Motherhood

Ashton Rone

To My future Child

Dear Future Child,


I first want to say that I love you already even though I haven't met you yet. Second, I want to apologize for all the mistakes I will eventually make. I will try so hard to be perfect and try not to mess up, but I have learned in this class that no matter what, mistakes will be made. This does not mean that I will not try my very best to be the one you can always count on to protect you, snuggle with, help with homework, take to soccer practice, wipe your tears, and be your number one supporter. I have learned that being a mother can be a thankless job, but it is also the most wonderful thing in the world.

I will follow past mother’s leads and read countless books and articles on what the best way to raise you is. I will watch Disney movies with you and while you laugh and sing along I will remind you that your mother will never be like one of those evil step moms. When you become a teenager and start to get frustrated with me, we will watch mother/daughter coming of age movies to remind each other that there is a reason to my (eventual) crazy methodologies. I can already here my own mothers’ words come out of my mouth and you aren’t even born yet. I can say all of this with honesty because this class has taught me that as much as my mother drove me crazy growing up, she did have a good intention and only wanted the best for me. This will be true to you one day as well.


With all my love,


Your future mother

Novels

I read The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty which is the story of an eighteen year old girl just days away from graduation, accidently hits and kills a class mate with her care at a crosswalk. This causes her mother, Leigh, to reevaluate her own life (and mother) on what the best way is to help her daughter. The book's message is that mothers mess up when they are usually trying their best and sometimes to be a better mother you need to listen to what your daughter wants, not just want to you want. This book also teaches mothers not to be so hard on yourself for the mistakes you make.
Laura Moriarty Talks The Rest Of Her Life

Movies

Before this class I had never really thought about how moms were portrayed in movies, they were just there. That is part of the problem, because a lot of moves do not portray mothers in a correct light or even at all. If they were absent, than there was an evil step-mother or someone else to take the place. Also mothers were usually portrayed as crazy and screwing up their kids or just plain ditzy. I watched the movie, Psycho, where the mother was so crazy attached to her son that it made him kill her and others out of jealousy. It also caused his mental illness of split personalities (one his, one his mother) and even going as far as dressing like her and preserving her dead body. This mother was obviously over the top crazy, but it can still give the wrong ideas about mothers.

Psycho (12/12) Movie CLIP - She Wouldn't Even Harm a Fly (1960) HD

Television

When I think about moms in television I always first think about Carol Brady from, The Brady Bunch, because she seemed to be the perfect mother. Always put together, loving, smart, and seems to be raising near perfect kids. While most mothers wish they were Carol Brady, they are usually a Claire, Gloria, Ann, Leslie, or Bow who will in their respective shows try to be good mothers, they sometimes mess up or spill dinner on themselves accidently. They are realistic because they aren’t perfect and yet they still try to do what is best for their kids. This also shows children and teens watching the shows that mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean they love them any less.

News

My parents love to say, “You need a license to drive a car, so you should need one to have a child.” After some of the mothers in the news I am starting to believe that that is true. One of my articles was about how a mother left her children in a hotel to crash a stranger’s birthday party and get high, while two teenagers were the “adults” and took care of the children and called the police. Not all of the stories were like this, many there was definitely more negative articles about mothers in the news than positive. When the articles weren’t about negligent mothers, it was about maternity leave and mothers having to balance motherhood and worked. Even when the women did nothing wrong, like needing legal and necessary maternity leave, they are still viewed as doing something wrong. Mothers are scrutinized for every little detail in the news and yet we do not see the same thing about fathers. In other words, there is a huge double standard for mothers in the news still.

Advertising

Most off the advertising that I saw that was geared towards mom usually had to do with cleaning and children. Some were innocent and cute, like the Nyquil commercial that says how moms don't take a sick day, but others were definitely offensive and seemed like men made them or were very stereotypical. A lot of the mothers didn’t pay much mind to the ads, but still wished that that they were more progressive. Even though the ads still have a long way to go to show mother more than cook and a cleaner, the ads have gotten better with each decade in being less offensive.

TV Commercial Spot - Cold & Flu Relief - Moms Don't Take Sick Days

Magazines

For the magazine project I studied the year 1975 in Redbook Magazine. It was amazing to see how most of the articles had to do with, again, cooking and cleaning. Health was also a huge part of a women's magazine. There were recipes for women to eat only 1,196 calories for the day and magical work out plans that can make you lose 20 pounds in only 14 days. In other words, very unrealistic expectations on food and exercise. In addition there were plenty of ads for makeup and slimming cigarettes to continue in enhancing a women's beauty. When the articles weren't about health and child raising there were lots of short stories in the magazine to entertain the housewives who did not have much entertainment when their husband is at work and the children are at school.

The Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedman wrote, The Feminine Mystique, to examined “the problem that has no name”. She interviewed housewives during the 1950's on what their experiences of being a housewife and mother were like. She found that a lot of them were depressed and tired all of the time because there was nothing to challenge them intellectually. Most women did not have a car, so they were stuck at home all day. This made them want to have more children, because once the kids went to school, the mother's did not feel like they had a purpose. This problem "had no name" because no one wanted to admit that they were unhappy with their life, even if it seemed "perfect". It was also hard for women because they felt they had to get married, because women back then couldn't have a bank account or own land with out her husbands permission. Women were seen to cook, clean, take care of her husband and kids, but really did not have an identity anywhere else.

Disney

When I think of mothers in Disney movies I automatically think of the evil step-mother in Cinderella. It really wasn't until this class that the reason I cannot name 5 mothers in Disney film is because just about half the time they are absent from the film. When they are featured in a Disney film they are usually portrayed as the primary caregiver or supporter (sometimes both). When the actual mother is not in the film, then there is usually a mother like figure such as Mary Poppins or Wendy in Peter Pan. Two reasons that we learned why mothers might be missing from Disney movies is that children develop more without a mother and to protect mothers from getting a bad reputation. For now mothers in Disney movies are either not represented or are present, but have no background story.
Disney Mothers - A Mother's Love

Children and Teens

In children's books mothers are usually not in the story line, but when they are there the mother or mother figure is the stereotypical perfect mother who loves to cook, clean, sew, and make the children's lives perfect. Children' books usually do not show working mothers or mixed families which is what most children grow up with. As for teens the mother in movies and television shows are either seen as protective, caring, messed up, ditzy, or evil. While there is more negativity about mothers in teen movies and television shows than in children's books, at least more mothers are shown and a lot of them can be viewed realistically.

Surveys

Getting to survey mothers was really interesting because some of the answers were different from what I thought they would say. A lot of them wished that they could either stay at home permanently or only work part-time as their kids grew up. They also said stuff in regards to motherhood like, feeling guilty for their mistakes, time goes by fast, cherish each moment with your kid, you will never get enough sleep again, and finally your child will never love you as much as you love them. These things were really insightful, especially the last comment, because I know for a fact that I did not thank my mother or appreciate her as much as I should. These surveys also gave me advice and hope oh handle being a mother when I become one someday.

Music

I, like most people, love to listen to music. When I heard Carrie Underwood's Don't Forget To Remember Me, it made me tear up because it reminded me of my family and so wanting to leave home, but then missing my mother once I was on my own. Music has such a powerful effect on us and can resonate with many emotions. I thought it was hilarious that more people bought flowers hen there is romance music playing, as opposed to pop or no music, but I guess it ties back to what I said about music enhancing how we see life.
Carrie Underwood - Don't Forget To Remember Me