Thank You Moms, We Love You, Happy Mother’s Day!
About three decades ago it might have still been relevant to discuss the changing roles of motherhood as women were already fully immersed in the jobs sector, but issues like childcare (still then primarily left to mothers) and domestic upkeeping like cooking and cleaning (also still left to mothers) were still in transition from traditional roles to the modern role of moms we see today.
But the modern mom of our time isn’t just the 1) career mom or the 2) stay-at-home mom or a 3) hybrid of the two. It could be all of them, or one of them at different times in a mother’s lifetime. It’s fluid and perfectly accepted in society. For better or worse, this is why the “changing roles” of motherhood isn’t as fitting to talk about today as more appropriately the “multiple” roles of what motherhood already is.
And childcare and home upkeeping – that once rested mostly on mothers even as they’ve worked and had their own careers — are shared endeavors. Most millennial dads and moms have this sense of fully equal responsibility in coparenting, especially for working moms.
Again, this is not to say “traditional” moms are outdated or frowned upon. The point is motherhood is so diverse and women will choose the role they feel fit at any given time. Now that is empowerment; and clearly something for the better.
The impact of this diversity in coparenting has yet to be fully understood and will be explored further by social scientists who will be looking at Generation Z (demographic of ages 6-24) to see how parenting today has had an influence on what they value, as well as their attitude and perspectives in life.
What do we know of Generation Z or Centennials and the possible influence motherhood has had on them?
First it should be acknowledged as baseline that our parents, both our mom and dad still remain the biggest influencer in a child’s life. That said, clearly there are other influences besides motherhood and fatherhood that shape a child or generation.
What do we know about Gen Z? According to Pew Research Center, this generation is more accepting and open-minded than any generation before it. For example, a majority of Gen Z supports social movements such as Black Lives Matter, transgender rights, and feminism. Besides equal co-parenting, this could also be strongly influenced by the fact that almost half of Gen Zs are minorities.
It’s also reasonable to deduce that Gen Z’s openness and diversity could be a result of the modern roles of parenting, of both motherhood and fatherhood having evolved into such diversity relative to the past.
As for negative aspects, we can perhaps make a correlation between overall less parenting to a further breaking down of communication between children and parents, as well as for children to be overly crutched to distractions. For example, Generation X (demographic ages 39-59), we see for a first time children who were raised with both parents working. Gen X is the latchkey generation, the term referring to when children got home from school, they were left on their own until their parents returned. They were the TV kids generation.
Today’s Gen Z kids take that latchkey practice beyond the few hours that Gen X were left alone before their parents got home. According to Genguru.com, Gen Z on average spend around 11 hours per week on their mobile phone, more than any other generation to date.
Even more shocking, more than a quarter of Gen Z use their phones for more than 10 hours per day, while almost a third stay up past midnight each night on their mobile device.
Again, not all behaviors are a result of parenting or the lack of it. Social mores and today’s heavy tech-society is evidently contributing factors to excessive phone use, not to mention phones have become so high powered that they could do much of what previous generations would spend time doing on their computers.
Thankful to our moms
Still, the fundamentals of motherhood remains. Our mother carried us in her womb. She nurtured us into adulthood. She was our first love, our first friend and our biggest advocate for most of our life. She, along with our father, put the food on our table, clothes on our back and paid for our education, which formerly was the primary role of our father.
Our mother, mostly due to biology, is also still the more sensitive and understanding of parents, the one who we’d usually turn to for emotional support.
Our mothers also is the parent with that maternal intuition that could sense when something is amiss, would probe and get what’s bothering us out into the open. In this light, our mothers also are the healers in our family, guiding us to find peace within ourselves and among other members of the family, sibling-to-sibling, father-to-son or daughter.
Our mother is selfless when it comes to her children. She is the real life superhero who will make sacrifices in order for us to be better prepared to lead a functional and successful life.
Be Creative, it’s time spent together is what moms want on Mother’s Day
Given how special moms are, it makes perfect sense that we put more effort to making her special day really something she’d enjoy.
While treating our mothers to lunch or dinner at a restaurant is always a winner (Mother’s Day is the busiest day in the year for the restaurant industry), the real enjoyment there is the time spent together as a family. This holds true particularly when it comes to adult children who no longer live with their mothers.
Knowing this, there are endless activities that would bring mother’s joy on Mother’s Day. Planning an out-of-the-box celebration shows that you’ve put time and effort to make her happy on her special day. That’s already a plus.
So something like an early morning picnic at her favorite beach with her favorite brunch menu items already prepared, and following that up with baking together (ingredients already bought) a cake or desert at her house (or yours) while chatting over coffee or tea could certainly be a treat for moms.
Whatever plans you are thinking of, the trick is to keep everything as a surprise and just coordinate with her the time she will be free. The anticipation itself already builds excitement.
To all our wonderful moms, thank you for all that you do. Happy Mother’s Day!