What does it mean to be a working mom?
Does it mean sacrifice and martyrdom? Or are modern moms simply expressing a new way to be a mom?
In the U.S., almost 70% of mothers work. This means for all of us running late to daycare, struggling to buckle a toddler into a carseat, and cleaning up another potty accident while on deadline, we are not alone.
We’re also joined by a new kind of dad, one who wants to ask for more time off for his kids but can’t because of gender expectations. The “Motherhood Penalty, Fatherhood Advantage” is taking on a whole new meaning. Fathers only benefit from the advantage if they act like their fathers – and more of them are finding they don’t want to.
We are the generation who will redefine these gender roles, renegotiate expectations, and set a new standard for our kids. Many of us are excited about the prospect, but also frustrated at the slow pace of change. After all, it was just when Obamacare became law that moms had a right for a place to pump breastmilk, and could receive a breastpump paid for by insurance. Many dads still don’t have the right to family leave. Many parents of adopted parents find themselves in the no-man’s land of family leave, not qualifying for “maternity” leave but needing time to bond with their new little one.
We will change and redefine these roles. We will find new ways to manage motherhood. But we can’t do it alone.
Will you join me on this journey?
Image courtesy Flickr user Aaron Molina. Used under Creative Commons license.