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An opinion on the pressure put on mothers by analyzing the expectations placed on them

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What Moms Really Do

I recall that sunny day when there was a slight breeze making the temperature at a sublime seventy degrees, it would have been the perfect day if only I hadn’t found out that my Mother was told she had rheumatoid arthritis. This was the most devastating to my whole family’s structure, my Mother was our foundation, and now because of her diagnostic, she would not be able to perform all the duties she had previously done. This was a very big wake up call to my family, and how much we really depended on our mom for so many things that we took for granted. Some of the duties my mom did on a daily basis when we were younger were; waking us up, making us breakfast, getting us ready for school, packing lunches, cleaning the whole house, doing laundry, water the plants, feed our dog, walk our dog, pay bills, go grocery shopping, help us with homework, make dinner, get us ready for bed, tuck us in, then finally she had a moment of rest to relax before going to bed(552). I believe being a mother is just like having a full-time job, it’s just as much work if not more exhausting and you never once get a day off.

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In Judy Brady’s “I Want a Wife” essay she unveils the truth about the unrealistic duties that wives and mothers are supposed to complete with ease. This essay makes fun at the ridiculous standards and duties, that a wife and mother are to perform while remaining sane. I admit that when I was younger I was not aware of how messy or inconsiderate I might have been but to realize now that my mother did not complain once about taking care of such things. A wife is supposed to put her needs on the backburner “ ..who will work and send” [her husband] “…to school” take care of the children while also picking up after both, her spouse and children(552). My Dad did do some of the house duties to help my mom out with taking care of three children all under the age of three, but he did mostly work in order to support our family financially. I feel like one of the main flaws in our family’s dynamic before my mom got ill, was lack of teamwork in household duties helping my mom, to prevent her from getting overworked and stressed. I mean of course we did chores and cleaned our rooms but yet somehow I wonder if maybe I would have been more aware or helpful to how many things my mom really had to do, then I could have maybe prevented my mom from getting RA. According to Wienclaw, Ruth A. article “Gender and Domestic Responsibilities” it is proven “…that the equal sharing of domestic responsibilities (including both childcare and housework) can significantly increase the psychological health of both mothers and fathers”(Para 5). I completely agree that sharing duties helps both spouses because in a way it shows support and lets them know that they are in this together. Many times my Father tried to help my Mother but she herself would never know her limits. As a result, she ended up getting RA is because of it, she would never ever admit that she needed help with anything at all no matter if she was exhausted or helpless. My mom would be handling all the household duties all by herself, and when I would come home from school I could see how truly worn down she was In her eyes but she never once asked for help.

My Mother had a very hard trying time when the doctor told her she had to slow down or her condition would get dramatically worse. For the first couple weeks, she would often feel like she wasn’t being a proper wife or mom, just because she had to relax and wasn’t constantly cleaning or making sure we had packed lunches and so forth. My mom didn’t know how to adapt to being taken care of herself by others because she always took care of us when we were sick. She began developing this “guilt when [she]… [could not] take on all the domestic responsibilities involved in childcare and housework” it is said by Wienclaw’s article “Gender and Domestic Responsibilities.” My mom told me one day that she felt more like a burden than a mother, she longed to return to the state of health she once had when she first became a mother. The idea that a woman’s identity and personality is defined by how they raise a family, how clean their house is too much pressure. How we clean our house should never represent who we how does that even remotely reflect our personalities. Because of this, it makes women feel as if they have no other purpose. And that they exist primarily to care and clean after their spouses, and children and do all the work, while not bugging their husbands “…with rambling complaints about [their] duties” as wives, as said in “ I Want a Wife “(552).

My sisters and I decided to show our Mom that our family was going to be alright and stronger in the end.We began working together splitting the responsibilities among ourselves, to make it manageable and less stressful for everyone. My Father soon began helping reshape the dynamics of our family by having weekly chore charts, meal plans, and fun activities to bond with one another. Our family began to rebuild its foundation, we soon all grew together to build up our foundation to support and love and encourage one another. We all did our best to make our mom know that she still was taking care of us and doing everything that she could possibly do. And as we progressed and grew as a family the faster my Mother started to heal the closer we have become. I believe as a result of my mom’s illness we have become a better family at sharing the duties of cleaning, planning vacations, making dinners, setting appointments as well as just working together. At first, we were broken but slowly and surely we are coming back together the way we used to be but even more unified. It has made us a stronger family in many ways, it helps my mom not be stretched so thin but rather that we all are a little bit of the foundation of our family. This event in my life has made me a better more compassionate individual. In order for a family to be truly healthy and stable they must lift one another up to give them a sense of support and belonging. My mother soon realized that it is okay to admit that you need help in doing tasks and taking care of things, and since then she has grown to be okay with not being able to do as much as she once did. She now enjoys relaxing more and worrying less.

Our family has grown into a more modern time, less traditional that is an exceptional step in the right direction towards the right kind of family dynamic and of course no family will ever be perfect but that is alright we should embrace our flaws and work together to form a better understanding of our relationships with each other. It is very important to have a positive change in society, and what it views as gender roles or responsibilities because of one’s gender or so-called title such as; mother, wife, it should be a team effort in each task rather than forcing it onto one individual. Gradually society is moving towards a more open less constricting roles for every kind of gender, so no one will feel overwhelmed or limited to their opportunities because of their gender. I know since this whole experience I have now a new founded kind of gratitude for all Mother,Wives of all kind and what they really do for the dynamics of their families.

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