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Old 09-21-2019, 06:04 PM
 
6,644 posts, read 5,294,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
My parents themselves were both college graduates. My dad did the after WWII thing and went back to college. It was there he met my mom who was already working at the university. She was 7 years older.

She had already graduated from college during WWII and then went into the Canadian Army (she was Canadian). Then, after the war, she wanted to get her MBA, moved to Chicago and went to the University of Chicago - all by her lonesome! She was rare for her day.

However, when she met my dad and then they got married, it was just assumed she would stop working.
She did and during the 1950's and 1960's had her children.

My mother would mention when we were growing up that my dad had special accounts for our college education so all of us knew that was the future (3 girls, 1 boy), however, after my dad lost everything, there went those college funds also.

I think it was really hard for them because they had to keep up the image (that's where I came in) and very few of their friends knew how the financial situation had changed. I think it was their goal for all to go to college but when I spoke about getting student loans, my dad told me I couldn't get them which was weird.

I think now he just wanted my (financial) support.

My sisters were with my mom a lot more and became great cooks and homemakers themselves.
I never learned those skills like they did.

The funny thing was (prior to the financial loss), I had to take a modeling course (John Robert Powers) and then I went to cottillion. It was assumed I would make a debut and obviously never did but there's the example of two things (one being presented to society and then going to college). I regret that not happening in a way.

The other ironic thing was I hated the modeling course. The other girls were so into it and it was hard for me. My dad lost everything during this time and I ended having to endure the rest of the course and paying for it as well. Of course, I could not tell anyone that part.
Sad that your parents did that to you!

I have a friend that was sort of in your situation. Her dad blamed her for his refusal to pay for the other sisters college expenses. But i think he was just being cheap and gambling and drinking his money away. Maybe even had a second family. But friend had to carry that burden and now the siblings don't even speak. They blame her.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,263 posts, read 8,804,111 times
Reputation: 6505
Default Always felt guilty

I was born at 26 weeks and because of that, my vision was impaired (blind in 1 eye, 20/50 corrected in the other) but at the time, my parents went for any new procedure that might help. I was only 1 pound 9 ounces when born so I was in the hospital a long time ($$$).

Michigan State University even held a benefit for my parents; I got the game ball (years later, I met the QB who signed it).

When we moved to Florida, the public school would not take me so I got to go private which was totally awesome. I always knew this cost a lot of $$$ but I appreciated every day I spent there. However, that ended when my dad lost everything.

He tried for a year to fight in court but attorneys were so expensive. Today, he would win. I've read some of the stuff on-line. Really unfair for him so I knew he was right.

He told me I just had to work for a couple of months. He took me down to Fort Lauderdale the next day where they pick up people on a street corner and I was selling magazine subscriptions in these sketchy areas.

A girl let me in at the 4th house. She was 19, had 3 kids, house was dirty and I couldn't believe anyone lived liked this. Totally out of my element. But it shocked me enough to go get a real job the next day and 46 years later, here I am.

I understand more now from an adult standpoint. My parents had 4 kids. I was the oldest at 15. Their lives were changing overnight; society was changing; I know now from reading through my parents' things that my mom would have gone back to work in a heartbeat but the image of the SAHM was out there.
Probably your typical North Shore Chicago area WASPy family and Southern Florida same deal. They just didn't want their lifestyle to end.

They were really wonderful people and that's why I did it. Along the way, my dad did some cool stuff for me. Not so much money wise but memories (events, special cards, stuff like that).

I had a couple of dates (4 maybe) with my husband but no one from the family had met him yet. I had mentioned him to my dad. He knew where he worked. Unknown to me, my dad called him up at work, told him when my birthday was (the following week) and to come to XX restaurant. I still remember showing up, then my boyfriend shows up and has to meet the whole family. Talk about 50 questions but I will say my dad definitely moved the relationship along. Within a year we were married and it's been 35 years.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:41 PM
 
6,644 posts, read 5,294,406 times
Reputation: 13773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
I was born at 26 weeks and because of that, my vision was impaired (blind in 1 eye, 20/50 corrected in the other) but at the time, my parents went for any new procedure that might help. I was only 1 pound 9 ounces when born so I was in the hospital a long time ($$$).

