In the Florida Times Union for Sunday, March 20th, 2005 on the front page of INSIGHT, there is a fascinating article on a 4 year study of the American Family. It seems to focus on the increasing lack of conversation and emotional intimacy of most families due to an increasingly hectic lifestyle.
Basically what the researchers did was take their cameras into the homes, cars and businesses of 32 different families and spend a week filming their activites. To this point the final analysis of the data and interpretation has not been done but there is no doubt that families are involved in far more activities out of the home than in the past generations.
The study indicated that the single biggest factor of change is probably mothers in the workforce. That should come as little surprise.
I've often felt that my family had less together time than I would have liked despite the fact that my wife has not had to work outside the home since the birth of my son in 1980. Both my wife and I worked through-out the early childless years of our marriage -- it appeared to be necessary unless we desired to starve to death. Then in 1979 I got hired to a "real job" that would pay me more than what my wife and I were making combined in 1978. So with the timing of the new job, pregnancy was pursued (successfully) and my wife resigned her teaching job at a small Baptist elementary school 3 months before our son was born into this life. 6 years later our daughter was born. Through the grace of God, my wife was able to be a "full-time Mom" through-out all of the children's lives. My son is about to turn 25, my daughter is 19. Life has been extremely hectic - but not unhappily so. (to be continued)