Nearest and dearest
The definition of “family” has evolved consistently. Even the popular definition from let’s say, 15 years ago, is arguably quite different from the one we might agree to today.
I would say that the primary and most evolved role in the definition of family has been that of the woman. In the last 100 years the role of the woman in the family unit has evolved from one of motherhood and servitude, to what we see today, at least in most of the world. Even many that are suppressed are at least fighting for their equal rights, something unheard of not long ago. When women began entering the workforce, there was a sudden shapeshift in the family dynamic.
All of a sudden, children began to spend more time on their own or with caregivers and teachers. Women also realized that suddenly, they had two jobs because what they stopped doing at home during the day, still had to get done, and hubby was probably not into helping out around the house. It took time, but people in the family unit began to grow and develop in a different way. Here we are today, 2023, and what defines today’s family? Our lifestyles and our attitudes define our family. It’s obvious that not all families fall into a typecast, which has always been the case, but if we go by the depictions of families in popular culture, then maybe we need to pay closer attention to what might be happening. Society is very fragmented today. Everyone in their own little cyberworld. That stems from the new family reality. Both parents with jobs/careers, children in school and other various activities because parents come home late. The family gathering at the table to share a meal has dissipated due to conflicting schedules. Everybody has a very busy, (and I’m sure, enjoyable), life. Just not together. The love and proximity exist, but who has time to think about that? Log on to Instagram to see a platform full of people vying for attention. “Likes” and emojis are the new stimulae. We record our every movement, it seems, to then broadcast to anyone who’s paying attention.
Many depend on them for emotional support. Maybe it’s because people don’t physically interact as much as in the past. Again, maybe due to the new definition of family. Where should the best emotional support be? Should it not be your family or friends? But everyone is so diluted now, with so much to think about that is outside of family and home. Dare I say things used to be so much simpler? Yes and no. A lot of good has happened with the evolution of the family. Males are taking part in bringing up the family, and there are many people who are parents today, that could only dream of such a thing, not long ago. Those branches of the modern definition of family have been good for all of us, and there are others. It’s just that I wish we could all be a little closer. Society as a whole should be more focused on promoting the family. It’s not good for business, so that will be a major bone of contention, but maybe just some of the money that governments squander every year could go to supporting a parent that wishes to raise a family while the other works outside. Let’s have children, let’s support them and be there for them. These should be permanent residents of future definitions of “family”.
Personally, I feel fortunate. My family is as close as a modern family could possibly be. This probably clouds my judgement, but I don’t see it as a bad thing, hey, there’s no downside.
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