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Never thought I’d see something like this

January 25th, 2004 · No Comments

in my college’s alumni magazine:

From Domestic Goddess by Paige Cokos Rienzo ’97

Being a wife and mother nourished my grandmother. Now those roles are more or less dormant. I see her uncomfortable with the medicines and regimens that have crept in and taken the place of sauce-stirring and baby-calming. What to do when there are no clothes to make, no fussy babies, no need for a two-gallon tub of homemade sauce in the freezer, just in case?

As I contrast her life to mine, I sometimes wonder what time, if any, she gave herself and her dreams. I’ve been encouraged my whole life to pursue my dreams—ever reminded that women before me lacked the opportunities I have. When I imagine a life lived behind a stove, sewing machine, or ironing board—a life dedicated to caring for others—I think: Is that what I went to Brown for? This puzzles me until I am in my grandmother’s presence.

Now that babies and hungry crowds no longer dominate Grandma’s life, I watch her wrestle to pull them back. She relishes the chance to share her knowledge, knowing better than I the satisfaction that nurturing others with good homemade things can bring. I realize, as I see her look wistfully at her dusty sewing machine in the closet, her recipe book on the top shelf of the cabinet, or the pots that mostly see boiled water these days, that perhaps she was living her dream and the only opportunity she wishes she had is to live it again.

But maybe it’s because Gen Y is doing things differently from Gen X:

Educated young women are putting a happy marriage ahead of job prospects. Caroline Overington writes:

…Barash, who is a professor of gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. She recently interviewed 500 wives, and believes she has detected a change in the way young women think about motherhood and paid work.

Link to the Sydney Morning Herald via Happy Husband

Tags: news