The media is saturated by news of “mommy wars”. It feels like the "Can we have it all" conversation has been going for decades, and the question still gets thrown at us daily. But we have some good news.
Quartz 's video disproves the toxic myth that working mothers are somehow bad for their children—a mindset that's sparked years of debate, and made many moms feel guilty about trying to juggle career and family.
Here are some of the most interesting things they found.
The theory that parents now spend less time with their children is just bad science.
This is a big one. The claim that “parents spend 40 percent less time with their kids” since women joined the workforce is inaccurate and was never fact-checked. The 1985 article it came from contained mistakes that distorted key numbers.
Nevertheless, that article exploded into the public consciousness, fueling the media narrative about working moms. It made many women feel that they had to choose, or just feel guilty about being a working parent.
Parenting time is actually increasing.
Women might be working more—70 percent of mothers work outside the home—but they’re spending more time with their kids. As far back as 2000, mothers were spending as much time with their kids as stay-at-home moms did in 1975.
Fathers are the key to closing the gap.
The reality is that men are under far less pressure to make time for their kids around work. But they are the key to shifting the disproportionate exceptions we put on mothers. The key is to give dads paid parental leave, and to take some of the burden away from women. Paul Raeburn, author of Do Fathers Matter?, says it’s crucial fathers bond with their kids soon after they’re born; it's linked to them spending more time together later on.
The good news? Though mothers still spend almost twice as much time with their kids than fathers, the "parenting gap" is shrinking.
We have a long way to go in changing the way we talk about mothering and working moms. But “having it all” is not a gender-specific problem. Anyone who says it is just hasn't checked their facts.