a better life for him. I think that you must be a strong and brave woman. Love to you.

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