March 12 – Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.
My maternal grandmother, Lucy Sinclair (nee Dartnell), worked as a Court dressmaker when she was young and in the early years of her marriage to my grandfather, Frederick Sinclair. As far as I know she did not go out to work while bringing up her five children. Because of her experience as a dressmaker, she made all her own clothes and clothes for her children. She also knitted many items and continued to do so until she was in her nineties. She lived to the ripe old age of 101 and was always active.
This is a digital scrapbook picture I made of my maternal grandmother and I have shown it previously elsewhere on this blog together with other ancestors for the Carnival of Genealogy – Scrapbooking Your Family History.
I have absolutely no knowledge as to whether my paternal grandmother, Jane Read (nee Stapleton) went out to work and know nothing at all about any work she may have done before her marriage to my grandfather, John Read. Sadly there is no one left that I could ask about this.
This is another digital scrapbook page I made for my paternal Grandmother Jane and is the only photo I have of her.
My own mother, Jean (nee Sinclair) has always worked until she retired. My two brothers and I were what people used to call “latch-key kids”. Obviously she had some time off when she had each of us, but when she was at work, as an Accountant, there was always someone we could go to after school until Mum and Dad picked us up when they returned from work.
Mum frequently brought work home with her and I was always amazed at just how quickly she could add up very long columns of figures. She never used a calculator, it was all done in her head. Maths was my worst subject at school and although I can add up in my head, I could never do it as quickly as my dear Mum.
We never suffered or felt bad because Mum was working when we were younger. We had a happy childhood and there are no regrets because she was working. I think Mum would not have been happy to be a stay-at-home Mum and I know that if I had had children myself, I’m pretty sure I would not have been a stay-at-home Mum either. I don’t think this has been detrimental in any way to my brothers and I that Mum worked all through our childhood. I know at times it was hard for Mum going out to work and looking after her home and family but she did it and is now retired and enjoying the life she has now.
This is a pic of Mum aged about 17
And another of Mum as she is now, this photo taken in November 2010 at her sister Lucy’s 100th birthday party.
Three very special ladies in my life. My two grandmothers I miss very much and my Mum I love very dearly.