Michigan State University even held a benefit for my parents; I got the game ball (years later, I met the QB who signed it).

When we moved to Florida, the public school would not take me so I got to go private which was totally awesome. I always knew this cost a lot of $$$ but I appreciated every day I spent there. However, that ended when my dad lost everything.

He tried for a year to fight in court but attorneys were so expensive. Today, he would win. I've read some of the stuff on-line. Really unfair for him so I knew he was right.

He told me I just had to work for a couple of months. He took me down to Fort Lauderdale the next day where they pick up people on a street corner and I was selling magazine subscriptions in these sketchy areas.

A girl let me in at the 4th house. She was 19, had 3 kids, house was dirty and I couldn't believe anyone lived liked this. Totally out of my element. But it shocked me enough to go get a real job the next day and 46 years later, here I am.

I understand more now from an adult standpoint. My parents had 4 kids. I was the oldest at 15. Their lives were changing overnight; society was changing; I know now from reading through my parents' things that my mom would have gone back to work in a heartbeat but the image of the SAHM was out there.
Probably your typical North Shore Chicago area WASPy family and Southern Florida same deal. They just didn't want their lifestyle to end.

They were really wonderful people and that's why I did it. Along the way, my dad did some cool stuff for me. Not so much money wise but memories (events, special cards, stuff like that).

I had a couple of dates (4 maybe) with my husband but no one from the family had met him yet. I had mentioned him to my dad. He knew where he worked. Unknown to me, my dad called him up at work, told him when my birthday was (the following week) and to come to XX restaurant. I still remember showing up, then my boyfriend shows up and has to meet the whole family. Talk about 50 questions but I will say my dad definitely moved the relationship along. Within a year we were married and it's been 35 years.
Glad things worked out well for you.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,731 posts, read 2,659,296 times
Reputation: 2765
What a bunch of gracious & interesting women - ALL of you! I've wondered about this topic for so long & I'm happy to learn from your lives that there was not the huge dichotomy I thought there would be. Mostly everyone was happy with their choices and/or made the best of their circumstances.

Although I'm still glad I never married & don't feel any loneliness (thanks to 38 years of marvelous & multiple canines), life does get tougher as one ages: house, yard, underpaid employment, etc., & I'm drawing on your strength of character as a touchstone. Thank you so much for your generous sharing of yourselves. XXOO
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
57,544 posts, read 55,754,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Born in 1953, never wanted children or marriage and am now 66 and no regrets. However, I think it's a false dichotomy to say "stay home mother or career." I mean, most adults work, if they're not home taking care of old or young dependents. Most people, men and women, have jobs, not Careers.

I left college after two years, waitressed, etc., and lucked into a job in public TV, but saw it as a job, like a really cool factory, not a Career. Some more wandering and waitressing ensued after some five years and tired of having jobs that were not socially useful or reliable, went to RN school and got an RN at age 28. Still not a Career (for me) but I worked as an RN from 1981-2018, different places (although always kept my foot in the door where there was a good pension). Also got a master's in public health, joined and quit the Peace Corps in Haiti (violence against the PC, 1986), got a certificate in tech writing and spent two miserable years doing that, joined the Army Reserve Medical Corps (officer, young men calling me ma'am).

I hear it's unusual for someone of my age to have chosen so early not to have children. Never wanted to be a parent or a wife or dependent.

Remember, adults work who aren't taking care of dependents. Jobs. Not Careers.
This is a good distinction. I can remember an old boss talking to me about my career and thinking, "this is just what pays the bills." I worked in public procurement with construction bids and professional service RFPs. Nobody sets out to do that as a "career".
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
1,203 posts, read 1,004,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryLady View Post
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.

Just to be clear, not all Jewish girls were given such advantages. I've lived with a lot of stereotyping. You know, the "princess" thing. It's annoying.



