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Old Yesterday, 03:57 PM
6,521 posts, read 3,722,697 times
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My mother was born in 1921 and was teaching country school by the time she was sixteen! There were financial reasons and, of course the war which kept her working, but teaching was truly her passion.

I was born in 1948 in a small town and one of the few of my friends who had a mother who worked outside of the home. She did a good job of trying to cover the bases but I look back on that time and remember missing her a lot. And often when she was home she was grading papers or studying to continue her education. She had her hands full.

I decided if I had children I'd be a SAHM. It didn't always work that way because we needed two incomes with two children. And we were not extravagant.

After they started school I worked the second shift in a plastics factory (with a college degree) so I could be home with them during the day. When they were in their mid-teens I went back to college, got a Master's and started a second career. My first was cut short by the arrival of the kids.

I was unhappy with the results of trying to work outside the home and felt I couldn't do a satisfying job at either trying to do both. Looking back I think they really needed that adult touchstone at home. Their dad was working exceptionally long hours during those years.

I'm not sure if there was a better solution to providing for them. At the time I worked women still weren't making what a man could make at the same job.

I've looked forward to grandchildren for years but with kids both single and in middle-age it's pretty clear that I am going to miss out on my "reward." This is probably my life's deepest sense of loss.
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Old Yesterday, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
What I meant by "In-Between" was a generation in which the expectation for how women led their lives was not as "defined" as it was for the generations before & after us. It interested me because I think our expectations were more..."blurred" if you will. Therefore, I was curious as to the paths Boomer women took.
Being born in 1948 I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to adopt a traditional life. It wasn't even a matter of choice. I was well into my Twenties before I realized that I had choices and not until my Thirties when I went back to college that my world opened up and I began to define myself.

But none of what I've learned and how I've changed would have made a difference in my choice to be home with my children as much as I could. Family is a priority for me and that didn't change.
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Old Yesterday, 04:48 PM
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I was a SAHM the first 6 years, supplemented with a little informal babysitting in my home and going door to door [with kids in tow] doing Avon. The next 5 years I worked part-time. Full time for about 3 years. Then 3 and a half years where I worked about 90 hours a week. [husband was very ill] After my first husband died, and my youngest son was born, I worked about 30 hours a week. I was working when I met Bobby. My son, even from the day of his birth was an extreme special needs kid. I had him in daycare and ound out that he was being locked in a room all day and brought back to the living room shortly before I got off of work. The next day-care provider was spanking him every day [found this out from the neighborhood teenagers] and when I confronted her she said "I had no choice! Your kid is a monster!" [ 13 months old] That is when Bobby told me that he would love it if I stayed home to take care of both of our kids. So, I was a SAHM, except for ocassional restaurant jobs, for the next 6 years or so.

My son has always been "different" than other kids. He was picked on and beat up mercilessly, hard as he tried he could not make friends. [this was before he and I were diagnosed as Autistic] I have always been an extreme outcast, and I hated seeing my son going through the same thing. So I got licensed as a day-care provider for "creatively wired" kids, that would accept my son. I was open 12 hours a day, but I still felt very much a SAHM. Loved doing this! The Adams County social workers referred to me as the "Miracle Worker." When they would ask me what was my secret, I told them that it was easy and fun because the kids were just like me. They would laugh and think I was kidding, but it was the truth.

When LJ became seriously ill[ NOT from being Autistic. Autism is not an illness. It is a less typical neurology with its' own awesomeness] I had to give up my daycare and was total SAHM. One, he needed all of my attention, but also because he was the second child in the state of Colorado to get mmj, so I was not allowed by federal law to renew my license [evfen though it was state licensing]

When Bobby bought the business from his dad, we stayed in a little camper behind the shop during business hours. LJ was unable to attend school, so I homeschooled him, and was able to work some in the shop when he was doing okay.

For a little while LJ was doing okay, so I was working very part-time at a diner, but then I found out I had breast cancer. And, except for our shops' bookkeeping, I guess I pretty much retired and went back to being a SAHM for my [nearly adult] son.

That is what is still going on, except over the course of time I have become a SAH great-grandmother! Life is good!
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Old Yesterday, 05:29 PM
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From a very early age, I was adamant that I would never rely on a man for financial support (or food on the table or a roof over my head). It was the first reason I articulated for not wanting to be a parent. If anything, that is more true than it was back in the more traditional day. When it comes to men, I hope at best to break even.

Even the most responsible man can have disabling illness or injury or recession layoffs and so forth. I certainly don't think this is a fair expectation of a decent man, and it's a foolish one for anyone less so.

Just my experience, having never married or been a parent.
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Old Today, 04:21 AM
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Didn't know a women had a choice. I HAD to work. As did my Mom and my Grand Mom. It ran in our family to be able to put food on the table. Both Mom and Grandmom had formal educations in medical. I chose the other route...learn as I go style!

Guess I didn't know different back then ...I had two examples that led me to believe I had to rely on my own skills to get by.

I cringe even thinking that I would have felt okay with staying at home and NOT contributing to the finances.

I raised two sons....not easy.
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Old Today, 01:09 PM
Location: Eureka CA
8,554 posts, read 11,336,698 times
Reputation: 13092
Career. Never wanted to have kids.
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