Today is mother’s day and I thought of sharing some thoughts besides the usual celebration of this day.
Recently I’ve been reading in an article that women are the ones being more negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis mainly because they are the ones that have to reduce their working hours or even give up their jobs to take care of the children. But even before these uncertain times, women have been suffering from the huge impact of motherhood in their lives.
Motherhood seems to me like a great gift that comes with plenty of sacrifices.
For starters women even in modern societies are often perceived as reproductive machines. As creatures that are not complete, or whole or good enough until they complete the goal of their existence, motherhood. The stigma and discrimination of women expressing their wish not to have children is visible.
With matters like contraception and abortion not yet being solved around the world and still considered women’s problems, women are still fighting to take ownership of their own bodies.
Apart from online forums where women can finally (God SaveThe Internet) share their stories and inform each other about their painful experiences, the world is bombarding women with the image of the happy mommy. Childbirth is NOT the happiest moment in a mother’s life that marks the end of a pregnancy, the happiest 9 months in a mom’s life. Childbirth is an extremely painful procedure that often includes dangerous complications for both mother and child. After the birth many women suffer from postpartum depression, others are just too exhausted to relate to the present moment, others are in enormous pain caused by vaginal stitches, or after having a c- section.
And when all this goes by and they go home, no one talks about the frustration that comes from the huge responsibility they have, to keep this tiny thing alive. And yes, depending on the social health system where you live, the partners might take parental leave and offer significant help, but most of the time, after a couple of months it’ll be the mother’s responsibility to take care of the child, since usually men are the breadwinners in the household.
And speaking of the breadwinners, research shows that…
The gender pay gap is largely caused by motherhood
As Claire Cain Miller writes “the big reason that having children, and even marrying in the first place, hurts women’s pay relative to men’s is that the division of labor at home is still unequal, even when both spouses work full time. That’s especially true for college-educated women in high-earning occupations: Children are particularly damaging to their careers.”
There is no biological clock ticking or being broken, a woman won’t be a whole person when/if she decides to have a child and the impact that parenthood has to their careers should be shared with their partners.
So if there is something to celebrate today, or any other day: Let’s raise our glass to a society that praises parenthood instead of motherhood. After all it takes a village to raise a child!
Any thoughts on this subject? Please feel free to leave your comment here!