The Responsible Ones: 11 Stories from Gen-X Daughters

As we continue to carve our way forward as Gen-X women, every once in a while we like to take a look back at the stories that shaped who we are today. To celebrate our upcoming #1 Daughter live event, we’ve curated 11 stories from our archive about the responsibilities, roles, and other things we faced in our roles growing up as Gen-X daughters.

1. Why I Begged My Mother to Take Me Out of the Gifted Program

“It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wanted out of my new school, but getting out was harder than I thought.”

Read the story by Ashley C. Ford

2. It Took Me 49 Years to Truly Understand My Mom

“She was unbelievably brave and quietly brilliant, but I didn’t really see any of that. In the self-centric world of a child, she was just my mom.”

Read the story by Amy Barr

3. Fvmbe Humor: Honoring My Ancestors with Belly Laughs

“Laughing at certain things is almost a marker of belonging. But another marker of belonging is knowing when not to laugh, when not to let suppressed giggles burst out at the wrong time. Especially, in church.”

Read the story by Stacy Pratt

4. Family Archivist: Why I’m the Only One Who Still Writes Letter

“The letters are tiny time capsules of those unexceptional quotidian details that we will someday miss with irreparably broken hearts.”

Read the story by Nancy Davis Kho

5. American Accent: Passing — and not Passing — as a Latina

“She had learned English while in school in Argentina, and my father taught himself while watching “Sesame Street” at his second job at a nearby 7-Eleven. “

Read the story by by Carla Zanoni

6. Their Father’s Daughters: Four Sisters Come Together to Say Goodbye

“Once, when my younger sisters were around five years old, we left one of them behind in a pizza parlor. That’s how many girls we had: enough not to notice one was missing.”

Read the story by by Deborah Copaken

7. Am I Allowed to Be Happy Even If My Kids Are Not?

“I sacrificed my need for a few moments of peace and solitude for his need for warmth, comfort, and a continuous supply of breast milk trickling down his throat.”

Read the story by Carolyn Edgar

8. Like Mother, Like Daughter — When it Comes to Tattoos

“From that day on, whenever anyone admires my tattoo and she happens to be anywhere within a 20-mile radius, she magically appears to sidle up slyly, pulling her shirt down to reveal her own body art.”

Read the story by Annette Earling

9. As a Motherless Child, I Was Raised by My Neighborhood

“These are the people who believed in me and held on to hope, when there seemed to be none at all.”

Read the story by by Bobbi Booker

10. When Number Two is Number One: My Big Little Brother

“Shaun was the second and final child of my parents, and as he grew, he made it his life’s pledge to prove the playground taunts that first is the worst and second is the best.”

Read the story by Erin Donovan

11. On Going to a Better Place: What I’ve Learned from My Brother’s Death

“Perhaps because I’m the oldest, I had become the emotional parent at an early age. By adulthood, I was often providing financial aid to family members. On and off for over a decade, one of my able-bodied parents and/or siblings lived with me. Needless to say, this is not how a functional family operates. “

Read the story by Whitney Johnson

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