Justice

Mom's Facebook Post on Parenting Points out a Double Standard

August 19th 2016

By:
Almie Rose

As most parents of infants will tell you, shit happens. But, moms and dads are judged very differently based on how they deal with this eventuality.

Australian blogger and mom of four, Constance Hall, illustrated this double standard by sharing a story on Facebook of diaper-changing her kids in the park. At the time of writing, her post has almost 5k shares.

"I felt like a loser. The world went on."

Hall was at a restaurant in a park with a friend and her young daughter, who suddenly needed a diaper change.

"I went to the bathroom and there was no change table.

No dramas the restaurant was in a park, I went very far away, put her on the grass and changed her bum.

No big deal.

30 minutes later a women approached me and said, 'I saw you changing your daughters nappy, could you please use the change table next time'

I said 'there wasn't one'

She said 'there is, it's in the disabled toilet and that's around the other corner'

I said 'cool, she's probably not due for another shit for about 6 hours but I will act accordingly'

I felt like a loser. The world went on."

Hall then talks about a near-identical experience — only this time, dad was on diaper duty.

"The following weekend we were at the park, all of us.

Rumi shat.. I told Bill that it was his turn, he put Rumi on the grass and changed his bum.

A group of women walked passed, one said.. 'Aww good dad!!! That's what we like to see, get in there'

Bill felt like a legend. The world went on."

The dramatic difference in the response reveals a parenting double standard.

"I didn't think much of it because I am used to it.

I am used to being scrutinised [sic] for jobs that my husband is praised for.

I am used to picking the kids up from school to judgmental looks about being late, while Bill is used to a red fucking carpet and a 12 piece band praising him for his heroic appearance at school pick up.

That's the way we as a society are, we place so much pressure on women to be perfect and selfless while putting low parenting expectations on men."

"I am not saying quit the praise [for dads]," Hall makes clear.

"I love seeing Bill get praised for the things he does for our kids. He is a good dad, why not celebrate him.

But let's praise each other too, let's see a women talking on the phone while pushing her pram and think 'wow, she chose not to stay at home bidding on eBay smashing straight vodka. She chose to come to the park and be a magnificent mum'

[...] Kindness puts a red carpet under every shitty arse and a 12 piece band at every late school drop off.

You just can't see it 💗"

Dads aren't just babysitters.

It's insulting to tell a dad he's "just babysitting" or "on babysitting duty" because as one popular t-shirt proclaims, "Dads Don't Babysit. (It's Called 'Parenting')."

And the bar seems to be lower for dads than it is for moms.

Ali Wong devoted a section of her recent stand-up special "Baby Cobra" to highlighting the double standard between moms and dads, like those who heaped praise on her husband for going with her to all of her doctor appointments while she was pregnant.

"Guess who else has to go to those doctors' appointments?" she points out. "Me! I'm the star of the show. There's nothing for the camera to see if I'm not there, but he's the hero for playing Candy Crush while I get my blood drawn."

Hall's message is important: A great dad is wonderful, but let's not insult them or moms by heaping praise on dads for doing what dads are supposed to do. They're raising these kids, not just babysitting them.

[h/t Someecards]