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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Thomas Henderson, October 28, 1999. Interview K-0228. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Trying to balance work and family

In this excerpt, Henderson talks about his wife, to whom he had been married for sixty years at the time of the interview. Henderson explains the job she had at Eastern Carolina for ten years, focusing on her duties; however, the job became increasingly demanding and she ultimately decided to stay home with their children. His comments here demonstrate the difficulty with which some women faced in trying to effectively balance work and family.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Thomas Henderson, October 28, 1999. Interview K-0228. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHARLES THOMPSON:
Very pretty woman. So what-did she have a career?
THOMAS HENDERSON:
She never really did. She worked about ten years off and on.
CHARLES THOMPSON:
Right. I thought she looked very professional in that picture.
THOMAS HENDERSON:
Well-
CHARLES THOMPSON:
Like a schoolteacher perhaps.
THOMAS HENDERSON:
She worked over here at the college. They had a student fund activity fee and it had grown. And [unclear] who is business manager of the college asked her if she would do that-take care of that fund. And it was started off at $75,000. And it grew real fast. And finally they kept-. She was wanting to start at one day a week, then two days and then three days. Then they wanted her to go for a whole week and so she quit. She had children and she felt that the children were more important than the job. And so she had-got more help. Students got to coming to her for advice. And she went over and she said, " [unclear] I don't have time to do that and to keep up with my [unclear] work." And he said, "Doris, you keep on doing what you're doing. I'll send you help." And so she stayed there until it got to be a regular job and she quit. Because our children were still-they were in high school. And she was very conscientious about the children. In fact, I told her one time, I said, "If you don't let these children walk some, their legs are going to fall off." If they had to go a block she had to ride them. [Laughter]