Impossibly High Standards Moms Are Held To That Dads Aren’t

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motherhood standards

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If you’ve seen the movie “Marriage Story” then you may have been struck by the absolute truth and disarmingly genuine moment in the speech Scarlett Johansson’s character’s lawyer (played by Laura Dern) gives her about motherhood. It’s a speech about the way our society views mothers, and the things we expect of them that we just don’t expect of fathers. Though her character can be at times very “LA Fake” and a little superficial, there is something so real about her speech on motherhood. You can almost feel the female writers of this film reaching out to you through this speech. If you haven’t seen the movie, see it just for that speech alone.


Moms catch no breaks. For some reason that fact seems unchangeable—immovable. Perhaps society started it but we as women continued it: these immeasurable pressures on mothers. If you’re a mom, then you know that nobody is as hard on you as you are on yourself. And that says a lot, because everyone else is pretty damn hard on you. There have been some truly unjust and damaging practices that went on for so long in our society, that it may take another century to truly dislodge them from our psyches. One such practice—or rather idea—is the notion that parenthood is for moms. I think that since the first time a human man and woman created a child, out came this idea that it is primarily the mother’s responsibility to rear the kid. When you hear that outloud, it sounds so antiquated. There’s no way we still think like that, right? Well, look around. I think it’s quite clear that we do. Here are impossible standards mothers are held to that dads just aren’t.


motherhood standards

Source: Nitat Termmee / Getty

The home should be immaculate

Walk into the home of a single mother, and it had better be spick and span. It better be a home too, with all the trappings of a warm, child-friendly environment. Hand-knitted blankets, soft throw pillows, adorable baskets containing loads of toys, pantries full of the perfect kid snacks. Doesn’t it just seem like people are appalled if a mother’s house isn’t full from wall to ceiling with those motherly touches?

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