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witterings on OS life



  • mardatha
    mardatha Posts: 15,612 Forumite
    I don't know ....a lot of the feminist movement struck me as a bit pretentious and silly. I think women always had power! But many married the wrong men and let themselves be dominated.... lots of women worked quietly behind the scenes managing and fixing and advising.
    In the victorian mills women worked long shifts - they probably dreamt of the day when they could stay at home all day and cook and clean and shop.
    Then in the wars, women did men's work and the ones I talked to hated every minute of it .
    Then the 50s and you had to stay at home and be a Stepford wife.
    Then we had the 70s and the pressure to get out and work was huge. If you wanted to stay at home you were made to feel inferior.
    The great thing, as many wise women in here have said is to have the CHOICE. But in sayiing that...CHOOSE WISELY lol !! :)
  • mumoftwo
    mumoftwo Posts: 1,903 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 8 December 2009 at 3:03PM
    Here in Scotland, the women worked in the jute mill and the men stayed home with the bairns, earning them the nickname "kettleboilers" lol!

    That is what it all comes down to, to have the choice. If you want/need to go out to work either to afford your lifestyle or to make ends meet, you can. If you can afford to stay at home because you have a partner who earns enough for your lifestyle, that is great too. And you hear more and more about men who stay at home too because the woman earns better money and why not? You have to do what fits in with your needs and wants.
  • greenbee
    greenbee Posts: 16,128 Forumite
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    I have friends where both parents work part time, meaning that they both get time to spend with their children. It works very well for them, and I know many of their friends are envious of the way in which they've worked things out although it was done out of necessity (they had twins, and couldn't afford nursery, but the mother needed to go back to work at least part time to get her returners bonus)

    Given the way work is changing - more flexibility with hours, more working from home etc, more freelancing/contracting - this may well become more and more of a realistic options, and children will grow up knowing both parents better than might have been the case in the past.

    My brother and SiL have talked about how they would both like to work part time when they have children (my brother has a 4 day a week job and freelances one day a week, so its perfectly possible for him), and its good to know that it is a workable option - you can both keep your careers, spend time with your children and in the home. That seems like real equality to me... oh - and having been well trained by me and my mum, my brother does housework, cooks fantastically well, irons, does DIY and has a career. The only thing he isn't keen on is gardening (he doesn't have one at the moment, but he's getting some training helping me out at the moment!)... although he does grow his own tomatoes!
  • seraphina wrote: »
    But how is that a choice? They've been forced to stay at home because they can't get another job, not necessarily because they want to.

    And at least if you have two income families, they are a bit less vulnerable to one person being made redundant!

    You are right, it's not a choice. But it could be viewed as an opportunity to try a way of life that previously would have been unacceptable. In the same way world war enabled women to try jobs that would have been unthinkable in peace time, world recession might make couples question the two-income rat race, which IMO would be a good thing.
    'Never keep up with Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.' Quentin Crisp
  • Justamum
    Justamum Posts: 4,727 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    LameWolf wrote: »
    Arrrggghhh! Don't get me started! I absolutely cringe when some bod that I've never set eyes on before calls me by my first name. Especially because 9 times out of 10, they get it wrong! I have a slightly more unusual version of a very common name, and I'm very picky about people getting it right.

    But no, they should call me Mrs Wolf til I invite them to do otherwise.

    LOL Rant over!:o

    Children these days seem to assume they can call you by your first name without so much as a by your leave :mad:
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    rosieben wrote: »
    ....Back in the 70’s we fought for ‘women’s liberation’ from the rules and limitations imposed by our male-governed culture; in short, we fought for a woman’s right to make her own choices. .......snipped..... QUOTE]

    We also fought for equal pay and pension rights.

    Female teachers were expected to do the same job as a male teacher but for less pay...oh, & resign upon marriage :rolleyes:
    Female civil servants had lower pay for identical work & had their pension contributions returned on marriage as a 'dowry' (the expectation being that they would be supported by the husband!)
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • What a great thread. I was born in 1950. I was also one of 15 children, some older some younger. My mum (the loveliest person in the world) had a terrible life. My dad was a bully an would treat my mum dreadfully. As for us kids you dared not breath the wrong way, if you did you were smacked so hard the print of his hand on your skin would last for days. Then my mum would get a slap for trying to protect us. Where were social services the. Once a neighbour called the police, who by the way, lived in the police station house opposite. My dad chased them away. Nothing was done.
    Now in saying that we all were well looked after by my mum and knew we were loved very much. At least by my mum. What i am trying to get at is that sort of behaviour was far more accepted then. We lived in a 3 bedroomed house and used the dining room as a bedroom. My mum worked as well by apple picking, pea picking, strawberry picking, sugar beating and then for a few years in a foundry. She still did all the housework, cooking, caring for us kids and lived a terrible life. Would i like to go back to those times? NO.
    However my friends who had a good mum and dad had a totally diffent life to us. I suppose it depends who you were fortunate enough to be born too. Not so much the times. My poor mum died 9years ago now. We all miss her so much and i will be eternally grateful to her for the sacrifices she made.
    Sorry for the ramble just had to have my say.
  • maryb
    maryb Posts: 4,660 Forumite
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    And back in the 1950s a woman couldn't leave an unhappy marriage if there were children because she wouldn't get custody and most thought they couldn't abandon their children.

