"Most of all, though, the treatment of Kate McCann exposes our conflicted attitudes toward mothering. In progressive places like America and the U.K., women have the right to work. But when something bad happens to a child, our most primitive instincts return, and we find the mom guilty for letting the child out of her sight."

The above quote was taken from an article on msn.com about Kate McCann. Here is the article in full.

While the article itself wasn't about the topic of double-standards, i wanted to address it as it ties so closely with the supermom problem.  It portays a crazy busy woman. A working mom, wife, does a huge share of the household chores. At some point, a ball will drop. But which one do you want to drop?

I personally think it's horribly unfair of the media to stick Kate with the working mom double standard this way. No parent in their right mind would purposely choose to drop the "child" ball.

What are your thoughts on this double standard? And if you're a SAHM, what are the double standards you face? 

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Comments:

KillerBs
Feb. 2, 2008 at 1:23 AM

SAHMs can't be tired because they get enough sleep and don't "work" during the day to become tired.

SAHMs must always have the laundry done and the kitchen clean because you know there will be that remark made about them if they aren't.

SAHMs better make sure that something visible is done becuase doing the bills, budget, volunteering, selling items on ebay, etc. are not visible and so you must not have worked at all today.

SAHMs know what their children are doing no matter what time of the day and no matter how many chores, appointments, errands, etc. that they did that day.  They are SAHMs, they stay at home to keep track of their kids right?

Oh, I could go on!  My husband mentioned that the kitchen looked horrible this morning, at the same time I wanted to punch him...I also had this quilty feeling.  WHY?  It's not like I watch three hours of Soap Operas, spending the rest of the day devoted between the computer, romance novels, and the slighty annoying children running around!  There is one thing I have trained my husband on...When he says, "You don't work" he has to add "outside the home" to it or he gets hit!

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ShastaVA
Feb. 2, 2008 at 1:36 AM As a SAHM, I totally agree with KillerB's... my husband has learned to never say anything to me about the way the house looks unless he intends to clean it himself... I found it funny the other day when I was complaing about the house being a mess because we had a guest coming over and he said, "what can they expect? I think they'll understand that you have two kids, three if you include me."  LOL... my husband has learned thru the arguements that we have gotten into that as a SAHM, I work just as hard as he does, the only difference is that my shifts are 24 hours and not 12, I don't get any days off, and I dont' see a paycheck...

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theon...
Feb. 2, 2008 at 9:38 AM I saw that article, and I too thought it was horribly unfair.  There is definitely a double standard.  Mothers are expected to work and do their share of supporting the family, but then there is an outcry when we discover that so many children come home every day to empty homes and have no parental involvement.  What's it gonna be?

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wife1st
Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:22 AM Having had been a working mom suffering from supermomism, it is an extreme amount of pressure, especially when working in a high-stress career (not just a job). I don't mean to make it sound snooty, towards the end of my working days I actually switched careers within the same industry and did something a lot easier on me. I took a huge cut in pay, but I didn't internalize and stress so much.

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erfrye
Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:39 AM that's bull crap..and that's as eloquent as I can be right now.

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jkat72
Feb. 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM

I never held of this woman before but from the article, I think there are too many variables being piled on.  Hell, they were on vacation.  What difference did it make if she was a working mom or SAHM???  Ride her for leaving three kids alone while they went out to dinner but working had nothing to do with it.

I think we all make choices at some point that could land our kids on the shitty end of the consequence equation.  We can all just try to do our best to stay on top of things and take action as appropriate.  And that's not just working moms making childcare decisions.  SAHMs have plenty of opportunity to screw up their kids with inadequate care, education or socialization.

Regarding your double standards question for SAHMs, I think KillerBs is nailing 'em.

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wife1st
Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:12 PM

The thing about people saying "if she wasn't a working mom, she wouldn't have her back on her kids" really kind of pissed me off. It got me to thinking about that whole working mom double standard that I faced when I was in the workforce. That, along with the desire to do the best for my family, really drove me to disaster.

I agree as well with the many ways we can mess up our kids, regardless of our "working" status. 

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