This daughter has a huge appreciation for how her parents broke the status quo to do what worked for their family.
My immediate family consists of my mother, father, sister and me. My baby boomer parents are full of vitality and have always been. Growing up I was aware that I existed only as a manifestation of their love. Remaining connected, adventurous and being a solid team is what, from my perspective, has kept their marriage unbreakable.
My mother travelled a ton with her job, leading the way for women in business starting in the 1980s. My parents didn’t want to live parallel lives-passing ships in the night. So my father became an integral part of my mother’s career, being a huge support and as often as possible travelling with her. I admire each of my parents more than they know. My mother for continuing to break female boundaries and not ever letting the exhaustion, obstacles and frustration of being a woman in a man’s world stop her. I have always known the power of the mind because my mother led by example and anything she put her mind to she achieved, despite what was expected of her as a woman.
My father is a rare breed, he is so comfortable with who he is that nothing phases him. Truly, my dad has never wasted a second over what people think of him. He has always been true to himself, which I think makes him the ultimate in cool. He travelled with my mom on corporate trips and spent the days with the corporate wives. The enthusiasm he had for doing good work that makes a difference, makes me think he might even have organized many charity team building activities for the corporate teams back then. When he wasn’t with my mother, he was driving my sister and my car pools as well as checking our homework, coaching our sports teams, fundraising for our various activities or cheering us on from the sidelines. There were many times growing up that my dad went about his days with two little girls in tow, maintaining a career but one that allowed him to be there for his family (an atypical scenario in those days).
I think my dad is an original ‘He For She.’ He broke convention, not because he had an agenda to do so but simply because he saw the bigger picture. He married an ambitious woman who was blessed with an opportunity and he admired her passion and commitment to see it through. My dad didn’t over-complicate things, and I remember many times him reassuring my mom that if it was a man in her situation, he wouldn’t be experiencing the societal guilt and judgement of working long hours and being away from his family on business trips. My dad sacrificed a lot to be there for his family but I don’t think he saw it as sacrifice. To him it was an adventure. My parents created a lifestyle that worked for them.
I’m grateful to have grown up in an environment surrounded by love, acceptance, creativity, drive and loyalty. Thank you to my parents for doing things their way.
This is #1000families post number 126. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.