Normal Mother as outlined in media
• middle class
Mothering vs. Motherhood
1976 – Rich’s Distinction:
Mothering – Practice of raising children. Not inherently oppressive.
Motherhood – A culturally influenced variable that controls mothering itself, in
regards to how, when, etc. it takes place.
Invention of Motherhood – Agriculture to Urbanization
Role of Mothers
Agricultu - No expectation of mother work.
- Children were seen as evil devils etc., needing to be transformed
- Children generally grew up by themselves, to carry on family name
and generate more money.
Urbanize - Children are born innocent, and are influenced to act badly due to
d external forces such as the media.
- The best caregiver is the mother.
1700’s Wet nursing – children were given to other females to be breast fed out of economic
necessity. The family mother could not devote time to breast feed child when she
had other responsibilities around the home. Normally were sent for about 1-2
years; however few came back because of starvation and malnutrition.
Swaddling – Hanging baby in tree to ensure the baby is safe, while allowing the
mother to continue her work outside. Origins of the nursery rhyme “Rock a bye
Leaving child for 5 minutes is the definition of a “bad” parent, thus, a child requires
Therefore, with the progression to urbanization, the role of a mother, as society
depicts it, became more focused on her children.
1900’s Transition to Public Sphere
- Families needed to purchase, rather than produce their necessities.
Role of Mother
Middle Mothers were not accepted in white collar jobs because of both rights (edu.
Class Legal etc.) Being denied and an underlying patriarchal ideology that