You may have seen the commercial circulating where people are interviewed for the world’s toughest job (spoiler: it’s being a mom so you should buy her a card) and while I know this might not be a popular opinion, I have huge issues with this video. While moms can be terrific, there are a few things that are inexcusable about this video in an age claiming to offer equality to both women and men:
1. The video deminishes the value of women who cannot/choose not to be stay-at-home moms.
While being a stay-at-home mom can be wildly fulfilling for some, other women have no desire to make this choice. Women who have children frequently have other tough full-time jobs because they need money (women are still routinely employed in jobs where they make less than men) or else, and here’s the kicker, because they WANT to. Desiring a fulfilling career does not make a woman less of a mom because she is not ”on kid duty” twenty four hours a day.
2. It diminishes the value of women who choose not to have children at all.
This video basically says, that while being a mom admittedly is horrible (insane and inhumane are adjectives used in the video), the nobel feeling that you get raising awesome kids is totally worth it. The truth is, some women do not feel drawn to that elusive nobel feeling and are just stuck at the horrible part. Being responsible for a tiny human life does not sound fun to many people, especially if it cries and poops. Even if a woman doesn’t dislike children, perhaps she just doesn’t want them because she is busy with other priorities or isn’t in a stable financial place to raise a family. The point is that women do not need to use their wombs to be valuable members of society, and they shouldn’t have to explain their choice not to have children.
3. It diminishes the value of women who want to raise children but cannot.
The video is insensitive to women struggling with infertility or who are in same-sex relationships where they cannot find a way to legally adopt a child or conceive a baby.
4. It assumes that having a baby and staying available for it 24/7 are all it means to be a good mother.
Plenty of people who are not responsibility enough to have children still have them. Even further, plenty of women who stay home with their babies are abusive or negligent.
5. It assumes that fathers cannot be stay-at-home parents.
Changing the wording of the video to say “being a parent” instead of “being a mom” could have given credit to all of the great dads out there, but for whatever reason, we are supposed to ignore their contribution here. Society should be giving credit to dads that care for their kids and should not be letting dads who don’t pull their weight in the child area off of the hook by allowing them to think that all of that kid stuff is mom business.
6. It assumes that every person was raised by a mother to begin with.
At this point in our history, it is remarkable that we aren’t recognizing the fact that a two-parent mom-dad household isn’t statistically the norm anymore. Plenty of great individuals are raised by single parents, grandparents, foster parents, relatives, or same-sex parents.
This Mother’s Day, please give your momma some love (if applicable) and if you are a satisfied stay-at-home mom, understand that you are appreciated, but please recognize the contributions of every person as valuable in to our society, even if they don’t involve raising kids.