How times have changed. When my mother became pregnant with me in 1943 she was forced to stop work, the employer did not allow pregnant employees or mothers and my mother never worked again outside the home and that was the norm.
That began to change in 1962 when women were told to seek fulfillment in a career rather than the drudgery of being just a housewife and mother. Somehow earning money was and is perceived as more important than being the home-based lynchpin of a family. That may have worked well for educated professional women who decided personal fulfillment and material gain were high on their priorities, but I don’t think it worked out so well for the middle-class and lower income Americans. In fact, that change in our culture has trapped them.
The extra income was welcomed by many families. It also started a snowball of materialism. More income meant more discretionary spending, bigger houses, better vacations, more of everything … except perhaps saving. The result is that two incomes are virtually necessary for most people to maintain their standard of living, a standard developed over the years since the 1960s when necessities of life began to be redefined. 🤑
It is what it is, we are not going back. Women may have gained fulfillment and a lot of stuff, but we have also diminished the family, changed the family relationship with schools and our entire economy and made it more difficult for average people to keep up; hardly a fulfilling scenario in my view.
When my wife first became pregnant in 1969 (of four) we never had any discussion about her going back to work. Since we never lived using her pay from the date we were married in 1968, our lifestyle was based on my income as an office clerk without a college education. By today’s standards we missed a lot, did without a lot that other people had at the time. (In the last twenty years we have made up lost ground). When our children were born I took vacation I had saved for the purpose of helping my wife.
Today we are fighting for paid leave to care for our children before sending them to day care for some low paid worker to care for; we want higher wages for those caretakers and we want our employers and our government to carry more of those costs… and we want to place higher taxes on fulfilled high paid women 😏
What a high price we have paid seeking the fulfillment a few individuals decided and convinced others was missing from the lives of women. Families seeking a more traditional structure can’t afford to do so, material things top the list of priorities for many, time with our children (including related to their education) is greatly diminished, many people see children as having to fit into their lifestyle not the other way around, and we need government intervention to keep things going. Is this what progressives see as progress?
Thank you Gloria. 😰