Gransnet forums


Changes in our Society

(103 Posts)
Bridgeit Wed 05-Sep-18 19:12:58

Reading the threads regarding poverty,struggling families etc., made me think about the changes in society since we were young ie, Families shared homes, mothers & Grans shared child care & part time jobs ,lots of make dos & home cooking( not necessarily appetising) Tv, cars, holidays were luxuries, rather than the norm.
Families often stayed together out of necessity to survive.
How much has changed & is it for the better.?

NanKate Thu 06-Sep-18 06:56:13

When my mother got married in the mid-1930s she took off her wedding ring each day so that she could go to work and contribute to the family finances.

Grampie Thu 06-Sep-18 07:21:34

Couples living apart to gain more benefits. The Guardian includes several posts laying out the additional financial benefit of doing this.

Then, in the same newspaper, you can read about the dire housing shortage without any of their esteemed journalists making a connection between these two phenomena.

It’s as if our society has become “get as much as we can out of our fellow taxpayers”.

Juliet27 Thu 06-Sep-18 07:29:50

I agree Stella1949 that 'Now a single girl can get the support she needs - such a good thing' but what a shame that with so much education and contraception now available, there are still so many unplanned pregnancies.

MawBroon Thu 06-Sep-18 08:04:26

Oh dear - OP did ask if anything had changed for the better, what about all the positive things we can be grateful for? smile

Sheilasue Thu 06-Sep-18 08:29:19

Having stayed at home to look after my children because not many did go back to work in the 70s I do think it’s such a shame that both parents are working. Obviously most parents have to now but what effect will this have on the children as they grow up being looked after by nursery nurses in school holidays, after school club helpers. And holiday clubs, it’s good to interact with other children and adults but family time is so important.

Iam64 Thu 06-Sep-18 08:38:47

MawBroon, you're right, there are many positives which we can be thankful for. Women are less likely to remain in abusive relationships though I stress, 'less' likely. Many women still work hard to make their relationship work because they know life is harder for children whose parents separate.
One benefit has been it's more possible for women to continue to have a career after marriage and children. Men are more involved in childcare. I'm generalising but that's based on what I see around me and experience in our friendship/family groups.
One difficulty is we don't have many family friendly work policies. Another is the cost of child care.
Travel time to and from work, the cost and unreliability of public transport, puts pressure on working parents both financially and because it extends their working day to a ridiculous degree.
Family time is so important and I wish we lived in a society where we focussed our energy on ensuring that is possible, rather than criticising young parents (well, mothers in truth) for going out to work.
Positives - better health care, less teenage pregnancies, strong family bonds where grandparents do so much to support their adult children and grandchildren.

Anniebach Thu 06-Sep-18 08:46:34

Divorce rate is high, are all these caused by abusive husbands?

inishowen Thu 06-Sep-18 09:03:59

My best friend worked as a production assistant on television. She married a cameraman. They had to keep their marriage a secret because she would have been expected to leave her job. This was in the seventies.

In my own case I gave up my job when my children were born in the seventies. We got by on my husband's salary, had one old car, no holidays, no meals out. I found it really hard to get back into work after a long gap. We were the last generation to stay home and raise our children.

Gma29 Thu 06-Sep-18 09:04:25

I think many aspects of life have changed for the better, especially for women, with better education and career prospects.. However, whilst I agree that the treatment of unmarried mothers in the past was absolutely shameful, I think it’s a pity that having babies before being in a stable relationship, or indeed having a home of their own, has become quite so widespread. With the anount of education and contraception available, I am saddened really that so many very young girls still find themselves in a bit of a mess.

Bridgeit Thu 06-Sep-18 09:10:04

I think woman are more likely to divorce if they aren’t happy, less likely to put up with what a previous generation accepted as part & parcel of life ( rightly or wrongly)
Get more financial , accommodation help if they do .
There are some brilliant Dads out there, & some who walk away from all their responsibilities multiple times.
There seems to me to be less personal pressure to persevere, perhaps because there is more help available from the state.
Does anyone remember the engaged couples list for social housing which then changed to single parents priority , not sure how it works now but I think families can be housed in different parts of the country which is another change in Society.

Hm999 Thu 06-Sep-18 09:18:17

My grandmother born in 1890s wasn't allowed the education her brother got, even though she was cleverer. She gave up work to get married, and stayed at home for 50 years. She was quite bitter about it, in her way, and certainly always encouraged me and my sister's.

