As a child, how much time did you actually spend with mom and dad? Did your parents work too much to spend time with you? Personally, my mom was a stay at home mom, so she spent every day with me. My dad, on the other hand, worked all day every day in order to provide for the family. I grew very close with my mom but learned to respect my dad because he was the provider. To this day, I respect my dad a lot but I cannot go to him for advice or for personal issues because he was never there during my childhood. I can go to my mom with anything and talk to her about anything, but we do not have as much respect for each other because we were together so much when I was little and I was never taught to respect her like my dad.
My mom and I in Jamaica in 2010
While researching the topic of how much time parents actually spend with their children, I read a lot about how educated parents actually spend more time with their children than uneducated parent (Guryan, Hurst, & Kearney.) This fact was astounding to me because it seems like an educated parent would work more than an uneducated parent. I also researched the different cultures associated with parent’s time with children, which lead me to find that this fact is true in numerous countries around the world. Neither of my parents went to college, but both of them graduated from high school. This fact didn’t seem to fit in with what my personal experiences were until I really thought about it. My dad got a job when he was eighteen, right out of high school, and to this day, still works for the same company. My mom on the other hand, had had a job when she graduated from high school, but jumped from that job to a few other jobs before she had me. After I was born, she was a stay at home mom for many years but went back to work, jumping from job to job yet again. My dad has had the experience with his job and is more educated in what he does specifically then my mom because of her inconsistency with her jobs. So I now find that this fact I found is somewhat true to my life as well.
My dad and I in Oak Island, NC in 2011
The research I preformed is part of the quantitative research method explained in Gendered Lives by Julia Wood. This reading also gave me the idea to research this topic. Within Gendered Lives, it also explains the Psychodynamic Theory, which is when the primary parent or caregiver influences you to form your identity and gender (Wood, 2009.) Because of the time spent with my mom, she definitely influenced me to find who I was and who I wanted to become. I am a girly girl, cheerleader and I had many influences to become that because my mom had me cheering and dancing when I was little and even before that I played with little girls, and I had toys that were very girly such as Barbie’s and baby dolls.
Who influenced you as a child? Was it someone specific who was in your life more then someone else? Or was it a situation where your parents worked so much that they didn’t give you enough time so you figured it out on your own? There are many different situations that individuals go through that influence them and make them the people they are today. Understanding where you came from and who influenced you most is very important because you can learn a lot about who you are as a person. Doing this research and making these connections influenced me to really think about my mom and dad and it has also taught me to respect both of them for different reasons.
Guryan, J., Hurst, E., & Kearney, M. (n.d.). Parental education and parental time with children. Retrieved from http://www.econ.umd.edu/media/papers/84.pdf
Wood, J. (2009). Gendered lives . (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.