The changing image of moms

Can you imagine living in the days of the traditional ‘stay at home mom’, the time when women were “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen”?

indian woman

For Indian women, it was important to wear a sindoor (a red dot on your forehead) and dress up in traditional clothing (sari). Housewives had to make bread daily and keep a hot-pot of food ready before the man arrives home from work but over the years all that has changed. Society has become modern and now a “mom” isn’t your typical housewife anymore.

Moms are now CEO’s of big companies, musicians, models and even prostitutes. Many are breadwinners at home and more than a few are taking on a man’s job in the working field. Mothers today are not limited or restricted like back in the day.

working woman

When I first saw Kim Kardashian’s photo shoot, I was like: “OMG isn’t she a mom?” Just like others, I judged her but I shouldn’t have because I think Kim is a great mother. Nori is always well dressed and looks healthy. Yes, I know people still find it offensive because she has the role of a mother but she’s a working mom too. She’s a business woman who has to make decisions and sometimes it can affect her personal life.

Yes it is easy to be a mom when someone else is taking care of your child, but how realistic is that opinion? Don’t all working moms have nannies taking care of their kids? Kim may just be on another level – can we judge her? What would you do if you were in her place?

We cannot judge the type of mother that she is to Nori just because she did a nude photo shoot. Her business and her brand is “Kim Kardashian”. Kim has to maintain the image she’s created for herself.

Kim and Nori
Photo Credit: Kim Kardashian Instagram

The image of a mother has changed and I blame it on society. Today it seems that nudity sells and breastfeeding sucks.

Alyssa Milano recently tweeted that she got more negative feedback from her breastfeeding photo than Kim did with her nude photo – this alone tells me, we judge a mom doing what she’s supposed to be doing (traditional) instead of praising her for nourishing her child. We cannot blame one person for this, we all need to be questioned about it.

Alyssa Milano breastfeeding

I think there’s worse things out there than worrying about Kim Kardashian’s butt.

The images of a mother, stereotypically, represents them as subdued, quiet, obedient servants to society. Let’s not forget they are women too. The roles may change after having kids but it doesn’t mean they have to change their personalities. We tend to generalize the image of moms with a blanket sweep of prejudice. Can you imagine blaming every car driver as bad because one of them cannot drive? So why do that to moms?

The question is really what contribution are we as individuals making to society? Do we sit back and accept what society feeds us, are we complacent or are we actively involved in unwittingly setting societies norms. As a mom am I leaving a legacy that my child would be proud of? Is society dictating who I am or am I led by my values and standards?

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2014-11-24 / 14:11

    Just a quick short comment, – Maybe Kim k and her butt will help broaden society’s acceptance of mothers as women and help with breastfeeding in public issue too, she should team up with Alyssa Milano 🙂 and I def agree that she is a good mum, one thing Ive noticed in many of her pictures, she is usually carrying North, and has a protective arm around her neck and cheek. i find that very maternal!!! 🙂

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:24

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  2. Masshole Mommy
    2014-11-24 / 16:26

    I would have absolutely NO problem being barefoot in the kitchen, but alas – those days are long gone.

  3. My baby making days a long, long over and I did it twice. I worked and took care of my home. There are so many more out there today doing such a great job at it as well!

  4. 2014-11-24 / 17:43

    I choose to focus on being a strong, independent role model for my 2 boys. To each their own,

  5. 2014-11-24 / 18:16

    I’m not a Kim K fan, so most everything she does makes me roll my eyes, and that would be whether she has a child or not. But I do find that awful that Alyssa Milano got more negative response from breastfeeding than this latest publicity stunt by Kim.

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:25

      I agree… I honestly can’t believe it!

  6. 2014-11-24 / 18:35

    i wanted my wife to be a stay at home mom, but economics dictated otherwise..

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:25

      That happens. 🙁

  7. 2014-11-24 / 19:49

    I think you raise a lot of good points in this post. Most importantly, I think, is who are you to judge somebody else until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes?

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:26

      I agree! Things have changed.

  8. 2014-11-24 / 20:38

    It’s so easy to be judgmental but we never truly know the whole story; I’m trying to be less judgey!

  9. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    2014-11-24 / 20:41

    Emm… I am living in the days of being a traditional stay at home mother and I LOVE it! I have no judgements on other mothers, if they and their children are equally as happy as my boy and I are then good on them.

  10. 2014-11-24 / 21:00

    Criticism usually stems from wrestling with their own decisions. There will be decisions, mistakes, consequences…hard to say what the entire decision process looks like in that industry.

