The patriarchal institution of motherhood, exploits the tenets of the intensive mothering ideology, to conform mothers into the ideal consumer to further benefit the economy and the capitalist state. In contemporary society, the fear of being labeled a ‘bad’ mother has driven mothers to strive for unrealistic goals which reinforce the ideology of intensive mothering. Sharon Hays definition of intensive mothering helps define the qualities that must be attained to be a good mother. In Hays definition, intensive mothering is, “an ideology that requires mothers to take primary responsibility for their children and as a form of childrearing that is child- centered, expert-guided, emotionally absorbing, labour intensive and financially …show more content…
The intensive mothering ideology is very demanding and in most cases unattainable, the few ways that mothers can receive feedback on if they are fulfilling their role of being a good mother is through purchasing products that will make their children happier and healthier. We will see how mothers equate the love they have for the children with providing them with the means to be happy and successful. It will also be discussed how intensive mothering is still the dominant ideology in contemporary society despite the growing number of mothers in the workforce. Mothers are faced with the dilemma of juggling their responsibilities as child-centered mothers and career-focused women. In most cases, mothers participate in consumerism to provide their children with what they desire to fill the inadequacies of their mothers not being home with them 24/7. These mothers feel that their job most benefits them in that they are able to give their children opportunities they would not otherwise have had if both parents were not working.We will also see how regardless of socioeconomic status mothers feel the need to fulfill the role of being the ‘good mother’ as is required by intensive mothering. Women of lower socio-economic means will find ways to ensure that their children do not miss out on opportunities due to their own financial misfortunes. Sometimes this includes extending their budget
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The problem is accentuated by the widening of the gap between rich and poor, that can be translated in this matter as an increase of difficulty for low-income families to have access to the much more expensive high quality day care options. There are several aspects that built such a controversial situation and the most important are certainly the cultural and economical ones. The huge growth in women’s independence and professional ambition, in addition to importance, of the last decades, caused the fall of the cultural basis that have always taken for granted the responsibility of the mother as the full-time caregiver (Chisholm 38). Now women are more willing to gain a successful and respectable place in society, and this can be achieved almost exclusively through hard work and full immersion in their jobs. Simultaneously, the economical situation of our society caused many families to depend on two incomes to satisfy the basic needs. In fact, the increase in the cost of living not sufficiently balanced by a relatively smaller rise in wages, and a greater attitude toward materialism and conspicuous consumption, have given women the same financial responsibility as men (Chilman 451). This aspect can be fully applied only on families with an average income or better, because professional daycare programs are pretty expensive and in some cases can reach prices higher than the minimum wage. Those factors
The last succession of frames in the chapter “The Ordinary Devoted Mother” contains a dizzying array of images, texts, and emotions. In previous frames the reader is able to easily flow through the novel reading left to right. However, these particular frames force the reader to read each frame several times in order to glean the full story.
1.) Overall main topic of this book connects between the issue of motherhood and feminism. One major key point I found while reading this book is the author, Amber Kinser explains the growth and progress of the role of mothers in the american society meaning how the roles have changed overtime. A major theme of Kinser’s book is that the public debates may focus on mothering, but the issues affect us all. Cutting back on health care for women, on education, and on jobs for teachers, social workers and others in the service sector have their greatest impact on mothers, but they affect all of us. Motherhood becomes a symbol for how men and women, single and married, gay and straight, deal with the need for individual options and the need to act for the good of others.
In her interviews with woman she was sure to interview very well educated women and those that strived for mere perfection. One thing is that the men in the lives of these women were not supportive and not mentioned of much. The men and society of today have placed a lot of responsibility on a woman’s shoulders when it comes to the child. It is the woman who makes the decision or is given the task to make the heavy decisions regarding the child’s future. Because of this many women choose to stay at home to be sure that the children will receive everything that they deserve and that they are not lacking in any area. Another issue that she reviews is that employers do not work with moms at all. For example she talked about the scenario where two moms brought a solution to their problem to management yet it failed to receive approval instead one mother was offered more money (Guest, 2011). Employers are not very flexible when it comes to mothers and don’t provide the proper care that is needed for a child. Since men are the ones that don’t carry the responsibility of the child’s well-being having proper day care is not a factor for them. Then there is the cost of day care which is high and can at times not compare to what the individual is making.
The online website SavvyAuntie.com was created by Melanie Notkin to help and inspire childless women with caring for children they care about whether it is exchanging ideas, getting advice or finding gifts. Sara Hayden evaluated the website and addressed the concepts of momism, intensive mothering and constitutive rhetoric. There is little previous research on both intensive mothering and on childless women. Hayden’s thesis is that new momism and our culture as consumers promotes shallow communities and relationships that negatively impact the people that take part in them.
