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The Times They Are A-Changin’

Submitted by on October 30, 2009 – 6:04 pmComments

anne-taintor-housewifeWhen I was little, mom made tuna casserole and dad came home from work everyday carrying a hard leather briefcase. The day my little sister learned to walk, she picked up a Nike shoebox with a handle on it and headed for the door…she was trying to go to work like dad. 20 years later, the briefcases are gone, and the women of today are picking up their iPhones and walking.

Maybe grandma didn’t have much of a choice and she should have. Maybe mom picked one path or the other and was successfully able to juggle her family and a part-time career. But for those us currently in our 20s, whether we have our own family or not, the idea of the “housewife” of previous generations is gone. Not only that but I believe it is looked down upon. Many people in our generation would probably think less of woman who only stayed at home and cared for her family. It isn’t enough. On top of that, we should also have a career, aspirations of our own—an active social life, knowledge of the latest trends—and the notion in the back of our minds that if we are married, it will most likely end in divorce within 5-10 years.

Now I’m all for women’s lib, in fact if I ever overhear someone saying that this is “a man’s job”, I’m on their case immediately and the first to say that a woman, the right woman, could do it equally as well or better. It is not the gender, but the specific attributes of an individual regardless of their sex that makes them well-equipped to do something. Of course there are differences between men and women, and many fall into the stereotypes, but such is the nature of stereotypes—they come from the majority but do by no means account for all within the group.

Careers are difficult. They cause stress and consume loads of time and energy. It’s not all bad—having a career can be wonderful, rewarding and beneficial to society. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a family having two very career-driven people at its head is a major contributing factor to the failure of many marriages. Add kids into the mix and think about how many decisions have to be made, especially now in the millennium of bureaucratic paperwork and “improve you life” ads galore.

For those of us in our 20s, do we even know what a traditional family unit looks like anymore? Most of us are focused on our careers at this point, and when it comes time for the husband or wife and kids, what will the family of the future be like? It used to be mom at home, dad at work. Then it was mom at work, dad at work, and the start of the latch-key kids. Nowadays I see more and more parents letting their kids be raised by the television and video games, taking their kids to R-movies with them late at night rather than getting a babysitter, and thinking it’s cute when their 3-year-old starts singing the raunchy lyrics to a hip-hop song. Progression? It’s a societal problem that isn’t going to be solvable in one article. It’s great that as modern-day women we have so many opportunities, but maybe we should be less quick to get on the path that’s currently most popular. The career opportunities and the equality that we have achieved are great, but I often find myself longing for simpler times. So let’s hear it for the casserole mom.

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  • Someone told me today I was dressed like a housewife. Does this mean I am a casserole mom at heart? (FYI: I am wearing a fifties' style dress)
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