The Help Movie debuted over a week ago and I’m still reeling from the effect it has had on me. This movie is, by far, one of the greatest movies this year. It’s emotional. It’s heartbreaking. It’s all over the spectrum when it comes to life in the south back in the 1960’s. The discrimination and the realism it brought to audiences is unreal, but it left you with hope that change is always possible.
When I was in LA back in June at the Disney Dreamwork Event, I had the chance to watch the movie in it’s entirety and interview Stacey Snider, DreamWorks Co-Chairman & CEO, about the making of the movie and how it came to be. The topic that kept coming up was the role of women, back then, and in today’s world, specifically about Motherhood. So, my question to you guys is, How would you feel if someone else raised your children in your own home?
In The Help, you follow the lives of the maids of Jackson Mississippi. They each have a very unique story, but what hit me the most, was how much they love and care for the children they are asked to raise from the white families that employ them. They talk about how they bathe, dress, feed, potty train, and emotional build these children up, but they know that one day they’ll have to leave them.
The thing that I kept thinking about was How do those Mothers feel knowing their children are being raised by another woman? Most importantly, how do the children of the maids feel?
I don’t have experience with either circumstance. My Mom stayed home and raised me, my two brothers, and sister. She was always there when I got home from school and she was always available when I needed her. I think that’s why I’m so emotional about the topic at hand. It would break my heart for my children to become attached to another woman as their own mother figure. It would tear me to shreds to see my children go to another woman when they’re sad, or upset, or in fear.
That’s MY job! That’s the job God gave ME.
In The Help, Skeeter asks Aibileen, “How does it feel to look after white children knowing your children are being looked after at home by someone else?” I don’t even have to tell you the look on her face, the sadness in her heart.
As Mother’s we KNOW it’s our job to be there for our children, but other circumstances may require that other women help. I’ve always believed it takes a village to raise a child. In our interview with Stacey Snider, she mentions her own journey through motherhood. How her Mom passed away when she was 17 and how she was so scared when her children were younger that she slept with her night nurse and the baby. She attached herself to that woman like a little kangaroo. She also said this about hiring help for her own children:
I relied on women to help me raise the kids and I’m a pretty good hands on get home, get your butt home mom. But I’ve always felt like more love is good. More people that know them, that love them, you know, I know women who feel threatened by that. That’s a feel that they don’t want — that’s a person that works for me. I feel like Jody, who’s the woman who’s been with us for 12 years, that Jody and my husband and I have raised the girls together. And that, you know, she’s the boss when I’m not there and our values are comparable.
Today’s times are different, but I’m still in shock that it was even remotely like this in the 60’s. Why a white woman would be fine with a black woman raising her children, yet NOT okay with that same woman using the same toilet as her. It BAFFLES me that such thinking even existed.
So, my question to all of you, after reading Stacey Snider’s comments about the woman who has helped raise her children, how would you feel if someone else raised your children in your own home? Would your pride get in the way seeing them become attached to her? Would you feel threatened? Or do you believe the more love the better?
The Help Movie debuts in theaters everywhere August 10th 2011.
Disclosure: This post made possible by Disney Dreamworks who provided me with a an all expense paid trip to LA for interview opportunities. Opinions stated are always my own and never wavered by products received or compensated unless otherwise stated.
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