Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Woman's Work Is Never Done

  I think that to truly appreciate motherhood in general you have to look at the different generations of moms and how the role has evolved.  Years ago, women weren't encouraged to go to school, have careers, or do anything but become a wife and mom.  Keeping the house up and taking care of the children completely fell on the woman.  Chores weren't shared and men were almost seen as less manly if they did help or contribute to any womanly duties.

     Skipping ahead, most moms work today.  Stay at home moms are almost criticized and seen as non ambitious because they didn't want to further themselves.  I was a stay at home mom for years and I wouldn't trade a second of that time for any kind of accomplishment in the workplace.  You can educate yourself in many ways without being a full time college student.  Fortunately today you can get a degree on the computer without ever leaving home. The only advice I will give stay at home moms is that it is worth your time learning a trade, getting some kind of a degree to have to fall back on in case of many situations that may leave you being financially responsible for you and your children.

     The women in my family became moms at very young ages. I feel blessed to have grown up this way because I benefitted from having older generations of women around me growing up.  I lost my great-grandmother, MeMe, 3 years ago.  I still have one great-grandmother living very close by in a nursing home.  I think I appreciate the generational differences in mothering because I grew up with many examples and tons of advice.

     I remember one year at Thanksgiving, I think my kids were 1, 3, and 5, and my MeMe said something I still remember today.  She said that if you expect to keep a husband you need to keep yourself up and look a certain way when they get home.  I knew she didn't mean it as harsh as it sounded, but her generation was the vacuuming in pearls, hair always done, make up on housewives.  I remember saying back to that that it is unfair for a woman to keep a house all day and tend to kids and have to make sure she looked "presentable" when her man came home.  I said if a man doesn't appreciate the fact that you have dinner on the table and you have taken care of his children all day at the sacrifice of a shower, which would have been considered a treat, then forget him.  (***Remember I am now a single mom.  She was widowed so I think she knew what she was talking about!***)  It is simply a generational thing.

     Things are so different today.  Not only are both parents forced to work, but the chores have to be shared. With that being said, chores are not assigned to gender either.  A woman is expected to do man's work as a man is expected to change diapers, cook, clean, and everything else that was once considered woman's work.

     I think moms today are blessed to have many choices.  I am sure there were a lot of women years ago who wanted a career, but it wasn't accepted.  Today, a woman has many choices and if anything stay at home moms are criticized for doing what was socially accepted for many, many years.  What do you think?  What are generational differences you appreciate or disagree with?

This is my MeMe and my great Aunt Kay.  My cousin, Laura, (Aunt Kay's daughter), is a year older than me.  Aunt Kay has been a single mom since Laura was really little.  I grew up watching her make sacrifices and putting Laura first.  I paid attention to everything she did, but sadly, I don't think I truly appreciated how she has lived her life as a single mom until I became one myself.  I admire and love her very much and she did a great job.  My cousin Laura is one of the most confident, smart, independent women I know and she is raising two great boys!  She is blessed to have a great husband and she has an amazing relationship with her mom because of what her mom put into that relationship.


SouthMainMuse said...

I haven't worked outside the home since my first child was very little. I think it would be so hard to be a single mom and juggle everything -- and find time for yourself. I guess that never happens. You are very lucky to have had young mother's and grandmother's. My mother and I both had our first child at 30. Sometimes I wish she had me younger and I had my first younger -- but that is water under the bridge now. Only reason being I'd have more time with her (she's now 80) and I wouldn't be such an old grandmother someday.

April said...

There are advantages to being older when becoming a mom. My sister had her first at the age I had my third, but I feel like she got to do a lot of things I didn't get to and she and her husband were much more settled and prepared.