Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It got me thinking of the two types of modern mothers.
I admire women who combine motherhood with their ambitions for a career. The dual career is not for sissies.
When I was a child, few women worked outside the home until World War II. When young men went into the military, women filled the jobs that became available.
After that, women no longer were content to stay at home.
Women who stay at home are fortunate in being able to see their little ones take their first faltering steps and utter their first words.
It is not always possible, financially, for people to have this luxury. I have heard women, when asked what line of work they are in, reply: “Oh, I’m just a housewife.”
Excuse me? Just a housewife? That is an all-consuming role. Mothers are counselors, chauffeurs, nurses, dietitians, arbiters who settle small disputes among siblings, accountants who manage the limited budget of a single income, etc.
Later, when children leave home and head to college, mothers often resume working, because of the “empty nest” syndrome or find the need of more income to defray the cost of college tuition. Or increasing costs of living. Many women do not pine for a career, but simply find that they have to work.
Whether they stay at home raising children or combine work with motherhood, the rewards are wonderful. I salute all mothers.
Some day your little daughter may tell you she hopes when she grows up she will be just like you, or your toddler son climbs on your lap and tells you, “When I grow up I am going to marry you!”
Rearing children is a wonderful and rewarding experience. We need no license to do it and just blunder into the role, and do the best we can.
It’s a learn-as-you-go experience. We can only hope we did well.
In “First Mothers” by Bonnie Angelo, she profiled 11 recent presidents. The recurring theme throughout the book was how close they were to their mothers. She quoted from a book, “The Presidential Character,” by James David Barber, “Character building is placed squarely in the mother’s court.”
There is an old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” I say, “Women who rock the cradles rock!”