The role of mother has changed over time. The book of Proverbs describes what a mother should be – a virtuous woman who loves, teaches, guides, disciplines and gives her children the tools to get through life. She should be an example to her children.
In Victorian times, mothers were the epitome of virtue. Queen Victoria was the mother of nine children. In truth she didn’t like being pregnant, but felt it was something she must endure as a woman. She also had a whole staff to take care of her and her nine rascals.
In the 1920s there was a shift in thinking. Women felt trapped in their way of life. The suffragette movement was underway. Women’s rights were at the forefront. The confines of the home became a prison to many and they wanted their freedom. That meant finding jobs outside the home and trying to maintain the house as well.
In the 1950s the stay at home mom was often revered as a saint. The ideal mother of that time would rise at 5:00 AM, put on her makeup, fix her hair, and don a sweet little frock called a housedress. She would bake, clean, scrub toilets, do the laundry, make lunches for her children to take to school. She baked cookies and had a plate of them waiting along with a glass of milk when they arrived home from school. She volunteered at all her children’s events. She was the one everyone looked up to, because being a mother in itself was enough. June Cleaver and Mrs. Father Knows Best were the examples of the day.
Today, mothers are expected to do all of the above. The battles for equality continue, but today women are given the right to choose when and if they have children. They can opt out of a pregnancy if they wish. They can work in jobs alongside men and are equally qualified, but not equally paid, but they’re working on that too. They can hire people to care for their children – teach them manners – teach them how to dance, speak, perform, do sports and anything else that will occupy their time. In some cases women are becoming totally independent of men. In some cases we don’t even know who the women are anymore – but I digress.
The stay at home mother is making a comeback as children are being home schooled, but gender roles are also changing, so often the job of staying at home is relegated to the father. Still, the working mother has many more tasks than moms of old. Not only do they fill the requirements of their employment, but they also do the work of a virtuous woman at home. The work load is twice as hard because of the need for two incomes to support a family.
In any time period, moms are often under rated, over worked, often exhausted, under appreciated and many times taken for granted. She will be called upon to don the cape every day for the rest of her life. She will be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, do the laundry, help pay the bills, have a little time to spend on herself (usually at sleep)and smile through adversity.
The point is, moms are super. They love, they endure, they don’t give up, they search endlessly for the missing socks. They cook, clean, prepare meals, hug and love their children. They pray for them, worry about them, trust that God will direct them and swell with pride over their accomplishments. They feel guilty when the sink is full of dirty dishes or if they treat themselves to Starbucks occasionally. They cry at the end of a busy day. Often they just cry at the end of every day and wonder how they will get through the next. They put on the cape. They lace up the boots. They wear the spandex. They are Super Moms.