Adapted from recent online discussions.
On Monday, "Can't Be Martha Stewart" asked how to respond to his mother's jabs at his full-time employed wife.
Re: Martha: Um, shouldn't he also have a private conversation with his mother to explain that he will not tolerate these little jabs?
Only if talks break down at the great bilateral cats-and-dogs summit I advised yesterday. When you can't fix the source of the jabs then, yes, you try to fix the fact of them.
To Martha: In an age-appropriate (and non-angry) way, explain to your children why your mother says the things she does, how times change, and how every family has to make the right decisions for them. You might even add that when they have homes of their own, the way they were raised might look outdated and unfamiliar. (No talking robots, for example.) Life is about the freedom to make the right choices for ourselves and our families.
Good teaching moment, thanks. And if the robot cooks chickens, then I want mine now - with an "off" switch for the talking.
Re: Martha: My mother worked as a teacher for my entire childhood (1960s). In my high school graduating class, I can remember only one stay-at-home mom. That parent model has never been the only model in the United States, and the writer's mother needs to realize that.
Thanks. Many women, though, were steered into "pink-collar" work, which helped preserve the worldview that women were society's helpers and nurturers.
Dear Carolyn: You may be correct that my mother is intimidated by my wife's profession. I will try to make this a macro conversation with a things-are-different-now-bend.
CAN'T BE MARTHA AGAIN
Please let us know how it goes.
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