In the reading, “From the Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home”, Hochschild explains her experience conducting a case study with a series of different women to get their perceptions of their lives as mothers, but also working women. Moreover, she provides good information to start her study. She reports that in 1950, 30 percent of American women were in the labor force, 28 percent of married women with children worked out of home. Today, those numbers have dramatically increased. During her findings, she saw that women felt a responsibility to be able to balance work and life at home, focused more on children, and expressing how overworked or tired they felt. Whereas men in this study expressed that women did most of the work around the house and childcare. In addition, what stood out to me in this reading was that some men felt pleased that their wives received more income than them. For instance, in an interview a man expressed, “was more pleased than threatened by her
Past researches either supported or opposed the perceived incompatibility between motherhood and employment (Pacaut et al, 2012). This study revealed an increase in work interruption among women who began working before having children. It also showed a big decline in the gap that separates women with children and those without. The study concluded that changing attitudes towards mothers' work did not appear to ease the balance of work and motherhood. These attitudes include the availability of daycare
According to clinical psychologist Jennifer Kunst, a modern-day “good” mother is simply a “good enough mother” who secures the healthy development of her young child, as defined from the works of acclaimed English
As women continue to struggle for equality in today's society, there is an ever growing notion born out of patriarchal ideology, that a mother has the sole responsibility of caring for and nurturing her children. In the somewhat jocular but pragmatic story “Bad Mother” by Ayelet Waldman (2010) she points to the imbalance between societal expectations of mothers and fathers when she comments:
“The vast majority of Americans (79%) rejected the notion that women should return to their traditional role in society. Yet when they were asked what is best for young children, very few adults (16%) said that having a mother who works full time is the “ideal situation.” Some 42% said that having a mother who works part time is ideal and 33% said what’s best for young children is to have a mother who doesn’t work at all. Even among full-time working moms, only about
First, there are two roads: men and women. These roads run parallel for a considerable amount of time, until the woman has a child and her responsibilities automatically double. As she splits from the road of man, she sees the responsibility of providing for her family, but also providing for her child as a mother. Suddenly there is a fork in the woman’s road: the financial identities of women. Women who had a substantial amount of money were not plagued by the problems that women of a lower socioeconomic status faced every day. More affluent women had the option of “hiring household help and limiting market work to part time”, essentially granting them an ideal balance of ‘the double day’. The women on the other side of the economic spectrum “did not have the luxury of being part-time or secondary earners”. These women had to take into account that a portion of their salary would be funneled directly into the pocket of whoever takes care of their children while they are working. An examination of the intersections of gender and socioeconomic status
Being a mother is a full time job because as a mother you need to be around your child all the time. Even the father plays a similar role but nothing can ever come close to the nurturing capabilities of a mother towards her child. However, the present trends reflect that most parents are generally engaged in professional jobs where they need to devote a certain amount of time. Irrespective of the professional commitments that parents have, they must also give time to their children and take care of their responsibilities.
Current media is an influencing factor of the pressure placed on western women to juggle the “double burdern”. “New media” as describe by writer Susan J. Douglas “is just as culpable as the “Old media” in perpetuating unrealistic cultural expectations about women, mothers and mothering” . The media portrays what J. Douglas refers as the “New Model Mom”, which describes the expectations of working mothers. The “New Model Mom” is athletically slender, always well groomed, smiling, always attentive to their husbands and has a perfectly balanced diet. This unrealistic image of the prefect mother is placing women with the sole responsibility of caring for the child, domestic duties and still being expected to return the workforce with no extra ask
They argue that this media driven debate pins working mothers against stay-at-home mothers in order to “divert the dialogue away from the real issues such as affordable health care, quality childcare, gender and racial equality, fathers’ roles in parenting, media effects, fair wages and benefits, and family-friendly work arrangements” (204). They state that in this culture of mother-blame, mothers have been blamed for causing problems in regards to childhood development such as, “epilepsy, colitis, asthma, ulcers, arthritis, anorexia nervosa, and a multitude of more severe problems in children” (207). However, they argue that it is now “accepted that these disorders are in fact not caused by poor mothering…” (208). Another issue with the Mommy Wars debate is that it portrays a universal kind of woman – white, affluent, and heterosexual – ignoring the fact that there are many different kinds of mothers of all backgrounds, sexualities, and economic statuses – which can make those who are not reflected as the “average” mother, feel inadequate. The authors further argue that these messages that working mothers are harming their children are what discourage women from economic participation and achievement and can have a negative impact on a mother’s perception of herself - which in turn can affect her performance as a parent. It seems that the
Mothers are very passionate about their choice to work or stay at home with their children. This is a heated debate about what is best for children and who is the better mother. Just in the last generation more mothers are choosing to work, which is also sparking some conflict in families where grandparents felt it was important to stay at home with their children. This paper compares and contrasts both sides of working and being a stay at home mother. While there is no right or wrong answer to the work and family dilemma, it’s important to understand both sides.