How Society and the Government View Mothers

Society and governments have viewed women to be best suited for staying home and taking care of the house and children. In the last post, I referenced the 1973 CBS Special how the government would only support women financially if the father was not present. These families had to make difficult decisions to be able to provide for their children and many fathers left and became absent while mothers had the sole responsibility to care for their children. Education and advancing careers were thought to be insignificant for women and they struggled as single mothers.

Today, the same paradigm for women exists in our society. Custody laws (90% of the time in Texas) give the majority of time to mothers (about 66% of time during school months) to women. A friend and a single mother says it best. “The lopsided custody laws in Texas enforce historical biases against women, implying that they should be the primary parent to care for the children because they are ‘better’ at it. This bias assumes the fathers need more time without the children so they can work, and that women do not have the same successful, demanding careers as fathers so they should have more time caring for the children. If we are to create a society of equality, and raise our children to view women and men as equally capable and successful in fulfilling careers, and also in caring for children – changing diapers, making school lunches, doing homework, making doctor appointments, comforting the child, and running a household, mothers and fathers must equally share in parenting to move society forward and to show our children that men and women are equal at both home and work.”

As we strive for equality and what is best for children, we must understand how unequal laws affect mothers and that fathers are equally capable of child-rearing. New research shows how the brain changes during child rearing, especially during the early years. A new study shows that we no longer need to put all the responsibility on women and we must allow for the child-parent relationship bond during the early stages of life: “…it’s clear that we’re all born with the circuitry to help us be sensitive caregivers, and the network can be turned up through parenting.” https://www.pnas.org/content/111/27/9792

Of course, women do play a very significant role throughout pregnancy and in early stages of life, and we must support women during this time period, but we must not suppress women in society by creating unfair custody laws. Research has shown that women earn more and the pay gap closes with equal shared parenting.

Society must celebrate our unique differences, allow both parents to bond with the child, allow women to be successful in the work place, close the pay gap, and most importantly do what is best for our children.