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Published: Sunday, 5/13/2001

Moms for the first time

BY RHONDA B. SEWELL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

What a time to be a mother. Raising children in the 21st century can be a remarkable challenge - especially for first-time mothers, who haven't been there, done that.

The rate of first births in the United States declined to its lowest level ever in 1998, according to the latest figures available from the National Center for Health Statistics. That year, there were an average of 26.4 first births per every 1,000 women between ages 15-44. Although the rate of first births has declined, becoming a mom is a life-changing experience.

Mothering types have diversified from 1950s TV depictions of "mom" such as June Cleaver. Today, more mothers work outside the home than ever. Today's playground scenario might see an adoptive mom seated on a park bench near single mothers, married moms, birth mothers, or first-time moms in their 40s.

No one standard of motherhood rules in modern times, but most mothers have one thing in common: pride and love for their children.

So on this Mother's Day we offer the stories of first-time moms. They represent the true landscape of modern motherhood.



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