Anniebach Thu 06-Sep-18 09:23:43

I agree with you Bridgeit. I think the loss of the extended family is sad. I grew up in a mining village, so many uncles and aunts, I didn’t question the family connects, my fathers cousins and their wives all uncles and aunts. A generation on my daughters lived surrounded by an extended family, when they were in the high school they had nine cousins in the same school, they all supported each other. School holidays meant my three sisters, sister in law and me and our children would spend the days together , there was always someone to talk to.

Bridgeit Thu 06-Sep-18 09:37:14

Thanks for sharing that Annibach, just reading it made me feel as if I was back in a close community again, happy young days, but I didn’t like it so much as an adult.

4allweknow Thu 06-Sep-18 09:42:50

Definitely Old Fart here. I still have difficulty in putting in place why there are so many single mothers due to contraception nowadays being more effective than it has ever been. There has to be a disregard for taking responsibility when knowing there will be financial issues. Years gone by, yes people had large families, a lot based on that there was a lot of infant deaths, illness and lack of contraception. Is life any better now, yes, all the medical science, communication, loads of stuff. Is it worse, yes, by so much lack if responsibility in many aspects of life.

Bridgeit Thu 06-Sep-18 09:56:37

Excellent post 4allweknow.

Nanny27 Thu 06-Sep-18 10:06:38

I don't think young women now see a stable relationship as a necessity for having children. If they choose to go out to work they consider themselves in the same position as most mums and if they choose to stay at home the state will support them.

mabon1 Thu 06-Sep-18 10:23:42

I am 77 and remember girls having babies before marriage, on which planet were you living. I would add that I was brought up in a lovely leafy suburb. One or two of the girls were sent away quietly to have the babies and then adopted. What I would say is that the girls who kept their babies did not have statutory benefits that girls do have these days.

Greta Thu 06-Sep-18 10:35:18

I feel we have definitely changed from a 'we' society to a 'me' society and this is regrettable.

One positive development is that young people now have more opportunities. I was the first person in my family to go to university. And I was a girl at that!

Iam64 Thu 06-Sep-18 10:36:35

To add to Mabons post, many gramdmothers ormarried relatives pretended the baby was their own. Some adults grew up believing their Gran/aunt was their mother, only to discover the truth late in their own lives

Bijou Thu 06-Sep-18 10:39:05

I was married in 1946 and after having my second child in 1949 never went back to work. I had many outside interests, WI, friend of the hospital etc. Did all the decorating and gardening. Being in the suburbs was able during school hols to take the children and French students to museums and places of interest in London. Money was tight but we managed. I was always there for the children and my husband. It was harder work than sitting in an office all day.
My sister went out to work and my mother looked after her daughter during the week and I had her most weekends. My niece only the other day said she had no proper home life as a child.

Anniebach Thu 06-Sep-18 10:41:32

We have said much about women in previous generations trapped in marriages, there were men trapped in marriage too.

oldbatty Thu 06-Sep-18 10:45:45

wandering off slightly.....I think one of the biggest changes is a move towards the belief that material goods make people happy.

Until recently shopping was a rather boring thing you did with your mother. Now it is a leisure activity.

Kim19 Thu 06-Sep-18 10:46:26

I have a deep seated longing for one of my GC parents to be at home for them to arrive in from school. Ain't gonna happen because both are successful career persons in their own right. Oh, the children are most certainly thoroughly catered for in this arena but I still feel going straight home to one's own comfort zone after a day of 'whatever' at school is the perfect antidote. I'm fully aware that's not how it is any more. Just my individual yearning.

grannysue05 Thu 06-Sep-18 10:56:53

Stella1949 says that in the 1960's ,as a midwife, she saw many single mothers give up their babies for adoption as society frowned upon single motherhood.
Was that a natural deterrant to having babies with no means of providing a home/income/second parent etc.
It seems that nowadays it is deemed normal to have as many children as you wish regardless of consequences.
These so called modern freedoms are not necessarily just that.

Hellsbelles Thu 06-Sep-18 11:01:22

Women stayed married back then because for many it was a case of you made your bed and you just had to get on and lie in it. No social benefits, no help with rehousing, it wasn't illegal to beat your wife etc etc . If you asked many very elderly women if they would have remained married if they they'd had the help to leave I expect as few would tell you different to what they actually had to do.