Family 2008 the Changing Role of the Mother

The perfect wife and mother of the 1950’s has retired. In her place is a new mother who looks much more like an Amazon warrior than June Cleaver. She is physically strong, intelligent, a leader, and a fierce warrior. No longer does the phrase “Wait til your father gets home” strike fear in the hearts of children. Today’s mother demands just as much respect from her children, even if she does have to look up into her teenage son’s eyes.

In nearly half of America’s homes, mothers today assume the daunting task of filling the role of both mother and father. With that comes the need for mothers to know all sorts of things that once were delegated as “man’s work.” Mothers must know how to fix a chain on a bike, how to throw a football, how to operate a breaker box, and how to turn off the water line when the hot water heater leaks. Mothers must be able to have “the talk” with both sons and daughters.

Mothers today also have to know how to care for and provide for their families. In many cases they juggle work, pursuing a degree, and raising children simultaneously. Mothers must have a PhD in time management. They must be able to balance not only a checkbook, but also a planner that includes ball games, soccer practice, piano lessons, boy scout meetings, finals, and lunch meetings. They must also ensure that their children are appropriately dressed for each of these functions, and have eaten more than just a drive-thru hamburger.

Mothers today must be capable of manual labor. Chances are they are the strongest person in the house, so they must be able to open the lid on a pickle jar. They must be able to lift and carry a fifty pound bag of dog food. They must be able to push a car full of kids out of the middle of the road when it breaks down in traffic.

Mothers today must be tech-savvy. They must know which video games have cheats that allow players to see scantily clad or nude women. They must know which music contains offensive lyrics. They must know how to monitor Internet use, and how to protect their children from online stalkers.

Mothers today must have street smarts. They must know all the current slang terms for drugs, and all the new drugs that are available. They must be able to recognize the signs of drug use, depression, and gang involvement. They must protect their home and children from burglars and thieves, and teach their children what to do in a school shooting.

Mothers today must be as strong as steel, but have a heart that is as big as the ocean. They must be able to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, and nurture and love the children who are at the center of that world.