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Old Yesterday, 01:21 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
5,354 posts, read 2,456,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Career woman, out of necessity. Divorced, no children, didn't remarry. So...career woman. It was very hard, since I wasn't raised for that, or with knowledge of anything financial or work-related. So I muddled through to find a way to make a decent living, save for retirement, learn a bit about investing.... Also learning how to mow a lawn, do minor electrical work, and other house things that women of my generation were not taught.

I don't know that women of the Generation X were in a much better position. Were they? My baby sister is Gen X. She knows how to do household projects...a few mechanical things and such. Always did. Other than that, she was pretty typical of the boomers before her.
I'm a Gen X, raised by traditional parents. Were you a 'late' Boomer? I always felt like the late Boomer women & the early Gen X women struggled with a world changed by a social revolution that they had no choice in.

Our male counterparts didn't seem to be as 'in it to win it' as men from other generations seem to have been. I worked out of necessity, too & although a lot of us said we had no interest in being SAHMs; the reality was that it was never really on the table anyway.

I worked from before kids at age 16 to all the way to two years after the eleventh was born (age 38). I was unstoppable until his disability required me to stop. Within two years I lost two houses, two vehicles & my wedding ring but that may have had something to do with unfortunate timing with the recession.

What it FELT like; was that when I couldn't 'do'; things didn't get 'done'.
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Old Yesterday, 01:23 PM
 
4,952 posts, read 2,420,779 times
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Was a stay at home mom until the oldest was 12 and the younger one 9. Unfortunately, DH had a pay cut the year before and even though I babysat we needed more money so went back to work in my trade - xray technologist. I loved my time working but would rather have been a SAHM. I loved being involved in the children's schools, activities and sports. I worked just as hard being on the PTA, running fund raisers and helping out the teachers by going in and doing photocopying and had fun doing it.

Once I went to work - some duties were relegated to dad - but with having to work late nights many days and do 40+ hrs - I was exhausted and found myself doing the general housework and shopping on the weekends. If I'd had the choice - I would have never gone back to work although I made a lot of friends while working.

I can understand how hard it is for working parents to stay involved in their kids upbringing - especially when you have to work to pay the bills - but those few years living paycheck to paycheck when I stayed home were well worth it and my kids did appreciate it.
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Old Yesterday, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,731 posts, read 2,656,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
We aren't what I'd call an in-between generation at all. Boomers are a major generation, not just one tucked between two other generations.

I'm a boomer... career oriented, college educated. My mother was stay at home, never made it to high school.
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.
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Old Yesterday, 02:03 PM
 
1,674 posts, read 366,254 times
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I was a full time software engineer and raised a son. Hours were very flexible (computers never sleep) and I was able to work at home a lot.
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Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
 
3,229 posts, read 874,350 times
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Quote:
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.
It was a confusing time. Personally, there was the expectation from parents/grandparents to finish a baccalaureate but in teaching to have something to "fall back on" in case a marriage failed.

In contrast, there was no encouragement to find a lifelong profession. In retrospect, that blows my mind since my grandfather was the driving force that transformed the state's largest public university. Many years its President, he never once asked about or encouraged a career path.

The expectation for a career was for my brothers who would have to support themselves and a family, not I. After finishing a master's degree (another state), the school offered to fund the doctorate. Today any sensible young person would grab that opportunity. I declined. The idea of having a profession for its own sake had not been implanted. Nor was it culturally established for women at that time.

In contrast, young women were beginning to get more freedom - to travel on their own, explore. But just beginning. A girlfriend and I took a quick trip to Atlantic City, NJ one weekend. Two young girls checking themselves into an Atlantic City hotel was novelty enough that we were sternly cautioned by the middle-aged male desk clerk not to have any men in the room. Now we did not in the least look like wild chicks !!! - but women on their own confused.

My parents (mother, in particular) didn't actively encourage post-baccalaureate education, caring more about a daughter being "safely" married. My continuing to move about was a worry. Many must have heard as did I: "Why can't you settle down?"

In contrast, young men did value professional careers among their wives with high expectations. The lack of expectations at the parental level (and not being fully prepared) paired wth the perhaps unrealistic expectations at the partner level as the 1970s bled into the 1980s (an era of high economic consumption) led to a certain amount of internal confusion, cognitive dissonance or to use your word "blurring."

I ended up with a well-paid job that I loved, piggybacking off the master's degree. But not a well-defined profession that called for specific expertise. That I later regretted.
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Old Yesterday, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,798 posts, read 14,935,907 times
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I took an 11 year break from work. I became a professional librarian later in life. I worked 28 years in my field before retiring.

I raised three children.

My biggest regret, frankly, is not earning more money. I wish I had been more career aware at a younger age. But I donít have too many regrets, or complaints.

Iíve been retired 13 years.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,731 posts, read 2,656,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryLady View Post
It was a confusing time. Personally, there was the expectation from parents/grandparents to finish a baccalaureate but in teaching to have something to "fall back on" in case a marriage failed.

In contrast, there was no encouragement to find a lifelong profession. In retrospect, that blows my mind since my grandfather was the driving force that transformed the state's largest public university. Many years its President, he never once asked about or encouraged a career path.

The expectation for a career was for my brothers who would have to support themselves and a family, not I. After finishing a master's degree (another state), the school offered to fund the doctorate. Today any sensible young person would grab that opportunity. I declined. The idea of having a profession for its own sake had not been implanted. Nor was it culturally established for women at that time.

