America hates motherhood. You wouldn’t know that from hearing politicians talk, though. Many scream about “protecting women” and “family values,” but the policies enacted betray the truth: America hates mothers.
Here are 16 policies and cultural expectations that hurt mothers that everyone seems to accept.
No Prenatal Care
America wants to force women to bear children but doesn’t want to pay for them to get the prenatal care they desperately need for a healthy pregnancy.
The costs continue to rise, with women on the hook to pay for their outrageously expensive labor and delivery costs.
No Maternity Leave
You’d expect a country that pretends to celebrate mothers would provide them ample time to recuperate from birth and bond with their infants. Not the US, which doesn’t have any maternity leave mandate outside FMLA, which falls ridiculously short.
Ridiculous Cost of Childcare
Moms are immediately thrust back into the workforce. But wait, who will watch the kids? Daycare costs almost as much as the monthly mortgage. The high costs push many moms out of the workforce entirely.
Lower Lifetime Earnings
Those years outside the workforce limit a mom’s total lifetime earnings potential.
Social Security Benefits
Lower lifetime earnings mean lower lifetime social security benefits, and since women live longer than men, it means a higher chance of living in poverty during your senior years.
Lower Retirement Incomes
The time off work also reduces her opportunity to contribute to a 401K. All the legs of her retirement savings are shorter because she took time off to raise kids.
Women who stayed home for a few years have problems returning to the workforce. With gaps in their resume, they need to start from the bottom, creating an even more significant retirement gap.
She’s Left With Nothing
Women who stay home are reliant on their husbands. If he decides to leave, she’ll be left with nothing: no job, no money, and kids to care for.
Stuck in Abuse
Many women get stuck in abusive relationships for that very reason. They bought the lie that their husband valued them, opted out of work to raise kids, and once he had her trapped, he flipped a switch. Now, she’s stuck without the capability to support herself if she leaves.
Discrimination Against Moms at Work
Moms who can afford childcare and decide to keep working don’t have things much better. They’re constantly discriminated against as employers assume their families will come first.
Work Above All Else
Part of the problem is the American culture celebrating work above all else. Our society only values people who earn money.
But Parenthood isn’t Work
Society derides any work that doesn’t “produce value,” such as parenthood and domestic labor. It criticizes stay-at-home moms as lazy freeloaders, refusing to acknowledge the thankless work mothers do day in and day out.
The Default Parent
Whether they work inside or outside the home, mothers are viewed as the default parents. Bosses assume it, treating them worse, and schools assume it, always calling on mom when there is a problem.
Because of the “default parent” role, moms tend to earn less for the same work as men and child-free women in similar fields.
A Scheduling Problem
Kids need a parent, and often, that parent is the mom. Because of this, many working moms must choose lower-paying jobs with more flexibility. They can’t put extra time and effort at work because someone needs to stay with the kids. These flexible positions pay less and limit their career prospects.
Who Stays Home with Sick Kids?
Kids get sick, and usually, mom has to call in to stay home with them. Many fathers still refuse to take a sick day for their kids, and even some who stay home all day refuse to step up.
Passed up for Promotions
Being the default parent means less time for work, which means bosses routinely pass over moms for promotions.
The Double Shift
Despite working full-time, moms are still considered default parents and homemakers. Moms come home from a hard day of work to even more work, while dads come home and relax.
Single Mother Hatred
Society constantly bags on the parents that stayed. Single mothers often find themselves on the receiving end of judgemental looks, disdain, and vitriol.
And if that’s not enough, many states are starting to force it on women, enacting policies to strip women of their rights and force them into a dangerous medical condition. Society doesn’t just hate mothers; it hates all women.
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