There is no doubt motherhood has changed in recent years. Many American moms went from being stay-at-home parents in the 50s and 60s to full-time career women. Although it may appear mothers are superheroes, in all reality, many of them are struggling to keep up. Here’s why…
American Moms Are Really Struggling
Most of us are celebrating our mothers this weekend and everything they do. However, doing everything is exhausting. Should we really be celebrating the ability to work full-time, take care of the kids and home, when they don’t even have time for themselves?
“This ideal of what it means to be a good mom is to put your child’s needs above your own. An ideal worker in the U.S. economy means being fully dedicated and committed with your undivided attention – that you can come in at a moment’s notice, that you don’t have anything that distracts. This doesn’t work if you have kids,” said Caitlyn Collins, a sociology professor. And American moms are really struggling.
American societal, economic, and technological changes have drastically impacted motherhood. In 1975, half of the American moms were able to stay home with their children. In 2019, 70 percent of households have both parents working. Not to mention, the price of childcare continues to rise (between $12,000 and $14,000, depending on your location).
Moms aren’t getting a ton of help either. Even though fathers have stepped up a bit, the work balance is still unequal between moms and dads in households where both parents have full-time jobs. Additionally, about half of grandparents live more than five hours away, making it difficult to receive help if it is needed.
Combine that with social media and depression from comparing themselves to other moms out there, and lack of public policy, American moms have it pretty rough. Because paid maternity leave is only available to 17 percent of the United States population, half of moms in America take less than two months off after having their child.
Six times out of 10, after they return to work, they are shamed on social media for doing so so quickly (or simply parenting “wrong”). This has led to an increase in cases of post-partum depression, anxiety, and mood disorders in mothers in America. Even celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen have fallen victim to this scrutiny.
So, one day a year, we give these amazing women a “thank you” card and a nice lunch. But is that really enough? What else can we do to help these struggling American moms?