On the heels of Mother’s day, I want to dedicate this post to my mom and the mother clan in general.
I’m in awe of what my mother can accomplish in a day. Growing up, and even now, my mom can accomplish more in a 24 hour day than I can in a week. As a latchkey 🔑 kid, my mom worked two jobs, cooked, cleaned and showed me so much, love. Now did she sit with me to do homework, or play board games? not that I could remember… but does that matter to me now? No. My mom was present and that was all I needed looking back now.
That was her
I hear a lot of older women commenting that “they don’t make women like they used to” and honestly it’s very true. Generation after generation things have evolved. In turn, expectations have changed. For the most part, women of years past had jobs, not many had careers and the pressures to be equal to a man or surpass a man’s accomplishments weren’t as prevalent as they are today. Societies expectations and assumptions back then were simply different.
My mom had barely an elementary school education until I was in my teens when she returned back to school to attain her GED, however to me, she was the smartest woman I knew. All she knew was hard work. Her work ethic was and still is unmatched by most. Growing up I didn’t feel underprivileged, anything I needed or wanted I was granted. I didn’t feel the struggle, even if she was going through the struggle. Toys, bikes, cabbage patch dolls… I had them all, I was “spoiled”. Not until later did I understand that my mom worked two jobs AND also received public assistance (there were ways around the system) and she did what was necessary). Thank you, Mom! Words will never be able to articulate the appreciation I have for you and all the adversities you overcame to raise us.
However, I’m a different woman and mom
I like to believe I’ve inherited her heart, passion and model her work ethic traits, but again I’m not the same. I’m a different woman, growing up in a new Era. The pressures are variant, the “expectations” are incomparable. I work hard, but differently. I spend 9-10 hours days tackling business problems, working through challenging assignments and competing for advancement. I’m forced to think differently and be as efficient as possible to then commute home to toddlers that want my attention the second I step foot in the door. And while I’m blessed to have a warmed cooked meal at home because my mom is also our nanny, I still start my second shift having other things that are important jobs too. I manage our home financials, the families appointments, sports activities, social calendar, home necessities and I clean. And while I may not physically do all the manual work alone, I ensure It gets done. Let’s also not forget the stress to ensure our children are raised to be tiny geniuses, all-star athletes and sleep through the night in their own bed *rolls eyes*.. Pressures I feel didn’t exist 20 years ago. Whatever happened to just caring that our children were polite to elders and you didn’t knock your kid across the head for talking back. New age pressures or better first world problems. 🙂
Traditional Vs. Modern
In years past a woman’s “place” was in the home. Caring for her house, her children and husband. If a woman had the opportunity to work, she additionally undertook the household duties because the concept of equality in the home was never discussed. It was HER place and she did it all and no sympathy was shared. Today, most households have an equal share of responsibility; It’s acceptable for a man to cook meals, do dishes, and bathe the children before bed. I believe it’s partly new generational perspective but also, men are more aware that women are tired, she’s been at work all day too, so we need to share the burden of our household. Having your partner help you, doesn’t make you less of a woman, it doesn’t make you inferior in any way. And Hella Kudos to the women that DON’T have a partner and do it all alone.
As we continue in this journey as women and mothers of this generation, we also have to respect and give tribute to yesterday’s generation. Neither is superior to the other. They prevailed in our society as best they could then, as we do now, and will try to do so in the future. Cease judgment, and self- doubt. You may never be like your mother and that is absolutely acceptable. So next time Abuela or Tia Maria claims, “they don’t make women like they used to” simply smirk and think to yourself ” Yep, and that’s totally ok!”