Battles of Motherhood Change and Continue

Traditional motherhood always seemed stable; however, it has changed a great deal.  In the 1950s it became possible for working women to stay at home with their children.  Since then, motherhood changed markedly and has become more complex.  Twenty-first century women are more likely to be single moms and to live in blended families with kids being shared across family units.  

Moms today also are likely to be older when they have their children and are having fewer children than their predecessors.  For contemporary moms to be employed outside the home there is an assumption of shared responsibility for kids and housework between moms and dads. 

A romanticized sense of motherhood has adjusted to accept that women may be employed outside the home and even may cohabit without marriage.  The more universal thinking, fed by the media today, would be marked discrepancies of the expectations of motherhood versus the experiences of mothering. 

Face it folks, over several decades families and motherhood has changed.  Kids are of prime importance to us.  Psychologically, the accepted wisdom of good and bad parenting is stronger today than ever.  Our expectations for our children and how we love our kids are ideas that have become the most controversial of issues in motherhood.  Do you worship at the temple of your child?

Working mothers cannot tolerate stay at home mothers.  Older ones think their younger versions are too overindulgent.  Those who select to not have kids are combative of those who have several children.  Moms certainly can be each other’s archenemy and needlessly so.  Consequently there’s a battle over motherhood with opposite sides criticizing the other.  Imagine being asked is that all you do, referring to stay at home mothers.  Makes you feel unworthy, broken and guilty doesn’t it?   

I have friends who daily feel the pangs of guilt when leaving their children to go to work.  Trying to fulfill their obligations, provide the “best” for their children while maintaining some sense of worth of themselves.  Often life, like a battlefield, can be pure Hell.  Moms want it all – the brass ring – though currently few mothers ever achieve such rapture. 

Why are we doing this to one another and to ourselves?  Do we aspire to such unreachable goals that we as a society actually are unable to cope?  Truth is today few families can survive without both parents earning a living. 

As author Kate Figes points out, “It’s partially because we are educated high-achievers.  Many women have given up highly paid jobs to look after their children, and so their child becomes their job.  If that child is successful, if the mother is deemed as doing a ‘good job’, then all of her frustration at giving up the power she held in a previous life is worth it.  If, however, her child turns out to be not very bright (according to her) or lacking in social skills, then her fragile confidence will be shattered.”  

Perhaps we forget about the most important part of being a mother:  the children and our love for them! 





What Will You Do To Help?

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t recycle.  What has it been – over two decades since the three Rs came to stand for reduce, reuse and recycle?  Why are we still producing way too much personal waste?    

Many homeowners are still reluctant to take the extra time and effort to separate and sort their recyclables. Yet waste recycling is so important to reduce waste and save landfill space. We also can reduce the earth’s environmental damage and create a greener, more sustainable lifestyle for us, our children and our children’s children.  How important to you is that?  Imagine your kids and grandkids telling others that YOU were responsible for teaching them one of the most important things on earth – about earth.   

Did you know that recycling:

  • Saves Energy – recycle one aluminum can and save the electricity it takes to run a television for three hours.
  • Conserves Natural Resources – Recycling a three foot stack of newspaper produces as much paper pulp as a 40 foot pine tree.                                                                                               Bottles and jars can be used to replace high grade sand, soda ash, limestone and feldspar in making new bottles.   Making glass from recycled materials cuts water pollution by 50%.
  • Improves the Environment – Pollutants from manufacturing processes are reduced through recycling: 50% for paper and 90% for aluminum.
  • Strengthens our Economy – Reclaiming resources from our waste puts money back into the local economy and can provide many jobs in the recycling industry.


Here’s why we need to implement and use recycling methods:

  • Every three months Americans throw away enough aluminum foil to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet.
  • Americans throw enough office paper away each year to build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to Seattle.
  • Only about 6.8% of the total plastic used in the U.S. actually can be recycled.

In Florida, of the 11 most populous counties, Pinellas County is the only one without a curbside recycling program which will only enhance measures taken to secure recycling works. Pinellas County has dedicated funds that could be used to start a countywide curbside recycling program, yet commissioners seem to be dragging their feet. If you’re a resident of Pinellas County and want to urge your County Commissioners to begin a countywide curbside recycling program click on Pinellas County

Remember that a countywide curbside recycling program could capture an additional 30,000-40,000 tons of materials every year and expand the life of our current landfill by several years.  It’s up to you and me now … what will we do to help?

Do Not Feed or Molest

What would you do if you were face-to-face with a real alligator? Take a moment or two; after all, it’s not every day you’re confronted with a question like this.

Photograph by Joan Pyke

If you can read the sign in the photograph above, it indicates that Florida Law prohibits feeding or molesting alligators.

Not sure I know anyone who would actually want to molest a gator. I’m thinking you’d run in the opposite direction faster than an egg beater on turbo-power. Am I correct? We know alligators are notorious for their bone crushing bites. And an ‘average’ alligator weighs in at 800 pounds and about 13 feet. Although the record in Florida is said to have been 17 feet 5 inches long. Yikes … Oh yeah, and alligators have on average about 75 teeth and live approximately 50 years. So I interpret this to mean that if you come across a gator, especially an old(er) gator then you could be dealing with a frustrated old geyser, so run like hell.  

After living in Florida for 22 years, I’ve seen my share of gators, although never quite face-to-face. However, the sign above stands prominently in the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida. London friends were visiting and my husband and I brought these friends to various local parks to see the sights. Do we WOW ‘em or what? Only the best for our friends we say. 

Photograph by Joan Pyke

Photograph by Joan Pyke

I assure you that this park is lovely with lily pads, boardwalks, and trees, plants, flowering bushes everywhere. Well, we have had a very hard cold winter for Florida and there’s quite a bit of brown leaves and dead tree limbs and shrubs and plants.

Obviously alligators are in the water at the park. And dutifully, park management decided to alert the public in this manner. But, twisted mind that I have at times, I started thinking about this reference to humankind vs the animals, specifically gators. It seems to me we need to notify the gators to not molest the humans and no feeding upon us.

Alright now, I know some of you are aghast amidst the chuckles. Though you realize this is true, right?