With Mother’s Day almost upon us, I was attracted by a heading that I spotted when browsing the Archives of Australian Church Women (ACW). It was on the cover of the April 1969 issue of the ACW newsletter, during the challenging era of the ‘swinging 60s’, and it was advertising National Marriage and Family Week.
The information stated:
‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World!
Or does it?’
‘For years we have accepted this as a self evident [sic] truth, but now we are not so sure. Perhaps the hand that rules the cradle rocks the world. At any rate something rocks the world today and women (and men) should give serious thought to their role in bringing up children in our bewildering society.
‘The theme of this year’s National Marriage and Family Week (May 5th to 11th) is “Tension Between Generations”, and many groups will be studying this theme with the help of the notes prepared by the National Marriage and Family Week Council.
‘A useful follow-up to this theme may be found in a discussion leaflet published by the Australian Council of Churches Committee on Co-operation of Men and Women in Church, Family and Society – a committee on which Australian Church Women has two representatives. This leaflet – Parents and the Teenage Revolution is designed for use in church groups, parents’ groups, women’s groups, young adult groups etc. to open up discussion on this topical and urgent problem.’
After reading this, I don’t think Australian Church Women could be accused of hiding under a rock during the huge cultural shift in society that took place in the 1960s and 70s.
I also dug out this cute little drawing from my old work files.
“This is my Mum when she gets up in the morning. But I didn’t get her hair right. It sticks up more than that.”
It reminds me of a harassed mother trying to navigate her way through the often difficult growing pains of the 1960s.