In the United States the cost of living has been steadily rising for the past few decades. Food prices, clothing costs, housing expenses, and tuition fees are constantly getting higher. Partly because of financial needs, and partly because of career choices for personal fulfillment, mothers have been leaving the traditional role of full-time homemaker. (65) they have been taking salaried jobs outside the home. <BR>Making such a significant role change affects the entire family, especially the children. Some consequences are obvious. For example, dinnertime is at a later hour. The emotional impact, (66) , can be more subtle. Mothers leave home in the morning, feeling guilty because they will not be home when their children return from school. They (67) their guilt since they believe that their working will benefit everyone in the long run. The income will enable the family to save for college tuition, take an extended vacation, buy a new car, and so on.
The emotional impact on the children can be significant. It is quite common for children to feel hurt and resentful. After all, they are alone several hours and they feel that their mothers should “be there” for them. They might need assistance with their homework or want to share the day’s activities. (68) , however, the mothers arrive home exhausted and face the immediate task of preparing dinner. Their priority is making the evening meal for the family, not engaging in relaxed conversation