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Old Yesterday, 07:49 AM
 
7,238 posts, read 3,989,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
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'.
I was born in the south in the early 1950s. Women of my generation were not raised to work. It was assumed we'd marry and have kids. My mother had never worked, so we girls were raised accordingly.

At school, the Guidance Counselor encouraged girls who were "smart" to go to college, if they wanted to, so they could get jobs that were conducive to being a mother. Like being a teacher, so you could pick your kids up when they got out of school. There were no daycares.

A few girls from high school excelled at something where they got paid decently. One went to law school. Another became a nurse, and then became head of some big dept at a big hospital in a bigger state. Other than that, they all got married & had kids and didn't work, or if they did, they worked as teachers for a while. The poor ones did office work and were often divorced or widowed.

A woman had to be married back then to have a decent lifestyle, since women weren't paid much.

But I was in the deep south, where we were generally behind the times by about 10 years, so it was worse there.
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Old Yesterday, 08:20 AM
 
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Born 1950, dad was a navigator and bombardier on the B-26 Marauders during World War II, never allowed mother to work, though she was a journalist and actor prior to his return from the war. My adolescence comprised the decade of the '60's so it was difficult as I was opposed to so much they took for granted. I became a radical feminist, along with opposition to the war in southeast Asia, and a host of other perspectives that did not play well. Lots of conflict in the home and I left as soon as I could. Back then I really felt that traditional marriage and family were a biological trap.

I guess I was a career woman though I would have laughed at the characterization. I spent a lot of time in school but also always worked: orchestra jobs, freelancing, temp jobs in business, legal and medical settings, teaching. Independent, opinionated, 6'3" tall. Not a good candidate for wife and mother, though I did try a couple of times. I'm straight, so lot of heartbreak involved. I kept falling for men who did not feel the same.
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Old Yesterday, 12:18 PM
 
Location: equator
3,895 posts, read 1,699,902 times
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Never wanted/had children. Old-school upbringing with no parental involvement in the day-to-day.

At 19 I met my ex and we started a printing co. Then we built spec houses. I loved that.

So I missed college, pretty much. No career.

With my 2nd ex, we traveled the Pacific Crest Trail on horseback for several years, living without plumbing or electricity, hunting, etc.

Both of them turned out to be narcissistic egomaniacs, so I had to decamp.

Now with retirement DH. It's been an adventure (but light on pensions or SS )
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Old Yesterday, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Venus
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I joined the Air Force a month or two before my 19th birthday. I got married about 4 months later. My marriage ended when I was 25 and I was medically retired at the ripe old age of 26. So, my life did a 180 degree turn. I did work a little after that but then I went back to school and that is where I met my now husband. He was done with having kids by that time. I wanted them but it was a choice between having him or looking for someone to have kids with. I chose him. Even though some days I am sorry that I never had kids but most days I am glad that I didn't. But I do have 8 little ones (well, not so little now) who call me "Grandma." It is GREAT! Oh, and after I moved in with him, I didn't work again-didn't have to thanks to my AF pension.


Cat
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Old Yesterday, 03:27 PM
 
Location: 26N x 82W
543 posts, read 298,830 times
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I am on the tail end of the BBoomers, born in '58.

Dad was a professional pilot (after a stint in the Pacific in B-24s) mom stayed at home. Though she sort of mothered us in between a long list of babysitters and my oldest brother (poor guy)... I guess... long story not to share here in an internet forum.

Expressed desires to go into the medical field were quickly squashed for me... was told doctoring was a man's profession, as was going into paramedicine. But I could probably be a nurse or something, maybe... (not meaning this to be condescending at all for all of those wonderful nurses out there!). Even veterinary medicine was discouraged. Mother's plan for me was marriage and as soon as possible as far as she was concerned. I moved in with my spouse, eventually married at the JP's office later.

I did go to college(s), earned an AA, then a BA then a Master's certificate in my 50s. I did give up a pretty good chunk of my career to go part-time so we could raise our kids outside of daycare (spouse worked shifts and I had a flexible schedule). I still have a very keen interest in medicine, have probably more knowledge than most untrained people about it. I think it is fascinating and even managed an anatomy class as a course of study during my time earning the undergrad.

I wish I had've had the self-esteem to have listened to my heart and not let others tell me what to do. So. There it is.
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Old Yesterday, 04:03 PM
 
7,238 posts, read 3,989,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowilldo View Post
I am on the tail end of the BBoomers, born in '58.

Dad was a professional pilot (after a stint in the Pacific in B-24s) mom stayed at home. Though she sort of mothered us in between a long list of babysitters and my oldest brother (poor guy)... I guess... long story not to share here in an internet forum.

Expressed desires to go into the medical field were quickly squashed for me... was told doctoring was a man's profession, as was going into paramedicine. But I could probably be a nurse or something, maybe... (not meaning this to be condescending at all for all of those wonderful nurses out there!). Even veterinary medicine was discouraged. Mother's plan for me was marriage and as soon as possible as far as she was concerned. I moved in with my spouse, eventually married at the JP's office later.