In contrast, young women were beginning to get more freedom - to travel on their own, explore. But just beginning. A girlfriend and I took a quick trip to Atlantic City, NJ one weekend. Two young girls checking themselves into an Atlantic City hotel was novelty enough that we were sternly cautioned by the middle-aged male desk clerk not to have any men in the room. Now we did not in the least look like wild chicks !!! - but women on their own confused.

My parents (mother, in particular) didn't actively encourage post-baccalaureate education, caring more about a daughter being "safely" married. My continuing to move about was a worry. Many must have heard as did I: "Why can't you settle down?"

In contrast, young men did value professional careers among their wives with high expectations. The lack of expectations at the parental level (and not being fully prepared) paired wth the perhaps unrealistic expectations at the partner level as the 1970s bled into the 1980s (an era of high economic consumption) led to a certain amount of internal confusion, cognitive dissonance or to use your word "blurring."

I ended up with a well-paid job that I loved, piggybacking off the master's degree. But not a well-defined profession that called for specific expertise. That I later regretted.
They wouldn't let me rep you again, but that was exceptionally expounded! It's precisely what I was wondering. I thought it was a "cultural" thing for a time (being the only daughter of 1st generation Italian parents whom I adored, but who did not really encourage professionalism f or me, but for my brother). I thought it doubly-strange that the parents of my girlfriends DID encourage their daughters educationally & professionally. Different culture; different philosophy.
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Old Yesterday, 02:32 PM
 
74 posts, read 30,738 times
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I had a gloriously irresponsible youth, traveled, hung out with interesting people, lived in NYC in the 1970s, slept with handsome men, took some drugs ...just enough, not too much Worked odd jobs. Fun times.

Got married in my mid-thirties, had two kids in late-thirties. Had been working in arts organizations, left that to raise (and homeschool) the kids. This is what I would describe as the deepest, most meaningful time in my life.

Kids grew up, I went back to work in non-profit administration. It was okay. Had to help get the kids through college. Mission accomplished. After that we could live on my husband's earnings, and the work was pretty meaningless for me so I stopped working.

Now husband is about to retire. We're selling the house. We're going to be nomadic for awhile until we figure out where we want to settle.

It's been just about a perfect life. A little bit of everything and lots more to come... with any luck.
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Old Yesterday, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
57,513 posts, read 55,737,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
They wouldn't let me rep you again, but that was exceptionally expounded! It's precisely what I was wondering. I thought it was a "cultural" thing for a time (being the only daughter of 1st generation Italian parents whom I adored, but who did not really encourage professionalism f or me, but for my brother). I thought it doubly-strange that the parents of my girlfriends DID encourage their daughters educationally & professionally. Different culture; different philosophy.
No, it wasn't just your culture, I was fifth-generation from Europe, mostly Netherlands, but none of the women and very few of the men on either side of my family had gone to college. My mother dropped out of high school to take care of her invalid sister when my grandmother had a "nervous breakdown" from being stuck at home taking care of a mentally and physically challenged child.

My father was an electrician who only went to college to become an engineer after he was disabled in WWII.

I was shocked when I first started working in an office as a secretary and overheard fathers talking about helping their kids with homework the night before. I was like, "What do you mean, you help your kids with their homework? Isn't that cheating?" We were on our own as far as schoolwork went. The idea of a parent helping with homework was completely bizarre to me. Discussion about education wasn't even on the radar outside of my mother checking report cards to make sure we weren't failing anything.

Out of seven siblings now ranging in age from 50 to 69, only one sister has a degree, in software engineering, and she got that when she was 45 and then returned to get her Master's. But she had a daughter at 18.

So, in my case, "cultural" was many generations into the USA, but mostly blue-collar and working-class as opposed to people for whom further education was the norm.

Of the five daughters born into the next generation, four have degrees, two beyond Bachelors.
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Old Yesterday, 02:46 PM
 
3,229 posts, read 874,350 times
Reputation: 1858
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
They wouldn't let me rep you again, but that was exceptionally expounded! It's precisely what I was wondering. I thought it was a "cultural" thing for a time (being the only daughter of 1st generation Italian parents whom I adored, but who did not really encourage professionalism f or me, but for my brother). I thought it doubly-strange that the parents of my girlfriends DID encourage their daughters educationally & professionally. Different culture; different philosophy.
This ^^^ adds another interesting dimension - familial background or culture in addition to societal expectations then in place. I went to an elementary laboratory school at the college. A substantial number of the students were Jewish - who got in not because their parents worked at the college like my Dad but because their parents were savvy enough to get them on the waiting list at birth.

Now its customary for parents to be intimately involved in their children's school work. This wasn't necessarily the case in the late 50s / early 60s. The parents of my Jewish friends were comparable to the stereotypical Asian tiger moms of today. They were very hands on, teaching their kids to read at very early ages etc. Most of the Jewish girls became professionals in fields like medicine, architecture. (Their parents were second-generation immigrants in retail, then affluent store-owners.)

OTOH, our college town was set in a rural county. As I mentioned, my peers were encouraged to "become educated" (albeit if only to teach). That wasn't true of girls in surrounding towns, where the emphasis would have been only on marriage, perhaps getting a job to earn personal spending money. Or a car. Getting a car was big. Most didn't go to college.
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