  11. 2014-11-24 / 22:09

    I love that being a mom can mean different things for different people in our time period. I’ve been a working mom and a stay at home mom. Both sides have very different benefits. No one shoe fits every one. However, as a Christian, I can’t encourage choices that are unGodly, even though I choose to love people rather than judge. I personally wouldn’t want to present myself immodestly.

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:27

      I agree with you but not everyone thinks likes you and I…Many Christians are doing the opposite of what the bible says.

  12. 2014-11-24 / 22:38

    I do have an issue with the whole modesty aspect of both photos, but I agree — a woman can be a mother, but that’s not all she can be! It’s a wonderful calling, but it’s only part of a woman’s life. She should certainly not be judged on her actions or her abilities just because she’s a mom.

  13. Michelle Hwee
    2014-11-25 / 01:14

    Definitely agree with this post.. very interesting

  14. 2014-11-25 / 01:51

    Our whole society is just completely wack when it comes to judging others….. I’m not a Kim K fan but I feel bad for her. Who she is at work and who she is at home, I’m sure like any working mom are two different people! People need to stop pointing fingers and worry about their own lives 😉

  15. 2014-11-25 / 03:35

    Mom’s do come in all shapes and sizes and none of us have the right to judge another mom. None of us know what another mom is going through. Great perspective.

  16. 2014-11-25 / 04:13

    I do agree that we need to be less judgmental of each other as mothers, and as people, across the board.

  17. 2014-11-25 / 04:14

    It’s really difficult to be a mom who has a career at the same time. That hanging question is also hard to answer. Values is important but maybe for Kim and others, it’s the image they portray to society which makes them less of a mother-like figure that makes them earn more.

  18. 2014-11-25 / 05:03

    I guess moms have more leeway now and there’s more on gender equality. I think people should live their life more than be stuck judging other people.

  19. 2014-11-25 / 05:12

    I do not understand how a breastfeeding photo is so offensive. It is such a natural and beautiful act. It is a whole new world out there for moms.

  20. 2014-11-25 / 05:12

    I think these women sell themselves and will in the long run embarrass their children or portray to their children that showing their butt is ok if you are popular. They need to pull their heads out of their butts and focus on how their decisions impact their kids not how it impacts their ‘brand’. That’s my opinion. 🙂

  21. 2014-11-25 / 06:38

    Women are wonderful and beautiful people. We should always keep our judgements low though.

  22. 2014-11-25 / 07:32

    I have mixed feelings about the nude photoshoot. i mean on one hand she’s a human being like everyone else and can do whatever she wants.. but even though i haven’t had kids.. the older i get i have to think twice about what i put out there. i wouldn’t want my kids to be bullied or made fun of for something i did.

    • 2014-11-25 / 08:28

      I also had mixed feelings but that’s so Kim. Lol

  23. 2014-11-25 / 08:28

    I have never just been a stay at home mom. I have always worked: be it full or part time or casual. I’m working right now 🙂 and it 1:30 am.

  24. 2014-11-25 / 17:37

    I don’t really make a big fuss out of those things. I’m not a fan of Kim K but that is who she is. For as long as she is not stepping into someone else’s shoes, then no problem with me. 😉

  25. Stephanie Lee
    2014-11-25 / 19:28

    For me the most important is what moms really want to do.. may it be to stay at home or make themselves busy 🙂 As long as they’re happy, there’s no problem 😀

    • Trinity
      2014-11-25 / 21:50

      I like this post! I think the most important things is the woman is pursuing what she wants to do.

  26. 2014-11-25 / 19:54

    being a mom isn’t easy – and being judged is even harder.

  27. 2014-11-26 / 01:45

    This is a great post. I just don’t understand why so many people get upset over breast feeding photos.

  28. The role of being a mother has definitely changed over the years. I’m getting tired of seeing so much of Kim K. I’m not offended by the picture of her because she is a mother but pictures like that should be kept more private between her and her husband. We don’t all need to see it.

  29. I cannot agree more with Alyssa Milano’s tweets. Breastfeeding is a normal,healthy thing. Sorry, I would MUCH rather see that than Kim Kardashian’s butt online (again).

  30. 2014-11-26 / 03:20

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a traditional stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom (which I am), or a mom who works out of the home. As long as each woman is doing what’s best for her family, I’m A-ok with it. I don’t judge her ability to be a mother based on her photos, but there are just some things I’d never want my kids to see when they get older…and it seems that nude photos would top the list for most moms.

