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Research shows definitions of mother and motherhood continue to evolve

In Canada, women in relationships who are the sole wage earners spend the most time on childcare (51 hours a week), Statistics Canada reports.
In Canada, women in relationships who are the sole wage earners spend the most time on childcare (51 hours a week), Statistics Canada reports. Getty Images

With Sunday being Mother’s Day, new research by The Vanier Institute of the Family has been released highlighting the ever-changing roles of modern mothers in Canada.

Head of The Vanier Institute of the Family, Nora Spinks, told Alberta Morning News Sunday that the definition of mother and motherhood continues to evolve.

READ MORE: Peter Watts: Different perspectives on Mother’s Day

“Traditionally, it was very straight forward — mothers looked after the children and the household and fathers looked after generating income and looked after the physical house.

“Now mothers are redefining their role and renegotiating responsibilities with the people they share their lives with.”

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And part of that evolution involves women gaining positions of power while becoming mothers.

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Spinks said seeing more women rise to these roles while still having a family could draw more women to politics and have an affect on policy.

“As these new roles emerge and as women assume these responsibilities in positions of power and authority and elected office, the conversations are shifting to more positive, constructive conversations about what can be done to recognize and support.”

The latest research also shows that mothers while raising children are also taking on more work by becoming caregivers.

It found that in 2012, three out of 10 women were caregivers, one in six of whom spent 20 hours or more per week providing care.

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