Nancy Landez

Previously to this class I had taken another course over motherhood that I absolutely loved so I was very excited to take this course. As a hopeful future OBGYN I am very interested in motherhood from the very beginning stages of pregnancy through childbirth, and in women's lives as adults. Many moms are so stressed and live such hectic lives that they forget who they are and to take time for themselves which can be detrimental to themselves. I enjoyed this class because it reminded me just how broadly our society views mothers. Although I am concerned about moms and their health, that is not the general point of interest for most people.

I also found this class interesting because it made me evaluate how I want to be as a mother in the future. In my generation I find that I am in a tug of war between the traditional household I grew up in and would like to replicate and the more modern or liberal views that I have developed as an individual (especially given my women's studies major courses). This class has reminded me that I can't be perfect but that I can make it work, despite my intense career goals.

Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan's novel had an enormous impact on women of the 60's and every women since then. Her radical idea that women were unhappy in the home and needed to spend time outside of it with a career totally flipped around the structure of family life and the role of mothers within that. After this book was published, the advent of 2nd wave feminism flourished as women hailed this book as a sort of feminist bible. Women, especially mothers, should read this book to learn about the new era of the modern family. In this world, mothers are much more satisfied with their lives in every aspect. They share responsibilities more evenly with their spouses to balance their work and home life, although there is much more progress that can be made.


We interviewed moms from many different backgrounds and classes. They embodied a wide age group (although most seemed to be from the generation above us, our own mothers). In general, the results that we received reflected this wide range, especially in the first survey. These results demonstrated to me that motherhood is not the same for any single parent. Depending on where they came from, their own parents, their education level and their parenting choices, each mom proved to be completely unique in her answers.

moms in the news

The news articles shown in class covered a wide range of different mothers from good to bad, funny to sad, and everywhere in between. I think the most powerful part of this part of the class was seeing how so many people perceive these moms. Reading an article alone at home is much different than in a classroom full of people. Often times, my peers would have similar reactions to one article but then the next one, we would all have different interpretations and opinions. This once again, shows how diverse motherhood is and how one mother can be viewed in so many different ways.

moms in magazines

Parents' Magazine - 1935

Life was much different in the 30's for mothers and families. Society was still very much a patriarchy; the man ruled the house and didn't have time to help at home (especially in such hard economic times). Women did even more at home than they do now because of the lack of technology. Compared to life in the 60's however, women were much more equal, and even encouraged to be independent. This was after the 1st wave of feminism so women were testing their new found freedom and respect. Although mothers did all the work at home, it was not unusual to find homes in which mothers were also active outside in the community or at a small job.

moms in novels - the joy luck club

All of the novels presented showed once again how diverse motherhood is viewed in society. Even in my own book, each mother is regarded in different ways, despite their similar backgrounds and lifestyles. In every family there is a common thread to their story and hardships. All the mothers grew up with an absent mother or were separated from them and all had experienced or observed a tragic, failed marriage before they fled their home and country for America. All of their daughters grew up heavily influenced by American culture, and mistook their mothers’ protection and pride for overbearing and unrealistic expectations. The difference between cultures created a rift that was not resolved until all the daughters were grown women. Each mother and daughter learned how to appreciate each other in their own way.
I think this song, when you really listen to it, is an emotionally evoking portrayal of how motherhood can truly be. In context, this is a song sung by the mother of the bride as her daughter is getting ready for her wedding. It is even more than that, it is a reflection of their memories together and how time has flown by so fast. In this song, it is so clear how proud of her daughter she is. I think this is such a touching song because every mom at some point has to say goodbye to their child and they can't help but reminisce on all of the blissfully happy moments they've shared together.

disney moms

Disney lacks biological mothers in many of their movies, but that does not mean they are lacking in mother figures. In many movies, there is a secondary character or a father who protects and guides the hero or heroine throughout the story. I think that watching Disney movies is an ideal way for a mother to introduce the concept that not all families are perfect little nucleic units of a mom, dad and 2 kids. Disney shows how families can be unorthodox, but still be stable and loving. I think this is very important to teach kids in modern society and is especially important for kids who are raised in nontraditional homes.

mothers in movies

Steel Magnolias - The Mother as the Protector

In all of the movies we watched there are different types of moms portrayed, from almost too perfect to be real to absolutely horrendous moms. M’Lynn Eatenton and her daughter, Shelby, have a very loving relationship in the movie Steel Magnolias, albeit Shelby’s resistance to her mother’s tendency to be a bit over-nurturing. Shelby is fragile due to her diabetic condition, and her mother is never able to let go of her little girl. She is always making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for her daughter from the very beginning of the film.When M’Lynn loses her daughter, she loses her precious baby that she has always protected. She is an example of a loving, nurturing and caring mother.

moms on tv

Families were evolving in the 90's as more women stepped away from the norm. Ellen DeGeneres's sitcom TV series was the first to star a lesbian lead (in real life and as a character on the show). Sabrina the Teenage Witch shows how a loving family doesn't have to include a mother, her two aunts shower her with more wisdom and guidance than any mom. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's mom shows us how acceptance is key, especially when your daughter's "calling" is unconventional and dangerous. Home Improvement and Friends are realistic examples of how many family dynamics actually are in childhood and adulthood. Life sometimes gets crazy and messy and parents play favorites, but it doesn't mean they don't love their kids.

mothers, teens and children

In children's books, there is often a mother missing, mostly because the stories are so short there isn't time to fit one in there. If there is a mom, the message is almost always "I love you so much" or includes some sort of life lesson for behavior or how to take care of themselves.

In teen fiction, moms are portrayed in a variety of ways, and almost every one is flawed in some sort of way. In contrast to children's books and movies where moms are nearly perfect and there is little conflict, many of these moms are portrayed more realistically. This aligns with the thought that the teenage years are when kids start to see their parents for who they are as imperfect humans, like anyone else.

moms in advertisements

Electrolux Commercial starring Kelly Ripa
Kelly Ripa Electrolux "Juggle" Commercial
Electrolux Built-in Kitchen Appliances - Kelly Ripa Commercial
Often, advertisements use mothers to entice real moms into buying their products or services, especially for household products. In addition to this concept, celebrity moms, such as Kelly Ripa in the ads above, are often used as "real life endorsements." Although having these celebrities and shiny new appliances may look ideal and make us consider buying, we're always aware of how unrealistic they are. No real mom does the laundry, dishes, cooks or cleans in full hair and makeup, nice clothes with a smile on her face. In theory, its nice but we as a society learn to be wary of these expectations.