Today in mom-shaming: British model Kelly Brook sparked outrage online after implying that working mothers are more prone to slacking off on the job than their childless peers.
"I have a pet hate," she told the British talk show Loose Women earlier this week according to The Sun. "I don't have children, so I don't always understand. But I do work with some women that if they can't make an appointment or can't do something, or there is a deadline, and some people will always say, 'Oh, it's because I have to wash the baby or feed the kids' or 'I've got to do the school run.'"
Cue the massive eye rolls.
"Others have kids and you never even hear about the kids," she continued. "They are very professional, and I love that. I just think women shouldn't use kids as an excuse not to do their job properly. I think it's nobody's business. If you can't meet the demands of your job, don't blame your kids."
Oh, she went there. As you can imagine, viewers were not stoked about her baffling comments.
“This woman has no clue,” one Twitter user wrote. “I work harder now that I have kids than I did when I didn’t! I got a better job after my first kid came along bc just any job wasn’t good enough anymore. I actually got a career. My kids are my motivators for wanting to work hard!”
This woman has no clue!! I work harder now that I have kids than I did when I didn’t! I got a better job after my first kid came along bc just any job wasn’t good enough anymore. I actually got a career. My kids are my motivators for wanting to work hard!
— 💜 Lacey 💜 (@LaceyLou82) June 14, 2018
This mom isn’t alone either. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of women with children under 18 are employed, and the vast majority (75 percent) of those working moms work full-time jobs. As if you needed more proof that working moms bust their chops (you probably didn’t), the DOL reports that as of 2017, 40 percent of working moms “are the primary or sole earners” in their households. Oh, and a 2015 survey conducted by Working Mother found that women are much more likely than their male partners to do household tasks such as laundry and cooking.
Still, some people don’t recognize all the work that goes into holding down a career while also raising tiny humans. The Sun’s opinion writer Samantha Brick took the conversation to an entirely new level in a recent op-ed that praised Brook for “rightly [speaking] from the heart.” We’ll spare you the rant that essentially boiled down to this: Working moms are sometimes selfish, as they sometimes dare to care about their children more than their jobs.
What was noticeably absent from Brick’s argument, as one commenter pointed out on Twitter, was that she never mentioned working fathers.
Aside from the fact that most parents I know work twice as hard since having a child (on top of all their parental responsibilities), why is this conversation focused solely on mums with no mention of dads? 🙄 https://t.co/kYAwPevUDn
— Alison Perry (@iamalisonperry) June 12, 2018
I’d ask why the double standard, but we already know the answer to that question. *Sigh*
Despite our objection to Brook's and Brick’s sweeping generalizations about working moms, it’s important to note that it’s never cool to shame women for not having children either, as a handful of other commenters did. The point here, as everywhere, is that a woman's life choices are entirely her own. Oh, and another point: Let’s just try not to be jerks, OK?