Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

As in other Mediterranean countries, lunchtime is the major meal of the day, with businesses closing between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Although this practice of closing businesses disappeared in the 1960s, dinner remains a light meal. The short school day reinforces the status of lunch as the main meal, seriously curtailing mothers' ability to take on full-time jobs (Izraeli & Safir, 1993). However, Lieblich (1993) found that Israeli career women were not resentful of their husbands' lack of participation in childcare and housework when compared with a matching American group. As a result, Israeli women experienced less role conflict. These women reported that their careers take second place to their family roles as mothers, wives, and caretakers, roles that are seen as more central to their sense of identity. Mothers often experience increases in their caretaker/nurturing roles when their children serve in the army—especially those with sons in combat units (Azmon & Izraeli, 1993). For example, the army does not provide laundry service, and soldiers' uniforms must be washed and ironed at home over the short weekend. In addition to doing the laundry, mothers are expected to "spoil" their children by preparing special meals and treats that can be taken back to the army.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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