The Changes in the Roles of the Mother and Father in Modern Families

On September 2nd, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: October 26, 2015

Right from the time man got civilized and established marriage and family, the father was considered the primary provider and the mother the care-giver. But with more and more women crossing the family threshold to work and rise in the workplace, the old conventional woman-subservient-to-man relationship has changed

into an egalitarian one, in which both partners are equal in terms of both work and family-care. It is in this scenario that one needs to investigate the actual roles of the father and the mother with regard to work and childcare issues. Young men and women are establishing new sets of principles and values to incorporate work and family life in the modern egalitarian mode where both take shares in earning and care-giving.

Young women want to pursue their career and are not prepared to don the role of a mere home-maker. Personal autonomy and the husband sharing in the house work and childcare are their new requirements. Men who encourage their wives to follow their career to the full and themselves take part in the household responsibilities are today’s ideal husbands. But most of the young men think that they have the privilege of spending their full time in building their careers and expect the wife to cook, clean and look after the children. They feel that the man should be the primary earner in the family. This is called a neo-traditional arrangement in which even when both the partners are working, the man is the chief earner and the woman the chief caregiver. They could contribute their time and efforts to the other position as much as possible but are still defined by their primary roles.

The double advantages of economic and emotional support of the family are conceivable only when the care-givers had employments that gave them security and satisfaction, high quality child-care and a relationship that is supportive of the other’s wishes with enough space for independence. This would mean that the man should take a larger share in the children’s upbringing and the household work, than at present. Children from such families would themselves seek more change in their relationships in the future. They would be influenced by their own childhood experiences and form newer ideals to follow.

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