Listening to the debate about motherhood in the last few days reminded me of something that’s been nagging me for a while: what does it mean that mothers are becoming moms?
On the Republican side, in his NRA speech Friday, Mitt Romney said, “I happen to believe that all moms are working moms.” (The right-wing radio personality Laura Schlesinger always said, by way of introduction, “I am my kids’ mom,” as the most salient piece of her identity.) On the other side, both Hilary Rosen and President Obama used mom as the toughest-job-in-the-world’s title.
Why is it mom? Back in the 90s, poor single women weren’t “welfare moms.”
Here’s the trend in “working mother” versus “working mom” from Google Ngrams – the occurrence of these terms in the Google Books database:
The same pattern appears with just mother versus mom.
I don’t know why this is happening or what it means. Do you?