  31. 2014-11-26 / 04:02

    I so agree with you. I have found myself looking at Kim’s pictures and wondering what she is thinking by her clothes. I could not agree with Alyssa’s tweets. Why is one more acceptable than the other.

  32. 2014-11-26 / 05:40

    I think moms can be all things. I have tons of friends that do many different things for a living and are still great moms. I honestly don’t mind if people want to be clothed or naked. So I have no problem with Kim K’s photos. Its her job its what she does and I everyone makes their money differently so I am okay with it.

  33. 2014-11-26 / 06:53

    Great reminder not to be judgmental. Sometimes judgmental thoughts just pop right into my mind without much effort at all…this tells me that I really need a heart change, which can take some time!

  34. 2014-11-26 / 17:25

    I just try to do the best that I can. I don’t look at others. I do what is best for us.

  35. 2014-11-26 / 23:03

    I am not even going to come in here and talk about Kim K. mothering skills or what kind of role model she will be for her daughter. I am just happy in society women can literally be whatever we want, we arent forced to be stay-at-home moms not able to go to school we can get our own money and make more than men sometimes. We are the superwomen of societies!

  36. 2014-11-26 / 23:30

    This is a great post indeed. We often go by what society suggest for us and is usually why we are judgmental. It is a shame that most judge others. I have tried to teach my kids not to be judgmental. Thanks for sharing.

  37. 2014-11-27 / 02:57

    The image of “mom” is definitely changing. My feelings are as long as the children are the first priority – what a mother does to make a legal living is her perogative. Not my position to judge or point fingers.

  38. 2014-11-27 / 15:59

    Just want to share this:

    The Wife of Noble Character

    10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
    11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
    12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
    13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
    14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
    15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
    16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
    17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
    18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
    19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
    20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
    21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
    22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
    23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
    24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
    25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
    26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
    27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
    28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
    29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
    30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
    31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

    This is worth reading:

  39. 2014-11-27 / 22:30

    I didn’t even know that Milano got negative pub for her breastfeeding photo. That’s just terrible. It would be interesting to see the two of them hook up for a campaign, but I highly doubt that is going to happen.

  40. 2014-11-28 / 06:00

    You know, you make some really good points that I hadn’t considered before when all of this came about. It’s true though- why should she change as a brand solely because she’s a mother? I think we change in so very many ways and, although her booty is not my behavioral cup of tea (nor do I find it very respectable), can’t always make a complete transformation.

  41. 2014-11-30 / 00:36

    I stay home with my kiddos and love it. Hard work;-)

  42. 2014-11-30 / 07:25

    Very interesting, There is no right or perfect anymore just what works

  43. 2014-11-30 / 10:52

    My wife also stay at home mom with our two kids. She really loves her work and with me hihi.

  44. Lauren
    2015-01-13 / 15:41

    Love this Shan! As a working mom I must say that I struggle with how my time is torn between my little girl, my hubby, my work (which I am sad to say part of my pride is wrapped in), my family and what I wanted for myself before everything else came along. I think it’s safe to say that society expects more and more from us women and then we’re looked at in recrimination if we make the “wrong” choice in society’s eyes. Really don’t like or respect the Kardashian lot and don’t know anything about them but it’s important for us women to decide for ourselves what we think and feel and how we should care for our families. Media certainly wont dictate how I raise my child.

  45. nimisha
    2015-07-14 / 21:31

    I found that people tend to dictate our lives by whats acceptable socially. So if you come from a community that woman are all barefoot and in the kitchen anything out of that norm is like breaking the rules. Woman from different educational backgrounds also tend to either live in that old fashioned believes and never wish to progress or others move away and become more aware of that it is much of a woman’s world as it is a mans ! I am a woman with two degrees and still unemployed not by choice but in my community for my first child i was a monster to leave my daughter in creche and complete my studies but now i am a perfect mother because I’m at home with my children. I’m always asked why i don’t wear a dot and for me its just i don’t feel the need to announce I’m married but the main reason is there a reason i should wear it ? Does it define my marital status ? I think its a choice i made and my husband has no problem with it. I wear my dot and sindhoor for family functions and i know its importance to my religion and marriage but with times things change and so people have to learn to change their mindsets. Would anything i don’t wear or do change the kind and type of mother i am. Well i think not but tell that to the others who think otherwise ! Lastly in my opinion the choice of having someone take care of your child because you are a working or even non working mum is a choice and decision made for your own purposes. That can never change your love and maternal bonding that you have with your children it only allows you a break and chance to make yourself a better mother by letting you accomplish your goals so that your children can benefit later in life.

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