When I was a sociology student and studied the concept of the unpaid “second shift”–ie, all the tasks of the typical employed wife/mother, which averages out to about 8 hours of additional work or another complete work day immediately following her paid work day–one of the mentioned responsibilities that stood out to me was “maintaining social/familial bonds.” It’s true, you don’t tend to see the husband/father planning parties and inviting guests, or writing and sending out the Christmas cards every year. When I think of this, I always see the image of my own mother sitting at the dining room table late on a December night, a stack of blank cards and her address book open in front of her, trying hard not to nod off after putting in overtime hours for the post office’s holiday rush.
Moms truly are the glue that holds the family together… in more ways than keeping up correspondence, of course. In any case, it is one trait I’m glad mine managed to pass down to me. I’ve always been a letter/greeting card kinda person (even if it means staying up ’til 1:30am or later finishing writing them!), and I think I have her to thank for that.