From traditional mother to modern mom


Morgan Stewart

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we take a look back to see how the role of the mother has changed through the years.
Mother’s Day was founded in 1908 by Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. That church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.
The role a mother plays in the world, and our lives, has most certainly changed from 1908 to 2016. Traditionally, the mother would not work a formal job. She would stay at home to cook, clean and take care of the children. It was the father that went out and worked paying jobs to support the household.
After women in the United States were granted the right to vote, due the the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, many opportunities for women to gain higher education and hold better jobs opened. Before the 19th Amendment was put into effect, if women worked, it was only as seamstresses or a related profession. After women started gaining rights, there were female doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, writers and singers.
Today, many mothers work at least one job, if not more. There are single mothers that work to support their families, on top of cooking, cleaning and taking care of children, like the traditional mothers. In 1890, women counted as five percent of the doctors in the United States. By the 1980s, women made up about 17 percent of the doctors in the United States.
“I think that more women working has empowered the female race. I think the younger generation of females is going to grow up stronger and more confident, knowing that they can do anything they want to do. Many women today are proving that you can raise a family and do the job of your dreams,” Mrs. Andrea Niedbala said, who became the mother of twin boys in June of 2014.
Women have added their skills, ideas and determination to the workforce. In some households, the roles of the parents have even switched. In said cases, the mothers work while the men stay home and care for the house and children. This is becoming more common in the modern family.
“I think in today’s world the role of a mother is being recognized. Being a stay-at-home mother is hard work and being a working mother is also hard work. In today’s world, there are stay-at-home fathers as well as fathers who have had to do more housework to help keep the household running more smoothly because their wives work. More and more often I see equal roles in households when it comes to raising children and keeping a nice home,” Niedbala said.
Mothers, single or not, can get the best of both worlds. Some women choose to work from home, so they can work and earn money, but still be able to be there for their children when they need them.
“My mom did clerical work from home when I was growing up, so she was always there. I remember coming home from school and she had cleaned my bedroom, laundry was done and dinner was made. It was really nice,” Niedbala said.
Some women choose to be stay-at-home mothers for their children. They are qualified to work and either choose not to, or wait a few years to go to work so that they can spend more time with their children while they are young. Some families can live off of one parent’s working salary so the other can stay home.
“I have a Master’s degree and chose, when my daughter was born, that I wanted to be the person to raise her, and I didn’t want to miss any parts of her growing up. I had a career that I chose to put on hold to raise my children. Yes, we lost that income, but it was worth every penny lost to me, and hopefully to my children,” Mrs. Jodi Deitrick, mother of Sophomore McKenzie Deitrick, said.
Mother’s Day is about celebrating our mothers and everything they do for us. Most mothers today will work an eight-hour day, come home, have no time to themselves, care for their children, help with things like homework and do it all again the next day.
Mother’s Day helps us celebrate our mothers and grandmothers for helping to shape our lives to what they are today. It’s not hard to make a memorable Mother’s Day. Most mothers just want to spend time with their families and have fun.
“I don’t mind what I do for Mother’s Day as long as it is with my kids and husband. Last year we went to the movies and lunch. My kids do usually bring me breakfast in bed, which I love! When my kids were younger we would always go to the zoo, then it got to be very crowded. Now my kids will bring me breakfast in bed and then we all decide what we want to do as a family. To me that is the best part of Mother’s Day, hanging out with my children,” Deitrick said.
“I’m not sure how I will spend Mother’s Day, but I know that I will be with my kids doing something fun,” Niedbala said. “There are seven children in my family and we all go to my mom’s house on Mother’s Day. The non-mothers in the family will cook dinner for the mothers in the family and we will spend the day at my mom’s house together.”
All in all, mothers are very important people to our individual lives and society and the role of mothers has evolved to benefit our world.