Modern Mums vs. 1950’s Housewives:
What it means to be a Mother today compared to the 1950s.
Have you ever thought about how parenting and motherhood has changed since yourself or your parents were kids? There is no doubt that the meaning of ‘Mother’ and the duties attached to this role has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Nowadays, we are too concerned with being the ‘perfect mother’. Should we be working and leaving our child to be looked after by someone else? Does allowing my child watch television until 9pm make me a bad mother? This gets us wondering whether mothers in the 1950s actually had it better.
One huge factor that mothers today have on their side compared to their 1950 counterparts is that they are able to keep their employment. I am prime example of this, being part of the newborn photographers community where I see so many mums. Back then, it was customary for the married woman to give up her employment and stay at home awaiting the arrival of her child and that’s where she stayed. Nowadays, we have so many options. More than half of mothers in today’s society are in employment. What’s more, employers are more willing to be flexible and considerate to mothers with young children by offering part-time hours, school holidays and compassionate leave. Even society’s opinion on who should be a mother has changed. In this modern era, it isn’t essential that you should be married in order to have children and more and more women are deciding to have children at a later stage in their life. This can be arguably caused by women becoming more visible and powerful in the workforce and choosing career over children.
However, because of our ever-increasingly busy stressful lives, our time is being limited when it comes to spending time with the kids. With technology taking over the world, most of our time is spent online. I find my online time is ever increasing being part of the newborn photographers community.
Children are spending more and more time on video games and we are getting easily distracted with answering emails, messages and social media. Before technology was born, families had no choice but to talk to each other during long car rides and at the dinner table and play board games for entertainment.
So are there are ways we can combine the values of 1950s parenting with the convenience of modern day parenting? Definitely. It takes a little effort, switched off phones and maybe throw in a parenting self-help book. Just in case.
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