Happy Monday morning! Mmmm, my coffee is brewing, checking emails, working on my to-do list. I hope you had a restful weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead.
About a year ago I read "The Help" for Book Club. It was a quick easy read and very thought provoking. I finally saw the movie this weekend and really enjoyed it. It got me thinking about the difference in social norms and culture back then, along with the role of women as wives and mothers.
The stay-at-home mom..
.. the look of the day..
..and the working woman (oh goodness, how might I help here?)
Was life simple for women back then? They seemed to have clearly defined roles and few choices in their life path. Fast forward 60 years, the modern Mom has a much more complex life. She can do it all if she wants to and she is great at multitasking, right? A typical Mom today might assume role as primary care-taker of the kids, manage the house chores, plan meals, and then moments later - take off her track shoes and put on her heels, heading out the door for a long day at the office.
I felt curious watching the cast of characters in this movie. What if I were a young Mom back then? What would my life have been like?
What was a woman like back in the 50's? I could see parts of my Mother in this movie and memories returned as I recall her saying ".. I didn't nurse you because I was told it wasn't necessary and Moms had more important things to do.." As my Mother observed me raising my own daughter, she heard me say " you are my little princess and I love you so much... you can do it, follow your heart, (and during the awkward years) look how pretty your are!" My Mother would say "it will be interesting to see how your daughter grows up .. you do things differently .. why do you call her your little princess and tell her she is beautiful? I never said those kinds of things to you because I was told that would make you think too highly of yourself.." There is no doubt that Mother's loved their children back then - things were different.
My Father was born in the South and I have four cousins (Paula, Pam, Patty, Penny) and an Aunt that still reside there. When my son was an infant (almost 20 yrs ago) we traveled there to visit my ailing Grandmother. The culture at that time was reminiscent of the 50's scenario that I saw in the movie, and I recall having several uncomfortable moments. My cousins found it a-bit "old fashioned" that I nursed my child and the men were terribly uncomfortable with the thought of it. Thus I got in the habit of nursing in private where no one might get a glimpse of this odd and mildly exhibitionist behavior. One afternoon we enjoyed a ladies lunch HERE and I was escorted by "the help" to a private room when my son needed attention. I was cared for by a kind old woman whose face and loving kindness I will never forget.
It's safe to say we have evolved as wives and mothers. My daughter is a much different young woman than I was at her age and I certainly have no regrets about telling her that she was a beautiful little princess.