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NO MEAT IN BOOMER WOMEN SANDWICH GENERATION? NOW WHAT?

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Boomer women in the sandwich generation help parents and kids.

The parents and kids boomer women stand ready for are their parents, their kids.

At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. You know, family.

If the kids are in high school and college, they still need help.

Right?

If mom and dad are living alone but showing signs they need another set of hands, it’s your hands.

Right?

Maybe. But let’s talk it out.

The myth of boomer women in the sandwich generation is helping their kids and parents with an endless supply of love and concern.

Like an angel, really.

So what happens when parents and kids don’t need the sort of help boomer women are ready to give?

Things go one of two ways.

Boomer women gave up their career to embrace the boomer sandwich generation.

You have education, training, and experience, tools that take you to the top.

You have the sort of class, sass, and dash you see in successful friends.

Those women found a way, now it’s your turn.

If boomer women have accomplished anything, it’s opening doors once closed. Dead locked and bolted. Nailed shut. Those doors.

Boomer women didn’t open all doors, but they knocked on, pushed on, or broke down more than anyone else.

“You can have it all,” was the promise some women heard. And they got it all? Most of it?

From U.S. News:

In the 1960s, deep cultural changes were altering the role of women in American society. More females than ever were entering the paid workforce, and this increased the dissatisfaction among women regarding huge gender disparities in pay and advancement and sexual harassment at the workplace. One of the most profound changes was happening in the bedroom.

By the end of the Sixties, more than 80 percent of wives of childbearing age were using contraception after the federal government in 1960 approved a birth control pill. This freed many women from unwanted pregnancy and gave them many more choices, and freedom, in their personal lives.

Gradually, Americans came to accept some of the basic goals of the Sixties feminists: equal pay for equal work, an end to domestic violence, curtailment of severe limits on women in managerial jobs, an end to sexual harassment, and sharing of responsibility for housework and child rearing.

Maybe they got all they could from the male world, then found better things to do.

How long did it take women in the 60’s to figure out that campus protest leaders traveling the circuit were like sailors with a girl in every port?

How many times did boomer women ride in this car?

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By 2016 the learning curve shouldn’t be so steep.

No one goes to college to be taken in by smooth operators who ask ‘what can you do for me’ before every decision.

If we’re going the same direction, a ride is a ride for all boomers.

Maybe it’s a stretch, but boomer women in the sandwich generation with no meat between the bread should find something better, not go back in time.

Or else face the onset of premature bitterness.

My kids are independent, my parents are thriving, why not me?

There comes a time for married boomer women to decide if returning to the workforce on the bottom rung is more important than time spent elsewhere.

If their men are at a career stage that gives them more time to travel and learn, boomer women can either go with current, or jump ship.

Chopping veggies at a salad bar, stuffing envelopes for direct marketing, or balancing books for a small business are real jobs done by real people.

Boomer women do them all, or could do them all, if they choose to.

If it is a choice, not a necessity, how does the reward for the time spent match the reward for ‘being there’ for your family?

You’ll never know how it feels when a child or parent calls and you say, “I was just thinking of you,” instead of, “I can’t talk now.”

Would it matter to your spouse when they say, “I’ve got a business trip to Paris with enough airline points for your ticket. Free trip to France, baby,” and you say, “I can’t go. They rearranged my schedule at work. I’m the fill-in for people on vacation.”

Probably vacations in France.

Whether you get a job, or not, watch your kids gain their independence and show them yours.

Whether you have parents sharing your life, or not, reflect the values you learned from them.

Boomer women are an American beacon of hope. Their future is our future.

Do it right ladies, the world is watching. You’ve made it this far.

Now what? Stay tuned.

To husbands of boomer women: remind our girls they’re not invisible.

About David Gillaspie
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