“And unlike most professions, mom enjoys a very high popularity rating. The world is your public relations team. Nary a television commercial or Oprah segment passes without someone giving props to Mom.It’s like being an astronaut or animal rescuer: You’re automatically beloved. Even if you’re bad at being a mom, the halo effect still sheds its heavenly light on thee.”
~ from Parenting magazine
Blogger Dani mentioned her blog post about how being a mother is NOT the most important job in the world (which I agree with completely), so I thought I’d do a quick google search to see what others had to say about this as well since we are at this hallowed day her in the US where mothers are deified. Not to say GOOD mums and dads shouldn’t be appreciated – reemphasizing, the ones who actually deserve it – but I’m also not going to kiss the feet of every female who has children and act like they are better human beings than the rest of us – of all genders – who don’t have any, or make the role of the mother superior to that of the role of the father.
The superiority complex of so many out there who think they have it so hard in America because they were blessed with a child, whether it be via birth or not, and tell others that they are doing the hardest job on earth, or like #45’s stepford daughter Ivanka says “it’s the most important thing you can do as a woman”, is shitting all over women who cannot have (or are not interested in having) kids.
I’ve been that person in the workplace watching the parents who get to come in later and leave earlier because of kids, when my own personal needs were blown off because it wasn’t the same as having kids. People who get to rework their schedules to accommodate taking their kids to school (because I guess they’re too good for the bus), while I was expected to always be in by a specific time no matter what I had going on in my life. I was never seen as important enough compared to the people who had kids. And then at the same time I see these companies that brag about being family-friendly, and yet have no interest in providing health insurance that actually covers infertility treatment. My husband’s company is one of them. Along with not paying a living wage, their insurance benefits have zero coverage for infertility treatments while openly bragging about how they cover much rarer situations like sex reassignment surgery (which I think is great, yes, but is not superior to a disease that affects one in eight couples). That kind of hypocrisy is rampant when it comes to Motherhood. LinkedIn currently has people writing posts with the hashtag #MomSkills, attributing the skills they have to some super power that only a mother could have, ultimately dissing non mothers. And the hero worship that comes out when you hear people speaking about moms is also pretty twisted when so much of the time in our culture mothers are deemed primary parents, while fathers are simply financial assistance and buddies to the child. Hell, when a father stays home with the child while the mother goes out, that disgusting term babysitting comes out all too often, as if the dad is the equivalent to some fourteen-year-old you paid 4 bucks an hour to watch. And when a father takes their kid to the park solo, everybody pats them on the back as if they just cured cancer.
“You must not have kids” is one of the most condescending statements I’ve heard over the years from people who try to make themselves superior to you or simply claim that by the act of having children you couldn’t possibly understand how hard life can be, or how to multitask in your own life, or how to be unselfish. And most recently there’s the women who have posted on these professional boards that until they became a mother, they didn’t know what love was. Well you know what? That’s pretty fucking pathetic if you didn’t know what love was and that nobody could possibly understand love unless they have a child. Yes of course your life changes, and hopefully having a child will add to your happiness, but in no way does it make you a better person than someone who doesn’t have children. In no way.
I could go on, but in these collection of quotes from The Narcissism of Motherhood, Catherine Devaney says it all:
“The deification of mothers not only delegitimizes the relationship fathers, neighbors, friends, grand parents, partners, teachers, carers etc have with children but diminishes the immense worth and value of these relationships. (It also encourages co dependency and discourages independence. ‘You need your mum. Only your mum will do’) It also discourages other adults from being actively involved in children’s lives. Because, you know, it’s not as good as being a mother. Bollocks.”
“Buying into and enabling the ‘being a mother is the most important job in the world’ dogma devalues the unpaid labor of rearing children and other unpaid caring and domestic tasks almost as much as is strategically devalues women’s worth in the work place.”
“Even if it were a job there is no way being a professional mother could be the hardest when compared to working 16 hours a day in a clothing factory in Bangladesh.”