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Thread: Did your mother work outside the home?

  1. #1
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Did your mother work outside the home?

    Did your mom work outside the home, have a paid job? What about your aunts? What about the mothers of your friends?

    While it may be selection bias in my brain, it seems to me that 90% of the women I knew while growing ip worked outside their home.

    So when I hear stuff like millenials and etc are the first true generation to balance work and motherhood and etc I just roll my eyes. Not only are they not the first, their grandmothers (me!) aren’t the first.

    Hells bells MY grandmothers and great grandmothers had jobs or businesses back in the day tho granted, not all of them.

    But I guess every generation thinks they are the first to face specific life situations.
    I am not a serious person.

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Mother worked as a receptionist in a group medical practice before I was born. She filled in occasionally when we were growing up. She went back in the early 80s (I was 11 or so) to pay for Catholic school tuition.

    It seemed like a lot of friends’ mothers worked. This was in the 80s. Latchkey kids.

    Relatives on my mother’s side were all older (she was the youngest of a large family), but many of the women worked when their kids were older or out of the house. There were a lot of bookkeepers and other office workers.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    My mother was a school teacher before marriage, but really didn't work after that. She answered the phone at my father's business just to get enough hours for social security. Among aunts and grandmothers it was probably about 50/50, although I don't think any of the working mothers had what we consider professional occupations today.

    My mother was active in the church and had a lot of charitable women's activities through her church organizations and was always busy, but I suppose that doesn't fall into the work category as we know it.
    "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    My mother was a stay-at-home mom except for the relatively short period of time between her first and second marriages. None of my friends' mothers worked outside the home. None. This was in a neighborhood built post-war, middle class mix of blue/white collar. I was raised there in the 50s/60s.

    Neither did my aunts work outside the home. One was married to a lawyer, one a real estate developer, one a CT Supreme Court judge. My grandmother was a purchasing agent--a job that no women held back in the early century. The story goes that she would sign POs "H. S______" and when the men came up to see the purchasing agent, they were shocked. They assumed that "H" was a man. So she was the sole standard bearer for working women in the family.

    My MIL was stay-at-home until her husband died in 1965, and then she got a job in retail.
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    My mother was a stay-at-home mom except for the relatively short period of time between her first and second marriages. None of my friends' mothers worked outside the home. None. This was in a neighborhood built post-war, middle class mix of blue/white collar. I was raised there in the 50s/60s.

    Neither did my aunts work outside the home. One was married to a lawyer, one a real estate developer, one a CT Supreme Court judge. My grandmother was a purchasing agent--a job that no women held back in the early century. The story goes that she would sign POs "H. S______" and when the men came up to see the purchasing agent, they were shocked. They assumed that "H" was a man. So she was the sole standard bearer for working women in the family.

    My MIL was stay-at-home until her husband died in 1965, and then she got a job in retail.
    So weird! ALL my aunts worked on both sides of the family! Oh wait, no— one was married to an insurance executive, and so she hostessed and schmoozed for him.
    I am not a serious person.

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    My mother was an outlier in our family and neighborhood. She was one of only two female pharmacy school grads at UC Boulder way back in the early 1940s. In between kids and after divorce, she worked as a hospital pharmacist until retiring. Most other family females were farmer's wives and did not work outside the home. Neighborhood moms might have gotten something like a teaching degree but mostly raised kids and did charity work. I was the only kid I knew with a working mom.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    My mother was a nurse. She and Dad juggled their schedules so one of them would often be home with me during the day, so she worked a lot of night shifts.

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    According to my brother, my mom worked a lot during WWII years and amassed a nice savings account by 1949. She married and did not return to work until all the kids started school. Then she was my dad's office bookkeeper, secretary, finance director, and all around worker. They retired together.

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    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    During the first half of my life with my parents we lived way out in the country and my mother was fairly busy giving me baby brothers every other year while keeping us all fed. She augmented that by chopping cotton in the spring and picking said cotton in late summer.
    By the time we moved into town when I was in 6th grade she had 5 boys needing constant supervision and made a little extra money taking in ironing. By the time I left home all her kids were in school and she took her first full-time job as a clerk in a day old bread store where she remained for over 20 years.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Relatives aside, I don't recall many of my friends having working mothers. My childhood neighborhood was prosperous post WWII middle class building boom where the roles of stay at home mothers and heads of households were pretty clearly defined. My mother didn't know the location of the car's gas cap, but was an excellent homemaker and made what seems like a full time job of it.
    "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

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