Let’s Blame Mom!

Why are our politicians so out of touch with reality? Moms and families need support not criticism.

It’s funny how women seem to be at the root cause of every societal issue supposedly bringing the country down. Now, apparently working moms are getting the blame, or should I say are being called out on this issue now, because really we’ve heard this before. The difference is that it came out of the mouth of someone who was voted by the good people of Mississippi. Governor Phil Bryant (R) said that America is so “mediocre” in educational outcomes because “mom is in the workplace.”

He also said America seemed to be losing ground internationally in regards to educational outcomes because other nations began to invest more in their school systems.

Incidentally, this political slip of the tongue is in the wake of the new Pew Research indicating that women are the main breadwinners in 40% of households with children. This is up from 11% in 1960 but instead of celebrating this achievement the research also indicates that think this is a “problem.” Some people just won’t cut June Cleaver loose!

I thought we were in a good place about moms and work. Yes, there is all this discourse about the lack of leaning in and opting out – but there’s also a renaissance of relaunchers, an increase in female entrepreneurship and the growing number of women earning advance degrees. Someone is always judging – whether we choose to stay-at-home or work outside of the home while raising children – and it seems like moms are always fair game.

Some sobering statistics on how our country does not support moms or families:

  • When Australia passed a parental leave law in 2010, it left the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns. 178 nations around the world, including some of the poorest provide universal paid leave for new mothers.
  • The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 guarantees new parents their jobs for 12 weeks after the arrival of a new baby but they do not have to be paid and exemptions apply for small companies.
  • A Families and Work Institute report found only 16 percent of the companies it surveyed offered fully paid maternity leave in 2008, down from 27 percent in 1998.

The real issue and the real issue alone with education in our country is money. Schools that perform well are in areas where kids are supported, nurtured and fed. We need to stop cutting programs that can help families like early-childhood programs and mandate paid leave for new mothers.

We need to fix our economy, increase jobs and revive the middle class so kids can do better in school. These are the steps our politicians should be making instead of blaming moms for the slippery slope our education system is in.

Comments

  1. I was both a stay at home mom and later, a working mom. I managed to juggle it, keep the ‘kids’ safe and well-educated in part because I had a husband who also tended to his own children. I wonder how some of these men view their role as fathers? Whether mom works or not, dads should be involved in all aspects of parenting. (not very relevant to your topic, but…)

    I don’t know how our politicians can hold their heads up and talk about your systems when we lag so far behind European countries in health benefits, education, the rights of women and other key issues. Women in other countries work and it hasn’t wrecked those societies! We wouldn’t be having this dialogue if there were more female politicians.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more Walker! Seems like “mommy wars” and work/life balance always seem to center on moms! It’s unbelievable how the U.S. does lag behind on so many issues! Thanks for reading.

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