No two families the same. No one parent's choices exactly matches another's. And yet, when Good Housekeeping brought together five moms from across the country to talk about motherhood, there was one thing they all could agree on: Mothers don't get the credit they deserve.
"I often wonder why we just get a Hallmark holiday when we should be having shrines and temples set up to us," Jennie, a mom from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, says. "Yeah, but we'd have to clean it up," North Carolina mom Aliya adds.
"I'm the one who's with them all day, so I'm the one who has to yell," Aliya continues. "When Daddy walks in through the door, they run at him, they jump in his arms and say, 'Daddy! It's Daddy-daughter time!' They're so excited to see him. When I go to the grocery store and I come back home, they're just looking at what's in the bags."
The conversation is part of an ongoing series of discussions Good Housekeeping is hosting on the topic of parenthood. Throughout the conversations, the five moms — moms who live in different states, have different work situations and have kids of all different ages — had to say whether they agree or disagree with these three statements:
Raising kids today is harder than I was being raised.
I have a stronger relationship with my kids than my parents did with me.
The work of mothers is valued and recognized.
In their responses, the moms got very candid about the ways social media and the internet have changed motherhood, from the overload of information at everyone's fingertips ("I really thought it was just a diaper rash but now it looks like it could be chemical poisoning from the sunscreen I used at the park!") to the way kids are harder to engage since they have all their friends at their fingertips ("I have to do more work to go and motivate them to do other things") to figuring out Zoom links for virtual school ("I'm learning it at the same time you're learning it!"). They also talk about how they want to be similar and different from their own parents, and how all moms everywhere deserve more recognition.
In the end, there's a lot of commonality in their experiences. "We all come from different places in the United States, and we all have different families in different settings," says Jaime, a mom in Hawaii, "so I thought it was really unique that most of our opinions were the same."
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