I did go to college(s), earned an AA, then a BA then a Master's certificate in my 50s. I did give up a pretty good chunk of my career to go part-time so we could raise our kids outside of daycare (spouse worked shifts and I had a flexible schedule). I still have a very keen interest in medicine, have probably more knowledge than most untrained people about it. I think it is fascinating and even managed an anatomy class as a course of study during my time earning the undergrad.

I wish I had've had the self-esteem to have listened to my heart and not let others tell me what to do. So. There it is.
I totally relate to that last statement. I wish I had been a different type of person. But, as you say, there it is.
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Old Yesterday, 04:28 PM
 
Location: 26N x 82W
543 posts, read 298,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Young women today don't realize how easily the gains would be lost, if they let it happen. We didn't even have sports in school for girls. It wasn't funded. We weren't allowed to wear pants to school until I was in high school. Even then, we could wear pants only with a long tunic that was as long as mid-thigh.
As a HS grad in 1976, we did have very limited athletics in school, luckily. Do you remember the Go You Chicken Fat Go tapes they used to make us exercise to?

I joined a newly-formed girls' AAU track team when I was 10 years old though... had a heck of a time trying to find spiked track shoes in girl's sizes. Usually they had to be ordered from a catalog. And unlike the boys team, we were pretty much ignored by the local media... even though a few of us competed at the national level.

In our part of the country we could finally wear long pants in Junior High. Up to that point it had to be dresses or skirts.

Ooops, don't mean to be hijacking the original intent of this thread. My apologies to the OP.
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Old Yesterday, 05:06 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
20,361 posts, read 19,340,767 times
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I was born at the end of the War and always identified with the early boomers, not any silent or greatest generation. My mother stayed home but went back to work when we kids were in high school and college.

I was of that generation where women mostly weren't allowed to be anything except a teacher, secretary, social worker, or nurse. That was it for choices. Additionally, tv showed woman as silly fools, dancing around in the kitchen with a feather duster so that affected me, made me never want to be a housewife.

My family told me I had to go to college so I could get a good job (such as?) and support myself. Secretly, I wanted to get married and make a home, not necessarily with kids though. I knew I would have to work too, wished it could be part time so I could have time and energy to make a home life.

So I got a demanding teaching job but came home to a full time housewife job and it was too much. Ex hub was no help at all, refused to do anything. I sure didn't want kids with him, if I had ever wanted kids at all. Then it turned out he was a cheater so I ended up divorced and on my own. Life was terrible for about ten years because I didn't know how to live on my own and was also struggling financially. (Too naive to ask for alimony, never knew anyone who was divorced, not back in those days.)

I finally met dh #2 but I had health problems and couldn't work for quite a long time. I'd managed to get a masters degree on my own before that though, so eventually I was able to get a job. I worked part time so it wasn't like the first marriage where I had to do it all. Divorced again after dh #2 had total mental breakdown when his parents died--Viet Nam vet with PTSD. Now remarried and retired. Not much of a life so I'm just thankful for what I have.
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Old Yesterday, 06:15 PM
 
2,584 posts, read 934,303 times
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Born in 1953. I never could see myself in the 1950s SAHM role even though my mother loved it and was darn good at it. The expectation back then, even for women who went to college, was "get your degree, get married, have a baby, quit". I just didn't like the idea. Parents expected all of us to go to college and paid for it- and my sister's and my plans were taken just as seriously as our brothers'. There would be no Art History majors. My sister is now a doctor; she had 3 kids and has a very supportive husband.

In HS I picked up a paperback book called "The Second Sex" by Simone de Beauvoir. Wow. It had been written in 1928 but so much of what she said about being female hit me between the eyes. One quote I loved: "It is impossible to go on day after day ecstatically viewing one's highly polished floors and making a treasure hunt out of the marketing". That book made me realize I wasn't weird at all. Then the feminist movement started up and I read all the classics. Vocational testing revealed that my skills and interests did not lie in traditional female caregiving type roles, but areas such as computer coding. I ended up studying Math and becoming an actuary. Along the way, encouraged by Dad, I learned how to invest. That has served me well.

I went back to work 6 weeks after DS was born, partly because we needed the money and lived in a HCOL area but also because I loved my work. I retired at 61 and life is good. DS is married with 3 kids and my DIL is a SAHM. Like my mother, she takes it seriously and does it well.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been born when I was and had the opportunities I did; if I'd been born 10 years earlier it might have been much different.
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Old Yesterday, 06:28 PM
 
7,533 posts, read 1,678,908 times
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In reading some of the replies, it is interesting how back then (in the 60's and 70's), if your parents were "blue collar" working class, no one expected you to go to college. (Or at least that was how it applied to me, even though my test scores were very high and my G.P.A. was over 3.0, and to most of my friends, and ditto for my husband. In fact, I think that less than 10% of my graduating class went on to a university or four-year state college.)
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