…been blamed for the demise of everything from department stores to dinner dates to American cheese. They have been described as entitled and optimistic, inpatient and multi-taskers, self-focused and collaborative.
Just as we have needed feminism to do more work to recognize, understand and address issues of LGBTQI communities, women of color, Indigenous women and women who are disabled, we also need feminism to better understand and address the needs of mothers. This is especially true as mothers today do far more work with far less resources than mothers of t…
…itical to the functioning of a family, this labor remains largely invisible, gendered and devalued. We only recognize the value of this work when there is no one performing it and things fall apart. The same can be said of caregiving in general: Someone has to perform the critical work of caring for vulnerable human beings, but we do not adequately value or even recognize this as work.
Today, we are in an era marked by the rise of “intensive mothering,” an ideology that sets out ideals, norms and practices for being a “good mother.” The “good mother” is expected to be self-sacrificing, wholly centered on her child, endlessly patient, financially secure and emotionally consumed with the task of motherhood. It is a standard that is all but unattainable.
, endlessly patient…lf-sacrificing, wholly centered on her child, endlessly patient, financially secure and emotionally consumed with the task of motherhood. It is a standard that is all but unattainable.
In other words, we aren’t putting all the pressure on ourselves to continuous parent in a vacuum: The sense that this is the norm is reinforced in different ways, from the daycare’s option to stream video to the study that found 41% of parents “can’t remember” the last time the last time they had a kid-free outing.
… children, we are doing everyone a disservice, Dr. Brock tells Motherly, noting that research shows the expectation that mothers derive their happiness primarily from their children is associated with negative maternal mental health outcomes.