Women: Backbone of the Family and Society

By Andrea-Teresa "Tess" Arenas - 04.25.2010

Throughout the world, women are the backbone of the family and society. In the USA, women regardless of professional achievements, are still relied upon by the family and society as the central care givers.

As with many Baby Boomers, women are acutely aware of the cultural expectations as caregiver for up to three generations.  First, as siblings; often the eldest daughter is the co-mother in large families of color.  These care-giving roles in such families can continue into adulthood, even retirement.

I am often called upon as the eldest daughter in the family, to solve my siblings work and family life issues, despite their being in their 40’s and late 50’s, since my madre’s early and unexpected death.

As a parent, like so many other Baby Boomers, women of the family continue their financial and personal support to their children through the first grandchild.   Then, the women are expected to be the unpaid child care provider when she has a moment to spare after work and on weekends.

Finally, as we age, we are also becoming responsible for the care of our parents.  Depending on economic status, some women are able to “contract out” for support services for the family ranging from:  housekeeper, cook, nanny, personal assistant, lawn service, etc.

Lower income women are the people the family “contracts out to.”   None of this is news.

However what is newsworthy, is that women can be supported in their roles as “world care givers” by their employer and the employers of family members.   Read more »