Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Good news from Gail Sheehy

Ah yes, Sarah Louise continues on her quest to discover.... this is a bit more snippet-y than the last post...

I don't know. I was up for about three hours last night/early morning, probably because I initially went to bed at nine. I visited my favorite blogs and left my comments (as I always do.) That Sarah Louise. She's a little crazy, you know. a fox.

Gail Sheehy was on the Today show yesterday. This was huge, as a friend recently told me that in her 1995 book, New Passages, Sheehy talks about how my generation continues in adolescence until mid to late thirties.

It reminds me of the Kristin Davis (Charlotte) quote: "I've been dating since I was 15, where is he? My hair hurts!" I mean, I've had crushes since I was in third grade!

But Gail's stance is that it's okay to be a late bloomer, and that my generation sort of is. What she said on the Today show yesterday was that the later you get married, the more likely it is to stick. Whew!

And this bit I loved. She talked about how women can get "off the ramp"(of career) to raise their children and then get "back on the ramp," because women are living longer. This is actually what my mother did. She was the wife of a diplomat, mother of three, and home when I got home from school. When my father started working long hours in the economic turnaround in Poland, my mother decided she couldn't stay home if he never came home. So she went back to teaching. Which she continues today. (Well, except that she took this past year off to have a chance to travel with my dad, who has been retired for five years.) My mother has been my role model in this whole thing.

It's part of the reason I became a Mary Kay consultant--as a young college graduate, it was appealing to me to have a career that would allow me to be home when my children came home. My mother was able to do that, and I want that for my children. Now, as a librarian, I see that my schedule can flex to fit family into the equation. Almost all the women I work with have children or grandchildren, and they are able to flex their work schedules around their family lives.

I always wanted to grow up to be my mom--but I'm learning that I can't. I have my own path to walk. I am grateful for the people that allow me to be me, a fox.


MsCellania said...

Did you see where Newsweek (or another weekly) has refuted its 1986 story about women who are not hitched by 35 or 40 (sorry for the sketchy info) has a better chance of dying by an act of terrorism than getting married after that age? Total b.s. it turns out, and they knew it at the time. I can remember girlfriends going to bed and not coming out for days after reading that ridiculous article. I remember preparing meals to comfort GFs while they wailed "I went to law school and made partner. Now I'll NEVER be married!" And me thinking: 'I got married at 17 and put that dickhead through 6 years of undergrad and grad school! And I'm NEVER getting married again! At least you have a career - we're in a similar boat but you made a much better plan for yourself...' That article was a source of major pain for so many women I knew; causing them to spiral into despair. I swear, reading is hazardous for your health!

And yesterday? They featured the same group of womem they interviewed in 1986 - the 'never gonna get married bunch' - at least 8 of them married late in life. They couldn't find some of them, so the numbers were probably higher.

I read Gail Sheehy's NEW PASSAGES when I was 41. I read the part about the mid-40's having kids and scoffed to my sister "What IDIOT would have kids that late in life?! You'd be their GRANDMOTHER, for crissakes!"


I did it. And I've never been mistaken for my son's grandmother.

I'm usually asked if I'm their nanny!

Sarah Louise said...

Yes Yes Yes!

That's why they had Gail Sheehy on the show. They did a bit on the Newsweek article and then they had Gail Sheehy in to comment on it.

My grandparents married each other (yes grandparents) at 36 after they each got divorced from their starter marriages. So my mom was born when my grandmother was 40.

And my siblings came when I was 10. My mother didn't realize she was pregnant when we were in the process of adopting my sister. So she was 40 when my brother was born.

Sis said... are a fox...but you are also a bird.
I am glad you are realizing that you can't be Mom. I wouldn't want you to only need one and I like you just the way you are. =)
And that Charlotte quote is absolutely one of my most favs.

Sarah Louise said...

Thanks bird!