Ms. Schultz's growth spurt was in the 1990s. Mine was in the 1980s, which makes sense--I'm older than she is by about that much.
In the 80s, like a lot of other women I knew, I had it all. That was a big thing then--having it all. We could do it, we were assured--we could take care of our families, our husbands, our houses, our jobs, and ourselves. And that's exactly what we did. But we paid a price.
Those of us who worked outside the home were still catching heat for destroying the American lifestyle. Many men resented us for taking jobs that had always been theirs. Many women who chose or were able to not have outside employment looked down on those of us who couldn't always be room mothers, whose kids went to daycare, and whose husbands couldn't quite be the center of our lives because it was too crowded in there.
Some of us who bought into having it all rolled our eyes at mothers whose houses were always neat and clean and welcoming at any time. We stiffened with resentment at any indication they loved their families more than we did because there were always there for them. We made snide comments about narrow minds and narrow lives.
My mother was one of the generation of women before us who disapproved of many of the changes that were taking place. Although she supported my choices and those of my sister and sisters-in-law--sort of--she disliked them, too. Our priorities didn't mesh with hers.
Our family survived the "having it all" decade. I think we even thrived, but if you asked my kids, I'm not sure how they'd answer--it probably didn't always feel like thriving to them. If you asked my husband, I'm not sure what he'd say, either. I think the kids would have liked more patience and better attention and Duane would have liked a cleaner house and better cooking.
In retrospect, I failed a lot. I'm sorry for it, but I'm not sure how I'd fix it if I had the opportunity. I believe that you don't fail if you don't try first, but I still wish I'd been better at some of the parts of that all I had.
All of our "growth spurts" have resulted in gains...and losses, haven't they? Over 100 years ago, women got the vote because of them. In the 1970s, we became entitled, albeit shakily, to have credit ratings and to borrow money on our own. When I went work at the post office in 1981, I was paid the same hourly wage as the men I worked with. We were that generation's version of woke, and the growing pains were intense.
Growing spurts--and pains--are almost always intense. And, usually, they're worth it.
Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.