I am aged 58 and one of the post-war 'baby boomer' generation this article refers to. Here in the UK not every family had it easy in the post-war years with free and easy availability if consumer luxurues.
My grandparents grew up in the early years of the twentieth century and during the second world war my Mum (now 82) learned to grow up with a 'make do and mend' attitude towards material posessions. For my grandparents, a motor car was something that only rich people could hope to afford and domestic aids to housework such as fridges, washing machines and vaccuum cleaners were unknown.
Even as late as my own marriage in 1973 we couldn't afford a fridge/washing machine/vaccuum cleaner and I had to do my housework the old-fashioned way that my Mum and Grandma had done before me.
In the forty years since I got married, society's expectations have changed totally. When we were househunting in the early 1970's, central heating was still a rarity, fitted kitchens were uncommon and when moving house it was the norm to take your carpets with you as fitted carpets were expensive, after all! I remember when a landline telephone number was a rarity and when the multi-vehicle family was unknown.
In my parents' day it was the norm for the man to go out and earn a wage to support his wife and children whilst she stayed at home doing housework and caring for the children; a wife with school-age children who worked outside the home was unknown in our family's social circle.
My Mum and her mother before her rarely went outside the home unless shopping for groceries or on matters connected with the family and the thought that a woman would have her own interests other than domestic or housework-related was unheard-of!
I've always been in full-time employment until my early retirement three years ago; I took the bare minimum period of maternity leave when I became pregnant and came back to work as soon as my statutory maternity pay ran out, whereas my Mum in the mid-1950's gave up work altogether as soon as her pregnancy began to show.
Wendy: I just had to move this comment on John's story (Greatest Generation vs Boomers) as it's so interesting! I have a friend who moved from the U.S. to England (English husband) and still cooks on a Aga stove! They lived in a huge English castle (my term, not hers) with no heat except from fire, for years, cooked with the aga, all while repairing this castle. Now they live in a home, but still something they are working to upgrade, and still with her Aga stove! Thanks for the reminder to re-connect with her via email! Great story!
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