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What Does Family Mean to You?

             What does family mean to you? This question, as simple as it might sound, is one that can bring out a wide range of answers and opinions. Because of this self-defining concept, your family will always be different from the one next door. Healthy communication is one of the most vital attributes a family can possess. Without communication, one would not have the opportunity to establish relationships or understand the emotions of others. Another key concept that is seen within the family, are the different roles that family members take. These roles can be influenced by gender, society, or individual personality. I have chosen two articles that exemplify how two women have crossed the barriers of societal influence to create their own role in their families. In this paper I will show how one woman naturally assumed the role of a more predominant figure, in comparison to her husband, and how another woman was forced to assume certain fatherly responsibilities. .
             The first article that was used came from March 17, 2003's issue of People Magazine. The article is titled, “Family First,” and it explains how Mary Matalin, who is an “ex-White House heavy,” quit being Dick Cheney’s top political adviser to become a mother that is in “nirvana.” Mary Matalin is a mother of two daughters, and wife to James Carville, who is a member of the opposing political party. The article is centered around Mary Matalin’s stress of being a mother, wife, and working at “one of the world’s most demanding jobs.” Being that Matalin assumed such a powerful career position, knowing that she was married and had children, her career can be labeled a developmental or normative stressor. These stresses can be labeled normative due to the fact that the article has shown Matalin to be overcome by stress from “juggling marriage, motherhood, and one of the world’s most demanding jobs.