Main Entry: 1famÂ·iÂ·ly Pronunciation: 'fam-lE, 'fa-m&- Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -lies Etymology: Middle English familie, from Latin familia household (including servants as well as kin of the householder), from famulus servant Date: 15th century 5 a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their own or adopted children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family b : spouse and children In the 1950s most families seemed alike. The typical or Nuclear family comprised a father, a mother and two or three kids living together in their house or apartment. The father went off to work every day, and more often than not, the mother stayed at home to take care of the house and the children. In 1960 over 70 percent of all households were made up of a breadwinner father, a homemaker mother and their children. [The History of Private Life: The Modern Family, 2001] Today, in the new millennium, families come in many shapes and sizes, from the "Typical family" to the "Extended Family" (Nuclear family plus grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) to the "Single parent family" (mother and children or father and children).
Compared to the 1950s where it was the male's job to go off to work, to supply the family with sufficient needs and the female's job to concentrate on the home life and care of the children, the roles of parents in modern families are much more diverse, in a way that the workload is shared between the parents. More often than not both parents travel to work each day, or work out of a home office or the father may concentrate on the home life and care of the children while the mother may go off to work.