Why Moms Are Condemned for Things That Dads Are Praised for

Constance Hall, a blogger from Australia and mother of three children, recently shared a story online about how people react differently to the same action depending on whether it’s performed by a mom or a dad.

Although she tells the story with good humor, Constance’s account really made us think: why do we criticize mothers for the things we might praise a father for? We at Likeable think that we can all learn something from this.

I had breakfast with a friend, and, of course, Snow needed her diaper changing. I went to the bathroom, and there was no changing table. No drama. The restaurant was in a park, so I went very far away, put her on the grass, and changed her bum. No big deal.

30 minutes later, a woman approached me and said, “I saw you changing your daughter’s diaper. Could you please use the changing table next time.“

I said, ”There wasn’t one.“

She said, “There is. It’s in the disabled toilet, and that’s around the other corner.”

I said, ”Cool, she’s probably not due for another poop for about 6 hours, but I will act accordingly.“

I felt like a loser. The world went on.

The following weekend we were at the park, all of us. Rumi needed his diaper changing. I told Bill that it was his turn. He put Rumi on the grass and changed his bum. A group of women walked past, and one said, ”Aww good dad!!! That’s what we like to see, get in there.”

Bill felt like a legend. The world went on.

I didn’t think much of it because I am used to it. I am used to being scrutinized for jobs that my husband is praised for. I am used to picking the kids up from school to judgmental looks about being late, while Bill is used to a red carpet and a 12-piece band praising him for his heroic appearance at school pick-up.

That’s the way we are as a society. We place so much pressure on women to be perfect and selfless while putting low parenting expectations on men.

I am not saying quit the praise. I love seeing Bill get praised for the things he does for our kids. He is a good dad, why not celebrate him. But let’s praise each other too. Let’s see a woman talking on the phone while pushing her pram and think, “Wow, she chose not to stay at home bidding on eBay smashing straight vodka. She chose to come to the park and be a magnificent mom.”

Celebrations, high fives, or just a complaint for all Queens today. Because Queening deserves a standing ovation.

You just can’t see it.