Example of redefining motherhood essay

Redefining motherhood

The economy and the cost of living change the perspective of parenting in general and mothering in particular. With a high demand for basic needs such as education, mothers are increasingly flooding the job market to earn a living and supply their children’s needs. This action leads to high rates of single-parent families or inadequate interaction between the mother and her family. The traditional form of nuclear family consisting a working man as the sole bread-winner and the wife as a full-time home-maker is on the decline in most urban households (Garey, 1993). In order to match the new standards and requirements (mainly due to unemployment and irresponsible fathers), the mothers opt for full time jobs and risk losing most of the time to spend with their children. Although absence from their homes owing to the full time jobs (sometimes distant) amounts to poor mothering (less influential) to their children, by counting the cost, these mothers believe that a better financial status goes a long way in ensuring the children’s safety in future. I believe that the traditional form of families (where the male is the sole bread winner) is though more effective (in nurturing good morals and influencing good character) cannot stand the current demands of failing economies owing to high rates of unemployment, juvenile delinquency and children’s needs and that the new era of working mothers is a necessity.

Mothers’ natural desire to nurture

Young girls desire to be mothers from childhood. Unlike the boys, they play with toys such as dolls and learn to nurse and feed babies by imitating their mothers in the most natural way possible. As they prepare for motherhood, however, there is no guarantee that they will all have normal families that will allow them nurse and nurture their young ones. With the changing times of limited resources, irresponsible fathers and increased rate of unemployment, the new mothers soon find out that they need to take up responsibilities and make hard choices such as leaving their children in order to support them financially. The traditional form, also considered the modern form of the family by most feminist writers, is reliable and produces more desirable results than single-parent families.

Strong-willed mothers

In an effort to attain stability, financial independence, self-worth, self-sufficiency and dignity, most of the working women admit that mothering is, although still very important, no longer the main issue in their careers. (Garey, 1994). According to Garey, the variety of resources available to mothers across the globe directly determines the plans and strategies that the different societies use to define, construct and represent concepts on motherhood.

Transnational motherhood

As the working women leave their homes to find jobs in greener pastures; grandparents, fathers or paid maids take care of the young children. These job-seeking mothers especially from rural country sides migrate to urban centers where jobs are available. Sotelo and Avilla describe the distant relationships between mothers and their children especially across international borders as transnational motherhood. To raise reasonable and recommendable money for any meaningful progress, the working mothers may spend up to 10 years without meeting the families they are working hard to support (Sotelo and Avilla 1995). in the United States, most of the women involve in transnational motherhood are Mexicans and African Americans especially from the Caribbean.
Redefining motherhood
Motherhood, like fatherhood does not depend entirely on the biological evidence for measurement. However, parenting, through history, is constructed mainly on social factors. Raising up the children by supporting their needs and directing their morals by monitoring their progress is essential. With distant-working, however, monitoring children’s social and mental growth is challenging. A Mexican mother, working away in the United States of America for 10 years may unintentionally raise a boy with backward morals that she despises (but is too helpless to control him from that distance). The frustrated mother may fail in achieving her goal of raising a responsible male even with finances for education.
Although stay at home-mothers are more likely to raise responsible and upright children. The environment of the households and the culture of the neighborhood contributes a great deal in determining the overall outcome of the children. Although more effective, and the fact that societies should strive to maintain such setups since the harm caused by the new era of working mothers (especially distant-working mothers) on their children is irreparable, the cost to pay in feeding a stay-at-home mother and children by one male is too heavy a burden to bear.

Driving force

The motivation to work and provide for the family is driven mainly by the fear of failure. Since men did not want to loose their respect and honor in society, the never let their families embarrassed by poverty and lack of food. Since the great depression and the two world Wars, the need for helping the men to provide enough (and if possible save extra earnings) is vital. (Townsend, 1998). According to Townsend, the initial realization of the fact that women can be more useful in assisting their husbands to acquire income rather than stay at home began to get popularity in the 20th Century. A father who managed his family satisfactorily was honored in most societies globally whether in primitive or urban settings and ancient and modern times.

Importance of working parents

The new culture is evolving the notions and concepts in most societies. For instance, although, traditionally, a stay-at-home mother would demand more respect than a working mother (whose husband was irresponsible), a modern stay-at-home mother does not demand such respect. Instead, a mother (educated or not) needs to be creative and innovative to find means of obtaining income from the available resources within her reach. With time, there is no excuse anymore for playing the domestic mother. Maids and house-helps are available for hire at low costs (since most of the personnel seeking the jobs are illiterate and semi-illiterate).
The culture in South and Central America where fathers neglect their duties to their wives spreads across the globe with the immigrants. In the U. S and Europe, for instance, families from the Caribbean mostly exhibit violence and divorce leading to single mothers taking up responsibility to manage and finance their broken families (Townsend, 1998).


The culture and notions that the current generation has inherited from the previous societies such as letting one male to work and provide for the entire family (regardless of the size of the household and number of members in the family) is no longer practical. With over-exploited resources, due to overpopulation and competition that results from the the high demand yet low supply of the limited resources available are factors to consider in including mothers in the job-market. Although some areas such as south America have a negative reputation of irresponsible fathers who neglect their duties to their wives, mutual consent to work in partnership is essential in managing low-income house-holds. A mutual agreement that provides the mother with a job that allows her family time more than the father is, for instance, helpful in cubbing juvenile delinquency due to absence of the mothers. Counseling couples to resolve family disputes may help to avoid break-ups and assist in providing opportunities for parents to raise their children together.


Garey, “ Constructing Motherhood on the Night Shift “ Hondagneu-Sotelo & Avila, ” I’m Here, but I’m There” Townsend, “ Father’s and Sons: Men’s Experience and Reproduction of Fatherhood”