With my 44 years I am one of the last generations to have had an analogue childhood but who is now more or less struggling with re-branding ourselves in the new digital world. We are talking about Generation X, those who are born between 1960-1980.
In this series of posts I will revisit some of the elements from the oast, and I will start with…. birth
A hot August day in 1974, my pregnant mom was dropped off at the hospital stairs by my dad on his way to work. There she was left on her own with a midwife from hell who traumatized her to the level that my mother was a complete wreck when I was pregnant 32 years later (so bad that she needed to meet my midwife to make sure I was in good hands). I mean, she was constantly yelling at the poor woman and actually tried to force me out by placing her very generous body weight on my mothers pregnant belly.
This was of course back in the days where smoking was allowed everywhere, so most likely the whole hospital was engulfed in heavy sigarette smoke. Probably the reason I didn’t want to leave the comfort of the womb voluntarily, but had to be dragged out with pliers.
My first meeting with my big brother
A couple of days later, I was brought home from the hospital (which literally was across the street, like 200 meters away) to meet my brother. The first meeting was, however, not exactly a great såsuccess. Being used to getting all the attention, my brother at the age of 18 months, was not willing to share his privileges. The result was that instead of a warm welcome and a hug, I got a slap in the face with the message that he did NOT want a little sister. Luckily his hostility did not last for long and he grew up to be quite protective of his little sister.
Currently Norwegians are entitled to 49 weeks of parental leave with full pay, or 59 werks with 80% pay. One of the world’s best atrangements, but still some are complaining saying that it is bordering child abuse to send your kid to kindergarten before the age of 3. Back in the 70’ies, the whole concept of parental leave was unknown and the mere thought of the daddy spending quality time with the little diaper-bearing creature was unthinkable (even though that in my case my father made up for the lost time, with interest, later on). My mother had the option of unpaid leave or giving up her job. She chose the last one and spent the next few years at home with us children.
There is a long way from the pedagogic kindergartens of today to the more or less detention centers we had back in the days. I hated that my mom went back to work, something that meant me and my brother having to spend several hours in a terrible place where we had to stay outside in all weather conditions and where we were hardly allowed to go inside to use the bathroom. Possible this is an unfair description of the conditions, but hey I was like 4-5 years old and this is all I remember.
We often hear statements saying “everythingwas better in the good ol’ days”, but I dare argue that at least I prefer the modern world of paid parental leave, the pedagogic fundamented kindergartend and the amicable and warm midwives we have today.
So let us be thankful and let us not take our privileges for granted…