Having children, as I have said on multiple occasions, is a highly complex life experience. On the one hand, it is full of incredible moments and learning alongside our children, while on the other hand, being parents is also something that frequently puts us to the test.
However, although currently mothers and fathers share the care and upbringing of children, there are still notable differences not only in the responsibilities of each one, but also in the way in which other people see us.
Proof of this is the series of illustrations that show in a simple way, but also in a clear and strong way, the differential treatment that society gives to mothers and fathers .
The double standard of parenting
It’s no secret that society can be very harsh on mothers. The expectations it places on us are so high that in addition to feeling guilty for believing that we are not doing things right, we are constantly criticized and singled out. Instead, with parents, it’s another story.
So Mary Catherine Starr shows Mother, illustrator and instructor of yoga-, in a small series he created, entitled ‘An Illustrated Guide to the double standards of parenting’ ( ‘An Illustrated Guide to the double of parenting’ in Spanish), and which she has posted on her Mom Life Comics Instagram account.
With four simple examples, Mary Catherine shows very common situations for mothers and fathers, but which are seen in different ways depending on who they are:
Buying fast food:
– funny dad
– lazy mom
Looking at the mobile while walking the baby:
– present dad
– Distracted Mom
Leaving the children at school:
– dad involved
– Working Mom
Playing with the children in the park:
– Exemplary dad
– The typical mom
Of course, these illustrations are not a complaint of mothers towards fathers, but an example of the very different way that society has when judging or assuming things about mothers and fathers , as Mary Catherine explains:
This is not a criticism of dads, it is a criticism of our society, a society that applauds dads for handling the most basic duties of parenting and expects nothing less than perfection from mothers (or, What’s worse, he embarrasses them for every decision and/or move they make!).
Dad taking his son to his pediatrician appointment? That’s great! What a helpful and wonderful guy! Mom doing it? Obviously, it’s his job (whether he works or not).
I could have drawn a million examples like these, but I think you get the point.
Another example of the double standard that he points out in his illustrations is when people tell parents that they “are babysitting” when they are in charge of their children , something that even the parents themselves have commented on is annoying.
Personally, I have always found it annoying how society ignores the work of mothers, while fathers are recognized when they do the exact same thing . Neither are fathers worthy of praise for fulfilling their role, nor are mothers worthy of being criticized for not being perfect.
I think it’s time to understand that having children, taking care of them and raising them is the responsibility of both of them, and both of them are doing their job to the best of their ability.
Illustrations | @momlife_comics by Mary Catherine Starr (reproduced with permission)
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