Thursday, May 23, 2013

Article #246 Changing Roles

            For young people growing up today the adult world can be confusing. Male and female roles seem to be changing constantly. Men are not always the only provider and women’s roles are evolving too. Many wives no longer choose the homemaker-nurturer duties or do this while working fulltime outside the home. Some unemployed dads struggle with the role of Mr. Mom. In the old days, roles were clearer, but World War II changed that. Many military husbands came home to find their wives working in factories and in businesses because of the war. With women competing for jobs, it became more difficult for men to find employment.
            The husband as the main wage earner has changed since those days. The result has been a less stable family system and an economy where a STAY AT HOME MOM is a luxury that many can’t afford or want. Families are smaller. Many women don’t marry or bear children or are divorced or never married. Girls are taught to develop their talents and abilities, to prepare for a career one day if needed.

            Independence of women has come with a large price tag. It has enabled many wives to escape unhappy or unhealthy marriages, but it‘s TOO EASY these days to divorce. Single parent households run by struggling dads or moms are common. I remember the pressures and stress of working and trying to manage my family responsibilities plus the adjustments to our family because of divorce. It was necessary for me to work to support my family on the meager child support payments I received.
            Do I think all women should be kept at home, barefoot and pregnant? No. But I also think many of our society’s problems can be traced back to mom’s leaving the home to compete with men in the workplace. Can women do a better job in business? Perhaps, but the cost to men’s self esteem and their traditional role in the family has been devastating. We have become a society revolving around consumerism and suffering from massive unemployment. 
           I know many will disagree with me on this topic, but I’m just sharing my personal philosophy from being in the trenches and in the work place wanting to be HOME to do my most important job better…MOTHERING. If we don’t want to give our best energies to nurturing our family, maybe we should rethink our priorities. NEXT TIME: Why Families?


  1. totally agree. there came a time when my kids were no longer wee ones and I still didn't leave home to work (I was fortunate...I didn't have to work but that also meant we didn't have much $$ for extras). My friends kept asking me why i didn't go to work since my kids didn't need me the same way as before. I always replied, they need me more now than when they were young.

  2. Lin, you have made some valid points. I have been reminded, with the passing of my father and recently my mother-in-law, how clearly their responsibilities were divided. Until she was widowed, my mother had never operated a gas pump. My father-in-law has never cooked more than a boiled egg. Those things make difficult adjustments.

    On the other hand, my hubby and I would have a much easier transition because our roles were not so sharply defined.

    You are also right that too many don't view marriage as important and it is having serious consequences for our children.

    We could have a long discussion about several things you mentioned. Maybe we should.