working mothers – in the 1950s

“I do think back,” Mom told me, “on my wonderful headmistress at Brearley, the one who told us we could have everything we wanted. She always said, ‘Girls, you can have a husband and a family and a career–you can do it all.’ And when you three children were little and I was trying to go to all your school events–and make things for your bake sales–and do my full-time job–and look after you when you were sick–and look after your father–and cook dinner–and make sure the house was tidy–and everything else, I would think about what we’d been told as girls and just keep on going, even though I was exhausted so much of the time. And then, years later, I went back for a reunion, and I told the headmistress that I had, indeed, managed to have it all–a husband, a career, three children–but that I was tired all the time, exhausted in fact. And she said, ‘Oh dear–did I forget to mention that you can, indeed, have it all, but you need a lot of help!’ ”

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe


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