What comes to your mind when you think about those days (50s or 60s, depending on your age) when your grandmothers were bringing your parents up? Men at work, women at home? Full time mothers? Stay-at-home mothers? Domestic bliss?
For some reason we tend to believe that 'back in the day', all women stayed at home and men went out to earn the money. Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog wrote an interesting post about her fascination at the discovery that her grandmother was a working mother in the 50s and faced similar childcare issues as today's new mums.
This made me think about women in my family and actually, I've come to a realisation that I must be a first woman in our family (obviously only going back two generations) who is a stay-at-home mum (my freelance writing aside). Sounds a bit crazy to me, but yes, both my grandmothers were working mums with very successful careers and so was (and still is) my Mum who even managed to 'squeeze in' her PhD whilst I was a toddler! How do I feel about all this? Well, first of all very proud of my family. Secondly, happy with the choice I made and just grateful that I was able to do so. See, when my parents were growing up and then, when I was growing up, we had our close family nearby. Grandparents and even great-grandparents would contribute a lot to childcare. I was looked after quite often by my amazing great-grandmother when mum and dad were at work. I hated going to the nursery with a passion. My mum occasionally was able to take me to her workplace (she is a fashion designer amongst many other things) which was pure heaven for a 'little me', but on the days when she couldn't I loved nothing more than being spoilt by my great-grandmother, who was an exceptional cook (I must say her cinnamon buns beat the ones at the Nordic Bakery ). Both of my grandmothers were still working when I was a child, so they couldn't look after me through the week, but they contributed immensely on weekends and summer holidays.
For my Hubby and I the situation is very much different as we don't have any family members living within a close proximity, so had I decided to go back to the 'office', my Little Miss S would have to be in a care of someone else pretty much full time and I just couldn't do that. I know that some mums simply don't have a choice, so I do feel fortunate for not having to deal with a guilt of leaving your child behind... Well, that's one guilt less in my world of Motherhood.
Any ideas about women in Your families?