Tips for New Moms: Your Mom and You
The nuclear familyStay-at-Home Was the Norm
While many women in our mothers' middle- and upper-middle-class circles received college degrees and spent some time in professional life, most also relinquished work when they had children. Though their material expectations were modest, our moms could, in many instances, afford to stay home with us full-time when we were small.
Today 65 percent of moms with small children are in the workplace. According to Time magazine, economic conditions demand that 60 percent of us are in the workplace to pay for bills, not to garner extravagances. Some of us work outside the home because we would otherwise be unfulfilled and thus intolerable mommies. But the mommy majority prefers part-time or flexible hours, which are hard to come by in our seemingly evolved marketplace.
Dads Stuck Around
Decades ago, having children solidified marriage, according to the statistics. These days couples who take the parenthood plunge increase their chances of divorce.
Our fathers and their fathers were the primary, if not only, breadwinners in our families, and were not expected to devote much time to child care. Today, husbands and fathers fully expect to be engaged in child care and have taken up a bigger role. In fact, as leisure time in America shrinks, many dads today feel gypped, unable to devote the hours to their children that they intended to.
There used to be an enormous stigma attached to being a single mother. Today single motherhood is accepted, even admired, and a much larger percentage of families are run by single-mom heads of households.
More on: Adjusting to New Motherhood
From What No One Tells the Mom by Marg Stark. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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