Hollingworth & Walzer (originally posted in Conn Sociology)

Karen Cardona

When I began reading Hollingworth’s article I was able to see and acknowledge a different perspective regarding parenthood that I had never seen before, this idea of “The relation of parent to child is one of sacrifice” (1). Later on in the reading I was able to understand more of the dynamics behind this statement, the way media portrays the relationships between the child and the parent as something caring and sweet. When these characteristics and traits are so heavily pushed upon media people begin to feel as if they had to assimilate and almost perform to equate to these paternal but mainly paternal traits. I find this extremely interesting when I see TV commercials of super calm and relaxed mothers taking care of children that continue to cry and cry, I’ve questioned myself so many times how they are able to keep calm through such hectic times. The way the media depicts the parent reactions to the real world are extremely different, this sets a problematic standard that parents try to fit but often fail since the standard is often based on perfection and unrealistic traits. Prior to raising a child comes the initial idea of wanting to have a child, ever since I was a child the idea of me ever becoming a mother was never a question it was a statement. With my guy friends this was hardly ever the case, they were expected to go to college to get an education, get a good job and then find a wife that they could support. With me everyone expected what they expect from all the girls in my neighborhood; to find a man that could support me, get married, have his children, and become a ‘good wife’. I however had different plans in mind, I knew that if could make it out of the ‘hood’ and get into a good school, I would be able to go back home and show the girls that there are other options in life. I loved Hollingworth’s comparison of women and soldiers the idea that they both sacrifice themselves to provide a better future or to serve someone else. In the case of the soldiers they give their lives to ensure a better future for the country, a woman sacrifices herself to bring a child into this world to help population growth and not be seen as ‘abnormal’. When women are considered abnormal it has to do with their decision to follow goals and dreams instead of following an already designed and traditional path of baring children. Many people in my community back home judge me and often times exclude me for not fitting into their teenage mom criteria.  I really liked the interview study that Walzer conducted on couples who had recently became parents. I was able to find many things to relate with when it comes to the care of a child. The point that really stuck out to me was the one in which the father was seen as the helper to the mother when it came to the care of the child. While reading the article I was able to see how many of the parents both man and women felt the need to do things instead of the will to do things. This shocked me because it seems to me that they almost put on an act on who does what and the overall goal is not what will be best for the child , but what it takes to not be judged society. Many felt this sense of guilt, the fact that certain things needed to be done in order to fulfill the stereotypical idea of the perfect parent. This makes me think if these couples were truly ready to embark in the parenthood journey , I believe that parenthood should be a stage in which you make decisions out of will that will benefit your family, not have to make decisions because you might feel forced. Parenthood should be a place in which both parents make equal commitments instead of leaving most of the tasks to the women simply because of the assumption that taking care of a child is a ‘woman’s job’. It still shocks me how every time I go back home during breaks I am asked when will I have a child or when will I get married , instead of when will I graduate and when will I get a masters degree…

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