The Role Of A Middle Class Mother And Wife

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Donna Stone portrayed the idealized role of a middle class mother and wife in during the late 1950’s in The Donna Reed Show. She was always well dressed and put together. She cooked and cleaned for her family and took care of the children. Flash forward 60 years later and the present day reality of a middle class mother could not be more different. From 1975 to 2009, the labor force rate of mothers with children 18 years old and younger changed from 47.5 percent to 71.6 percent (Bianchi, 2011). The work and family policies, however, have failed to change with the times are still very similar to what they were during the 1950’s (Blades & Rowe-Finkbeiner). This is an issue because with more mothers’ entering the workplace with no…show more content…
It is reported that the average working parent in America misses five to nine days a week due to issues with child care (Impact Brief One). Unfortunately it is difficult to find affordable childcare that fits all of a families needs. One of the biggest stressors and conflicts at home for families comes from trying to finance the necessary childcare. Bianchi explains that for the majority of the working class in the United States, family income is too high to earn government subsidized care, yet not high enough to afford high quality care. For example, full time center care for an infant in a center ranges from $4,863 to $16,430(Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2013 Report). In addition, working mothers also face the issue of the family gap. Studies suggest that having a child decreases wages at ranges of 10% to 15% (Simonsen & Skipper). The wage gap between men and women has decreased over the past few decades, but the wage gap between women with children and women without keeps growing. A reason working mothers experience this family gap is because the United States has not changed it’s family policies regarding maternity leave and childcare. The countries that have developed policies for maternity leave and childcare have been more successful at closing the gender gap as well as the family gap (Waldfogel, 1998). This creates paying for childcare an even bigger burden and issue to solve. The European countries follow completely
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