My parents were refugees, post WWII, and came with the clothes on their backs and happy to be alive. We lived in a blue collar city neighborhood from the late fifties through the early seventies, where I learned to feel proud of my parents' intelligence and work ethics. I saw that most of my peers were less fortunate in that regard. I was the middle kid, second daughter. They did not assist me with academics; I did that on my own, earned a scholarship, and attended a good state university. My language skills were certainly better then theirs, although my mom helped a bit with early math skills. They knew nothing of colleges or college life. They did assist with costs, for which I was and am very grateful, and I worked as much as I could and lived frugally. They did encourage early marriage and "pink collar" careers, because that's what girls were supposed to do. I privately decided that I would marry when and to whomever I wanted, and would follow a path of my own choosing. Hey, it was the seventies.



My brother, however, was encouraged to become a high earning professional. And he never had to assist with dishes or other housework, because boys didn't have to do those things.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:40 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,337 posts, read 2,944,466 times
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When you have parents who never attended college - as many of us born in the 1950’s did.... there was not as much support to attend college.

I was one of 7 children so there was no support for higher education.

And fending for myself - work was imperative. Work always won out over completing a degree.

But in hindsight - I am grateful I worked my way through records management because it did lead to a career that sustained me and got me continuous employment and eventually a pension that will sustain us till the end.

That said - I really wish there had been the math and science incentives back in the 1960’s for young women that there are now. I would have LOVED to have a scientific career.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:43 PM
 
13,453 posts, read 25,871,443 times
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My parents never attended college and my mother didn't finish high school. Not only was there no support for education, there was no concept of it. My parents were too enmeshed in their own issues and crap jobs when working to consider what I might or might not do. I doubt a boy would have had it any different.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,126 posts, read 416,117 times
Reputation: 2099
My parents had an average level of education for this country in their era. The high school leaving age was 15 and only a small proportion of kids completed the final two years for matriculation. My mother wanted to finish but had to study Latin and found it too difficult. So left after four years high school and went straight to work.

She encouraged me to do well at school but expected me to choose a conventional female career as did my father. She did stress that one never knew what was ahead and that I should be able to support myself if need be. So I did the conventional thing and became a teacher, married at 21 and ended up having about six years out of the full time workforce while having my two kids (did a little casual work in that time)

All the friends I made at playgroups and through the kids went back into the workforce, sooner or later. However we are in Sydney which has always been the most expensive part of the country and the price of housing tends to requires a double income. Unless you are extremely wealthy.

However it is common here for women to retire relatively young; I am not sure whether that is the case in the US. It used to be that women could access the government Aged pension at 60 whereas it was 65 for men. These days it is now 67 for all but many women retire before 60, as I did, so as to retire when our partners do or often to take on carer roles for elderly parents and or grandchildren. Often both, or for me all three reasons.

So like many of my era, I encouraged my daughters to choose a career in whatever they wanted. So one is in finance and the other in marketing and the juggle with their careers and kids is actually a lot harder for them. But all their friends work and most have kids and make the best of it.
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,527 posts, read 1,747,123 times
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I was born in 53 and my parents were high school graduates. Dad was a blue collar union guy and Mom worked after we were in our teens. There was no emphasis on education or traditional roles. I put myself through college after working and saving during high school and a year after I graduated, to be an x-ray tech with an associates degree. It never even occurred to me to ask for financial assistance from my parents. It was my idea to go to college, not theirs.

I married my high school sweetheart after we finished college. His mother was working full time from when he was two years old, unusual for the times. She went from being a clerical worker to a systems analyst in her years at a corporation. Subsequently, DH grew up knowing his Mom was as capable and smart as his Dad in all things. With a working Mom, he learned how to cook, clean and take care of himself: great partner attributes in a marriage.

I had our son and stayed home for his first two years and then went back to work. I got my certifications in CT and MR. I never doubted I could do anything and always knew I would get any job or position I applied for. Dad instilled a sense of sticking up for yourself and not being downtrodden by others; part of his union activism that rubbed off on me.

I grew up as a tomboy in a neighborhood of all boys my age. I learned early I could do anything they could do and better. In the workplace, this attitude of non-subservience and independence with male supervisors got me grudging respect for my work ethics and work performance, but I was also labelled a man hater from insecure males. It wasn’t a surprise.

I grew up in a time of flux: traditional and new attitudes in women’s role were the norm. It was a pick and choose time for many. I picked the middle path.

Last edited by jean_ji; Yesterday at 05:50 AM..
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