How America Punishes Motherhood at Every Turn

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

Pregnant woman sitting on the edge of the bed with her hand over her mouth as if she's going to be sick to represent morning sickness.
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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. 

Birthing Expenses

Worried looking pregnant woman in a hospital bed.
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The costs continue to rise, with women on the hook to pay for their outrageously expensive labor and delivery costs. 

No Maternity Leave

Mom at a computer with two kids trying to work. She looks stressed
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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

Sad lonely little girl looking out the window.
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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

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Those years outside the workforce limit a mom’s total lifetime earnings potential. 

Social Security Benefits

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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

Close up of older woman who looks thoughtful and worried.
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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. 

Career Gaps

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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

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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

An angry man stands behind the couch, yelling at a woman who is sitting on the couch with her hands over her ears.
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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

Confused office worker sitting behind a desk holding her hands up.
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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

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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

A tired mom holds an infant with a string of baby clothes tied up on a line behind her.
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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

stressed mom with two young kids
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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. 

Lower Wages

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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

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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?

Three moms sitting on a couch holding their babies.
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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

Incompetent looking boss with his hands up like he doesn't know what he's doing.
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Being the default parent means less time for work, which means bosses routinely pass over moms for promotions. 

The Double Shift

A wife sadly holds a basket of laundry while her husband naps on the couch.
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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

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Society constantly bags on the parents that stayed. Single mothers often find themselves on the receiving end of judgemental looks, disdain, and vitriol. 

Forced Birth

Shocked pregnant woman lying in bed.
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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.

Women Are Leaving Their Husbands In Droves

Happy woman with her hand on a roller suitcase.
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Walk away wife syndrome is all about weaponized incompetence. Women are fed up and leaving men who don’t contribute. 

Here’s what women say about it

Pregnancy’s Horrific Affects on the Body

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Pregnancy is a serious health condition causing a host of problems. Here’s what pregnancy can do to a woman’s health.

House Speaker Admits Anti-Abortion Stance isn’t About The Unborn

Congressman Mike Johnson sitting on a committee meeting before his election as speaker of the house.
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They only view women as incubators, not as people. See his comments here

Proof Misogyny Thrives in Our Society

A woman has her hands on her head and her mouth open in shock and disbelief.
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Forcing women to undergo the horrific medical condition that is pregnancy is only one example of the rampant misogyny thriving in society. Here are 24 more examples of everyday sexism women face

He Might Be Sexist If…

 A man stands biting his lip looking unsure of himself.
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Not sure if your new boyfriend is sexist or just clueless? Here are some clues it’s misogyny