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How family roles have changed by Tina Y. Gerber

So much has changed since I was a kid. The structure of families has changed, both in city life and traditional rural communities. Extended families have been disrupted because grandparents have moved away or now continue to work after retirement. And before the pandemic, there have progressively been increased opportunities for women in the workforce, in educational opportunities and equal rights have arrived!

The roles while growing up were overwhelmingly traditional; mothers staying home, fathers expected to work to provide for their families. Today, the roles of women confined to ‘Homemakers’ has become a thing of the past while Fathers are now encouraged to be ‘At Home Dads’.

When we got married, my husband was already retired, so we agreed I would continue to work outside the home. He would become the ‘Homemaker’ and me ‘The Breadwinner’. Communication about each other’s expectations within any relationship is definitely the key to get clear on what’s expected. It is about our partnership and contribution to the household, in general. Truth be told, I dislike the responsibility of being ‘The Breadwinner’.

Divorce, single-parent families and latchkey families are all too common. In this day and age, a woman’s choice to stay home or go out to work, is rarely a choice. Neither is easy, and no one should judge or attack the choices couples make, as long as the best interests and needs of the children are being met. Watching children is time-consuming and a nonstop job. For some women, staying at home would be a nightmare, they are happier working outside of the home. I think women and mothers should focus on overall happiness, and shouldn’t be afraid to admit they want to stay home or work outside the home.

I decided to go back to school and complete Early Childhood Education, at Durham College so I could run a home daycare. This allowed us a family routine, (perhaps a little boring at times, but we were able to visit parks, museums, and beaches) and I didn’t have to worry about getting called into work, or about staying late at the office. Being an at home Mom allowed me to keep my household running smoothly and complete errands, while taking care of the children and having a little added income.

Ultimately, you have to decide if the day-to-day activities are right for you and your family. The Bible talks about, when a woman believes she can fulfil her obligations in the home while working outside the home, then she has liberty in Christ to do it. Is it better for Moms to stay at home? I don’t pretend to have the definitive answers to that question, or to know God’s will for other women. However, I am so grateful God made that possible for myself and our family. I loved that period in my life.

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