It is with a heavy heart that as write this week’s post; Florence Henderson has died. Just in case you’re too you to know who she was, she played Mrs. Brady, on the infamous sitcom The Brady Bunch. Mrs. Brady was the mother of three girls and the stepmother to three boys. I don’t recall if the blended family was a result of her husband dying or divorce. I do remember that it was a major subject to depict on television in the 1970’s.
I was born in the 70’s and grew up with the Brady Bunch family. Divorce, remarriage, and blended families weren’t dinnertime conversation. As a matter of fact, people typically divorced quietly moved to a new area and started all over again. But to see a blended family that didn’t hide its warts was interesting.
Interesting because it was the official end of the Stepford wife era. A period in times when wives didn’t have any independent ambitions other than being a Mrs. and mother. It appeared, on television at least, that wives didn’t have opinions, ideas of input. If you did, you were an outcast or feminist.
But Mrs. Brady changed all of that. She was raising three girls as a single mother when she met Mike Brady.Mr.s Brady didn’t appear to be a desperate housewife seeking a sponsor for her and her girls. She decided to accept his proposal out of want and not a necessity. So contrary to what we see today on reality television.
Apparently, Mr. Brady was attracted to her independence and was clearly impressed by how she was raising awesome girls on her own. Even when they decided to marry, I can’t forget the episode where he talked to his sons and explained who he was marrying and the package deal. He detailed not only his expectations but also the roles his sons would have in the new blended family.
He talked with her about family decisions and appreciated her advice. He neither belittled her nor undervalued her input. When the boys would get out of hand, Mr. Brady would reign the in and vice versa with the Mrs. Brady and the girls. Mrs. Brady was empowered and liberated, and Mr. Brady did nothing to diminish her strength and her shine. He was secure in his masculinity and therefore not challenged by Mrs. Brady being authentically herself.
Together they blended two independently healthy families and built a substantial legacy. Divorce and remarriage never be viewed the same again. Although traditional gender roles have changed, both individuals need to be secure and confident in who they are to support their partner being their most authentic.
Male Call: Two halves may make a whole but two whole people make for a solid foundation on which to build a family.