Surviving Motherhood

The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent. Erich Fromm

What can anyone really say about motherhood?   It's a job that begins before the child is even born and it never ends, no matter how "grown up" a child may think he or she is.  Though the joys that come with being a mother can be infinitely rewarding, the responsibilities involved are often emotionally draining as well.   While fathers may take on many of the tasks associated with being a parent,   mothers are most likely to be the primary caregivers for their children, especially for the first few years of life.  

And it doesn't matter how well-educated or well-off these mothers are, the burden involved can be overwhelming at times.   Survey studies show that the number of hours spent in child rearing activities has risen from 12 to 20.5 hours a week for college-educated mothers between 1993 and 2008.   For mothers without a college education, the numbers are similar (10.5 to 16 hours per week).  For fathers, on the other hand, average hours per week spent on childcare only rose from 4.2 to 9.7 hours over the same period. 

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.

 

 

           

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