A child is wearing mismatched socks. Their nails aren’t trimmed. The uniform isn’t ironed. Whose fault is it? Even if a father is standing with such a dishevelled child at the bus stop, the disapproving looks and raised eyebrows are always reserved for mommy dearest. She is to be blamed for not been on top of these things.
A child’s physical appearance, hygiene and building earwax have for years fallen under ‘mom’s jobs’; and these are just the tip of the iceberg. No mother is exempt from the scorn that is unleashed in these situations. Even when you’re the daughter of (potentially) the next President of the United States of America. Last week, Chelsea Clinton was hauled over the coals for … wait for it… not dropping her daughter off at her first day of pre-school.
While Chelsea was away campaigning on her mother Hillary Clinton’s behalf, her 2-year-old daughter was taken to school by her…father! I mean the travesty of it all. That poor innocent child being taken to school by her own father. What is the world coming to? I need a moment to compose myself.
Because what could be more important than a child’s first day of pre-school? Helping one’s mother on the campaign trail? (By the way, even Granny’s absence at the school run was noted, though she was somewhat forgiven seeing how she was recovering from pneumonia and all.)
Don’t rubbish these serious allegations now. Think about it. If someone could be so callous with their own child, what does it say about her own upbringing? Do we really want that kind of woman running the most powerful nation in the world?
Sure, I get it. If your mother is running for President then everything you say and do comes under scrutiny. But this? This is news? This is something to shame a woman over? Soon after the Daily Mail published the article, Fox News (but of course) posted a question to followers on its Facebook page asking “Should Chelsea Clinton have been there for her daughter’s first day? Or is it acceptable for one parent to drop the child off?”
Had Chelsea dropped her daughter off at school herself, not one newspaper or twitterer would have asked where the father was. However, you can bet that there would have been intense speculation over what Chelsea wore, how much leg she showed and if her makeup was appropriate for a school drop off. You can’t win can you?
The thing is, each of you reading this and the person writing this, has at some point of time or the other, knowingly or unknowingly judged a woman on some BS double standard. Perhaps we should stop judging each other so harshly in the first place.
My children frequently attend school without bathing, brushing their teeth or combing their hair. My eight-year-old has talons that I could do a mean French manicure on. Nothing to brag about…but these are a few things that fall to the side when life gets in the way. Judge if you must. But judge both parents. Not just me. My husband is as capable of wielding a toothbrush and comb as I am.
(The writer’s parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)