Ways Working Moms Are Judged That Working Dads Aren’t
Will the completely imbalanced and unfair ways people judge working moms versus working fathers ever change? Screw that: even just moms versus dads. Will the ludicrous and unjust ways people view these two groups ever evolve? It seems that moms can do 95 percent of parenthood right, but just be scrutinized for the five percent they didn’t knock out of the park. Meanwhile, fathers get awards, praise, admiration, and “Awwws” for putting in a tiny bit of effort. Really, they get all of that for showing up for the five percent the moms dropped the ball on. This discrepancy is even worse among working mothers and fathers. The fact that we even still have the term “working mom” proves it. Nobody specifies if a working man is a “working dad.” He’s just a…dad. Or a…man. Here are unfair ways working mothers are judged, that working fathers rarely are.
Traveling for work
People are astonished when a mother takes the chance to travel for work or leaves for those out-of-town conventions. But what about your kids? Don’t you want to spend the weekend with them? Of course she does. And yet, people always make it seem like her choice to travel for work immediately means she doesn’t want to spend time with her kids.
Stealing the SAHD’s career
When the working mom is married to a stay at home dad who left his career to raise children, there is gossip. There are comments about her robbing the man of his career—of his masculinity even. Nobody judges a working father for asking his kid’s mother to stay at home.
Taking an out-of-town project
Then, sometimes, those long out-of-town projects come up that require a mother to leave her kid for a month, or leave town Monday to Friday every week for a few weeks. Again, people will be shocked. Again, people will see this as a direct reflection of how much she cares about her kids. Nobody feels that way about working dads who work out-of-town gigs. It’s seen as sweet that they come home for the weekends; not bad that they left in the first place.
Missing family dinner
If a working mom agrees to stay at the office late to work on a project, people ask, “What about dinner with your family? Who is making them dinner?” If a working dad stays late at the office, people may ask if he misses dinner with the family, but they don’t accuse him of neglecting his family.
Missing the recitals and games
Every working mom knows it: that the moms who are at the soccer games and piano recitals are talking about the fact that she’s rarely there. Meanwhile, they give the dad who shows up once a quarter a gold star.
Taking them out for fast food
When people see a dad taking his kids out for fast food, they just think it’s fun, bonding time between dad and kids—that it’s a special occasion and quite sweet. When people see a mom with her kids at a fast food chain, they think she’s a bad mom.
Bringing a kid to work
When a mom does this, people groan. They think (or say), “She clearly should have just taken a longer maternity leave.” When a dad brings his kid to work, people think it’s adorable.
Running late to work
A mom who runs late to the office due to dropping kids off at school or some breakfast disaster at home with the children is considered a mess—unorganized. A dad who runs late due to dropping the kids off at school is “Such a good dad.”
Not looking flawless
Again, if a working mom appears in any ways to not have her sh*t totally together, people say she can’t handle it—people say she isn’t balancing work life and family life well. That’s what they say when she shows up with milk vomit on her blazer. If a dad shows up like that, he’s called a great dad—again.
Killing it at work
Perhaps a lot of people accept that mothers work, but even the “open-minded” crew will be appalled if a working mother tries to kill it at work. If she, for example, nominates herself for a promotion, people think it’s inappropriate and negligent, since she’s a mom. How can she take on more work, they’ll whisper.
Working. At all.
Then, of course, there are those old school (aka close-minded) individuals who just don’t think that moms should work. They’ll always raise an eyebrow at the working mom in their office, and ask questions like, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll miss the toddler’s first words?”
Being out of touch
Look, it’s hard for a working mom to be totally in-touch with every single new trend and hot topic. And when she’s out of touch, people again accuse her of just not handling it all well. When a dad doesn’t know what a trending term is, it’s “cute” that he’s out of touch.
Taking “me” time
A spa day. A mani-pedi. If a mom takes some “me time” she can be seen as selfish. If a dad takes me time, well, nobody really talks about it because dads take that kind of time most of the time.
Trying to have it all
People will accuse working moms of “trying to have it all.” Funny enough, I’m sure there is no working mom out there who feels that she has it all.
Hiring a nanny
“Don’t you fear she’ll bond more with the kids than you?” people ask of moms who hire nannies. Nobody warns a dad that his nanny will bond more with the kids than they will with him. Oh, but by the way, there are ways around that dilemma.