    My mother did work during and after the war despite being married because her first husband was ill for a long time before he died and even when she married again she carried on. It was just about accepted because she was an infants teacher which was all women anyway (though the head was usually a man) and the hours meant she was at home when we were. Though as I said in my earlier post it didn't stop scandalised looks if you didn't have a mother doing the washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday, cleaning on Wednesday routine. She was lucky to be able to keep on working despite the back to hearth and home pressure and it meant that when her second marriage fell apart she didn't have to put up with an intolerable situation. And as my brother and sister were from her first marriage and there was no question of my father getting custody of them, she got to keep all three of us.

    But I remember she was always dead tired. And when I was working full time in my turn I often thought I would die young, I felt so terminally exhausted. Then I managed to go part time and it made all the difference.

    Thank God it is so much easier to get part time work now. Back in the early 1990s when my DD1 started school there was another mother with a similar high pressure job to mine and part time work simply wasn't an option for either of us in our field at that time. She decided to give it up and become a SAHM because her husband was starting to earn megabucks in the City. I was sooo jealous of her. Funnily enough she seemed to dislike me after that and I think it's because she thought I despised her for giving up her good job. It shows how little we really understand each other.

    Anyway I bumped into her again recently. Her husband had left her two years earlier for a girl half her age, taking his earning capacity with him, her beautiful house was up for sale because the children were through with school, and she had taken the only job she could get, working as a commission based receptionist/sales agent at a new housing development (which wasn't selling). She couldn't go back to her previous professional career because she had been out too long.

    I had recently finished reading Leslie Bennett's book, The Feminine Mistake where she warns that women who think it's safe to depend on a man and refuse to believe that things could go wrong for them personally are taking a huge risk with their futures and that of their children because of the risk that any one of the Ds will happen - Divorce, Death, Disabilty or Downsizing.

    It made me so grateful I had kept my career going through the hard years not least because Downsizing had happened to us and my job kept us from going under. But I don't want things to be so hard for my daughters and thankfully I don't think it will be with part time work more easily available.
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
  • Hello, from reading (rather quickly) your posts, it seems to me that it is only myself and DH who are both working full-time and yet still broke. I would have dearly loved to give up work when DD was little, but with a mortgage, utilities, food etc it was impossible. We don't have a flat screen TV, this computer is one they were chucking out at work and our carpets were donated by a colleague. DD does not have designer clothes unless they are from TK Maxx, she is a size 4 to 6 so she does rather well on their final discount rails! We haven't had a holiday abroad in 18 years and our car cost 500 quid. I can't believe that we're the only ones where both parents work and yet are not well-off, other people have ordinary jobs on modest incomes. Some of the posts touched a bit of a nerve as I work because I have to, not because I am an unfit mother spending my money on designer clothes and gadgets for my daughter. And as for cooking home made meals - have you ever calculated how expensive it is to run an oven these days!? Not that we buy take-aways or microwave food - I am an e-number, additive hater, but I certainly don't cook from scratch.
  • And we go on holiday for 6 weeks or so per year, usually to France. Yes, camping is just as cheap to do abroad! - quote

    Oh my God, I'm beside myself reading some of these posts! Oh how you must suffer only having a six week holiday - we can only just about afford to camp for a week in this country, never mind abroad! You do actually have to pay to get there ...

    And as for the woman who had to degrade herself by becoming a ... receptionist ... welcome to the real world, myself and my colleagues have been doing these sort of lowly paid jobs for years. And believe me, shopping in charity shops and pound shops is not nearly so much fun when you have to do it through necessity and is an ongoing boring, ruddy chore. Oh and only two cars! We couldn't possibly afford the insurance, tax etc on two cars.

    Some of you are putting me in mind of the 1960s weekend hippies, you're the weekend hard up.

    Feminists, I've met a few - all highly intelligent, very nice, charity giving women, with not a clue about the real world. They've all had jobs on at least 30k - usually substantially more - and had satisfying careers.

    Please stop going on about how you gave up your really well paid jobs, some of us haven't had the luxury of that choice - we've never had well paid jobs.

    Yes, I came on here looking for thrifty tips and I'm now in a right old rage.
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