The generation of people in their 80s and 90s have always fascinated me. There may never be another generation of people to see so many changes in the world. Electricity, telephones, cars, medicine all made their appearance in normal families during this generation’s lifetime. My grandparents were part of this generation and I have never doubted their strength or ability to adapt to change. (Unless we are talking about computers or cell phones.) I tend to think anyone from this generation is pretty awesome for having to survive the Great Depression, both World Wars and having babies without an epidural. Think about that for a minute!! Crazy!!! But did this generation ever feel overwhelmed the way I do? Did they struggle feeling as if they could not accomplish it all? Or were they much better at knowing what they could and could not do in a day?
My two sets of grandparents were both from the same little area in North Dakota. My grandpas have passed away; one recently, one a few years back. I miss them; their smiles, their steadiness. They were happy and they loved their families. I never needed to question that, I knew it when I walked into the door of their house. However, my grandmas have been in my thoughts a lot lately. As I struggle to find balance in my life, I wonder if they ever struggled with finding it also. Or were they much more grounded? Was their world somehow smaller than mine? I try to think about their life and wonder why mine seems so much more stressful. I am a science teacher, so I need to look at the data……….Here it is………..
Each of my Grandmas had five children……………………….I have three………
Each Grandma lived on a farm with crops, gardens, chickens and cows…………….I kill plants pretty regularly and my garden grows by chance……..
Each Grandma cooked everything from scratch; meals, buns, cookies, cakes. And they were all delicious!!…….If it is not from a box, I barely attempt it and I don’t often get rave reviews from my family……..
Both grandmas did not have modern appliances on the farm. No dishwasher, no washing machine, no dryer (I can’t imagine)……I have them all………
So again, I ask the question, did they feel overwhelmed like I do? Did they struggle to keep it all together? I think about my sweet, loving grandmas and I literally can’t even imagine them raising their voices like I do in a day. Now I am sure they did with five kids, I mean they had to yell sometimes right?? Right????!!!
Did you read the recent study done by Welch’s juice company? Not sure why or when Welch’s started doing studies; but it concludes that being a mom today is equivalent to working 2.5 jobs. What???!!! Was it like that 50 years ago? When you were supposed to keep a neat and tidy house so your husband could relax when they got home from work. That’s not how we roll in my house, ask Jason. He will tell you.
So what has changed? Is there really that much more required of parents and people in general? Are we lazier or just worse at making our time efficient? Did people in the fifties just fake it and pretend everything was wonderful all of the time?
I start my day between 5:30 and 6. I get ready, get the kids ready and do my job at school. I get home, make supper, get the kids where they need to go, clean the kitchen, grade papers and then get to bed by 10. (Okay sometimes 9……I’m tired!!) Then the next day, I get to do it again, and the next day and the next. Now, I love everything about my life, but I struggle with feeling overwhelmed. There is always more stuff to get done. I honestly don’t watch TV because if I stop moving, I will fall asleep. Also something to ask Jason, he will tell you. But again, did Grandma feel this way? How did she do it? Was there ever a time she struggled to feel balanced? I have never asked these questions of my grandmas because they always seemed happy and fulfilled. Happy to see me and willing to do whatever I wanted, pretty much all of the time.
So I am just a whiner? Don’t answer that……. I don’t feel like I complain more than others. I generally try to be a pretty positive person and I try to work really hard and efficiently, so I can pack as much into a day as I can. But I know, because you have told me, I am not the only one struggling with this idea. Is it society that has really changed so much??
Challenge Time!! Not really a challenge this time, because I am not sure any of my questions have answers. Maybe I just need to throw them out there for you and the world to ponder. But I am going to challenge you, like I am challenging myself. Be like Grandma. I don’t have any clue how she did it; but I know she was happy, both of them. I know her world was perhaps smaller than ours is today, but maybe that was a good thing. Maybe we are not meant to be such a global society with everything right at our fingertips. But that is the challenge. When I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I am going to be like Grandma. Thinking of her will give me strength to get through just about anything and be happy right now. Be like Grandma, mine are amazing.
I would love to hear your comments on this one. Did you or do you have amazing grandmas? How did they do it???!!! Share your thoughts with me on this page or on the Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. As always, likes, comments and shares mean a lot to this blog!!
Talk to you soon,