Traditional and Non-Traditional Motherhood

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Both traditional and non-traditional motherhood generally maintain the same essence of caring for children. The difference may lie in the way motherly duties and functions are dispensed. What remains the same is the love in its purest form that shines through regardless of differing time and situations.

The Traditional Mother

My mother belonged to this category. For the most part of her motherhood, she took the supporting role behind my father. When my siblings and I cannot go straight to our father, she would be the go-between.

While my father was a disciplinarian, she would find ways to go around his rule to "help" us. She was the typical mother who would try to make the consequences of our actions that earned punishments, lighter. While trying to follow my father's decisions, she will always try to convince my father to reconsider. It usually works since behind my father's tough facade is a soft heart that only wants the best for his children.

Traditional mothers were usually dependent on their husbands financially or otherwise. Her presence at home is something constant. Decisions made without prior consultation with the husband are rare. 

The Non-Traditional Mother

Forced by circumstances, I was a single mother when I was raising my eldest child.  I felt I had no choice but to take over and "control" our destiny. It was a long battle with insecurity and fear made lighter by the presence of a child who depended solely on me. I was trying to work while taking care of my child.

In the eyes of my child, I was the heroine and the antagonist rolled into one. For 16 years, the responsibility of two parents fell squarely on my shoulders and I would be hypocrite to say that it was a breeze all the way. By the time my second child came 19 years after my first child, I had to relearn everything I knew. 

Contrary to my mother's style however, I have always been at the forefront with regards to my children's affairs. I needed to remind myself every so often to "stand down" and defer to my husband's decisions when circumstances call for it. It was a reality I had to face after being accustomed to taking charge for so long.

Other Non-Traditional Mothers

Time and circumstances have given rise to other forms of non-traditional motherhood. There are the stepmothers who are no longer as "evil" as portrayed in fairy-tales. There are the long-distance mothers who try to rear their children from afar due to economic difficulties. There are also the surrogate mothers who give life to babies for women who are unable to bear children on their own. The grandmothers who found themselves extending their motherly duties to their grandchildren comprise an entirely different breed of mothers. There are many other women who find themselves in non-traditional situations but nevertheless are called mothers.

My Say

With a very few exceptions, mothers do their best in whatever situation and time they find themselves in while taking care of their children. They will never be perfect but they will always have perfect intentions for their family. The face of motherhood has evolved through time but the basic essence of loving and supporting their children will never change.

That said, traditional and non-traditional mothers are bound by a single intent of giving their children the best they can provide. Each face their respective challenges. In the end, children reap the benefits of the successful efforts of motherhood.

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