In this the year that I turned 60, I have written 4 previous posts about my early years. My 20s I dealt with in the post, Being in your twenties in the seventies, so we now move on to the 80s.
Skirting round the thirties
My thirties was a time of many changes in the role/s I played in life. The year I turned 30, DD1 was born. I had, at the beginning of that year, also returned to study. I started on the 8 subjects that I needed to upgrade my Certificate of Teaching, to the Diploma. I returned to work when DD1 was 10 ½ months old and was also transferred to a new school. My days were long as I now had to catch public transport to school and faced a long walk from the bus stop to the school each day. Late in the year and uncle of my husband died suddenly and I was able to purchase his elderly Holden as Auntie Jean didn’t drive. That made things a lot easier.
|DD1's Christening party|
|Outside the church after the baptism|
|My elderly Holden, 'George' outside a holiday cabin on Bribie is|
When I was 33, DD2 was born and this time I did not return to work. For 18 months I devoted my time to being a full time mother and thoroughly enjoyed it. The husband had hated the fact that I had paid someone to care for DD1 but we had such large debts it was the easiest way to clear those debts by my working. At the end of 1986, I was approached by the local school with a proposal that I set up and run an After School Care centre for them. There were very few such centres in the 1980s and it was felt that this service would benefit a lot of families in the area. I was a bit hesitant at first but finally agreed.
|Supervising some art activities|
|1987 our first year; a local newspaper took this photo of the OSHC group|
The Parents and citizens group who were my ‘boss’ had no idea what they were doing...no funding, awful facilities...it was a nightmare! I worked for no pay until Easter to help them out as the fees collected didn’t cover a wage. Eventually I had networked and found an organisation which was able to give me details of the legalities, insurances etc that were required. By the end of the first year we had government funding and I had an assistant. When I left in 1994, I was proud of the centre and the quality of care provided.
In 1987, DD1 started school and I started the centre at the same school. I also became involved with the P&C and was a tuckshop mum. I was an enthusiastic worker at all fund raising activies such as Garage Sales, street stalls and fetes. I cooked, sewed, knitted and crocheted and also potted up plants. One year I even manned the fairy floss maker on the 'Pink Stall' lol
|Dressed up ready to go to the 'Tuckshop Mothers' Luncheon, 1987|
|One of the playgroups that I attended when my girls were little|
|Working on the cake stall at the school fete|
When I was 37 my husband walked out of his job as an offset machinist in a large printing firm. I helped him apply for jobs and he did get another 2 jobs but was laid off after only a month or two in each job. (with the benefit of hindsight, I no longer resent those employers...you see my ex would ‘big note’ himself and tell everyone at the workplaces how they were doing everything wrong and how good he was) And then he refused to go to Social Security and also the employment agency.
My wage was very tiny but it was basically all we had to survive on...and we did with careful budgeting and using all the frugal ways I’d learned from my mother. So now I had 2 new roles... breadwinner and also ‘mother’ to a 39 year old man. He and I saw things differently...I am a ‘glass is half full’ person; he is a ‘glass half empty’ person. Life went on, I sewed clothes for my girls, saved for simple holidays at the beach in cabins in the caravan park and in general tried to give my girls a 'normal childhood'. It was around this time that I started knitting throws for fundraising at school and church instead of crocheting. (knitting uses less yarn) Eventually I was able to get some extra family allowance from Centrelink and also did some literacy tutoring to bring in extra money. When I look back at those times, I'm proud of what I achieved, both for my girls, but also for the needy in the community