Pat Dad on the Back for Being a Good Parent, but Remember to Tell Mom Too

“I wish I’d counted the people who came up daily to applaud [my husband] for his involvement with the kids—one guy even bought him a drink!”
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Feb 2019
Invisible labor for moms, praise for dads being good parents
Photo: Tang Ming Tung courtesy Getty Images

Invisible labor is all too real for moms. More often than not, women are charged with keeping their families afloat. And as one 2019 study points out, it’s often at the expense of their own happiness.

The Instagram page FertileGirl recently shared words from Neha Ruch, where she discusses how people react when she does something with her children as opposed to when her husband does.

As you probably guessed, her partner, gets a whole lot of praise; she gets a whole lot of nothing.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the invisible load of mothers—the doctor appointment scheduling, the gift buying, the sleep training, the class registration, the packing bags for mornings out,” she lists.

While mothers are expected to be the all-knowing figure in their child’s life, dads are usually praised for simply having an active role in parenting. The thing is, it’s damaging to both parents—dads are belittled and moms are undermined.

“When we were traveling, I wish I’d counted the people who came up daily to applaud Dan for his involvement with the kids—one guy brought him a drink,” Ruch recounts.

She and her husband are a parenting team—and Ruch is very thankful for that—but the difference in the way the public perceives them is super-frustrating for the mom.

“Dan is a wonderful father and deserves all the drinks, but no one came up to me to tell me I was doing a great job as I nursed my then 10-week-old and consoled my almost 3-year old,” she says.

Because although her husband looked great playing with their child in the pool, “no one saw what came before, as I spun around the hotel room making sure kids were adequately covered from the sun and supplies were packed in case of poop, hunger, sickness or boredom.”

Let’s be real, the only people who know about all the behind-the-scenes work moms do are, well, moms.

“It’s on us to give each other the cheering,” she says. “To tell each other we see each other.”

Ruch signs off with one important message: “Even if what we do is behind closed doors, it’s not invisible.”

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