F Simple and Serene Living: WOMEN: OUR CHANGING ROLES WITHIN THE FAMILY 09 10
Thursday, February 12, 2015

WOMEN: OUR CHANGING ROLES WITHIN THE FAMILY

I know that as a woman my role within my family has constantly changed. Daughter, wife, mother, breadwinner, grandmother. I have played all of those parts and I often have stepped outside of myself and looked at those roles as if I were an actor on the stage, taking direction as to how to proceed.


Our role within the family can affect how we see ourselves as a person. It is an ever changing path that can wind back onto itself. One moment we are a dependent, leaning on others in the family to take care of us. As we grow, we become the person that others depend on. Then as we age we may find ourselves once again dependent. During all of this we may swing back and forth between the roles.

Our roles are often based on the expectation of others and our interpretation of those expectations. For example, as a mother, our children have the expectation that we will do certain things to take care of them. Then as they grow up, their expectations change and we must adapt our role to their wants. 

These role changes can lead to confusing feelings for us. I am left wondering how you, as a woman, adapt to these changes. Have the changes left you feeling unsure of your role at times? Do you find the expectations of others in your family don't match your own expectations? Or, have you been able to fluidly move from one role to the next without any problems?

I hope you will share with us.

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P.S. You can find more Women Speak conversations here.

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10 comments:

  1. Oh changing roles yes women have been doing that their whole lives, they have no choice. I think I like my role now but I am sure it will change again very soon. Roll with the punches my grandma used to say. Hug B

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    1. Sounds like your grandmother was pretty smart, Grace.

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  2. Oh yes! I can relate to this situation. Right now, my children have grown older and don't need me as much. that is nice but also difficult for me as well since I've devoted so many years to taking care of their every need. so, I'm in a bit of a transition time. I think that's why I've taken on more things outside of parenting lately. I must say that I'm enjoying the freedom of not having to do as much but it definitely makes me wonder how things will be as an empty nester. that will be a whole new chapter and I hope I'll love it and not yearn for my kids to be back home the whole time.

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    1. Sounds like you are planning for the transition, Kelly. We do devote so much time to our children while they are growing up and then it seems suddenly they are off on their own and no longer need us. Of course this is what we raided them to do, but it still can be a difficult transition.

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  3. As I read I pondered all the changing roles in my life some by choice, some not. Right now I am in a not by choice role of widowhood and struggling to find purpose and meaning. It is hard when you feel no one really needs you anymore and you are not making a difference.

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    1. I have struggled with this too. I am sorry for the loss of your husband. That is a difficult transition to make in so many ways. I know for me, I am trying hard to find meaning in other areas of my life. My mom is very social, so she fills up much of her time playing bridge with her friends and she has made many new friends that way. There are still many ways that you can make a difference and feel needed. Lots of places to volunteer and if your area has a senior center, as mine does, there are a lot of activities there. We are here for you.

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  4. Great topic! My role in life has changed many times. Now I'm a caretaker for my Mother and a Grandma to my Grand and a /Mama/babysitter/helper for my daughter. I love both roles but sometimes lose me in the mix. I am getting better at saying I need some ME time!

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    1. You definitely have a busy life, Linda and I am glad that you are taking the ME time. So important to recharge for all of the caretaking you are doing.

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  5. Great post Laura. I've had many roles in my time. Getting to have tons of love from my wonderful parents. Going through my moms brain tumor at 16. Having to take a role to help her and my family. Then my MS and figuring out how to balance that. Then at 26 dealing with another brain tumor that took my mom. I sadly learned my siblings helping me was not going to happen. I had to move from the relationships. Hurtful yes but very necessary.

    Cindy

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    1. You have definitely had a lot on your plate, Cynthia. I am sorry for the losses and struggles that you have faced. We women do have so many caregiving roles, and you have certainly had your share. I understand the sibling problem. I have had to take on the primary role of caregiver for my mom.

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