Remember when families were either typical or “broken homes”? I do; I was from a broken home. I’m happy to report that those two easy categories are officially irrelevant. Yep, they’re dead.
The New York Times reported in fall 2013 on astonishing research about changing family structures: “Families are more ethnically, racially, religiously and stylistically diverse than half a generation ago — than even half a year ago.”
“In increasing numbers, blacks marry whites, atheists marry Baptists, men marry men and women women, Democrats marry Republicans and start talk shows. Good friends join forces as part of the “voluntary kin” movement, sharing medical directives, wills, even adopting one another legally. …We’re sappy family romantics. When an informal sample of 52 Americans of different ages, professions and hometowns were asked the first thought that came to mind on hearing the word “family,” the answers varied hardly at all. Love! Kids! Mom! Dinner!”
Interesting four words, right?
In fall 2014, the Council on Contemporary Families released Paul Cohen’s study on the shape of the family that found that “Diversity is the new normal.” The report says that it’s not simply that families move from two-parent homes to single moms, either: “we can better understand this transformation as an explosion of diversity, a fanning out from a compact center along many different pathways.” At the end of the 1950s, 65% of kids lived in a family with two parents, the father employed and the mother not.
“Today, by contrast, there is no single family arrangement that encompasses the majority of children.” The 2012 census counts kids who live with: neither parent nor grandparent, grandparents only, single father, formerly-married mother, never-married mother, cohabiting parent, married parents both unemployed, married parents mother employed, married parents both employed, married parents father employed. “Family” means kids in this study, which charges that public policies need to understand and keep up with these changes. When we factor in all the same-sex relationships, racial diversity, political and religious affiliations mentioned in the NYT article last year, it’s pretty mind-blowing, right?
I wrote a few weeks ago on a recent sociology study’s findings that home cooking might not be worth the stress it puts on women. Women. Certainly there are single dad families where “the woman” doesn’t cook. And two-dad families. The point of the study was to show the stress. But I’m a little concerned about the women.
And I have been. As Funnermother, I’m in some big groups of other women in business, and it really can be stressful to feed everyone! And yes, maybe its our elephant-like memories or our octopus-like multitasking, but the feeding falls to the women still, we chat about it all the time. I want to change that.
I really want to change that.
So I’m designing a Kitchen Coaching program where, for 8 weeks or so, we’ll talk all about your family meals. In a no judgement zone. We’ll talk for an hour or two and you can tell me how it is. And tell me how you’d like it to be. And we’ll work together on the structural and/or mindset changes that will get you there — or as close as humanly possible! I mean, I’d love to have a home cook or eat takeout every night. But I’ve found some great hacks for simplifying it IN SPITE OF two very finicky eaters and one slightly finicky eater. 🙂 I’m working with a couple of clients right now, and will clear space for more soon.