Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yes, Double Standards Do Exist!

Question: Have you ever seen a person approach a female who has a child and hear them say: "I think it's amazing that you have stepped up to take care of your child?" No, of course you haven't. Why? Because that doesn't happen. Our society expects that women who give birth to children will step up and actually take care of them. Men on the other hand...well that is a different story.

I remember not too long ago before I became a mother, I saw a woman on the train watching a man and his children. I then heard her say to the person she was sitting next to: "I think it's amazing when men take care of their children." I remember being shocked to hear such a statement. Amazing? Um, isn't that what they're supposed to do? I mean if you're going to create, step up to the plate. (Yes, I just made that up).

But it goes deeper than that. Many women see me to be more attracted to men who have children whereas men seemed to be turned off by women who have children. I So I questioned some of my good friends about this to make sure I wasn't loosing my mind. It turns out that women are so jaded about the staggering high number of men who skip out on raising children they helped to create that when they do find a man who has stepped up to the plate, it makes him look "responsible", "loving", "brave", and "present." Whereas a women with children isn't the least bit impressive and actually quite daunting because what if she's one of those chicks who have "eight" baby daddy's, baby daddy drama, is looking for a man to take care of her and raise her child/children or is just fucking psycho? Men with children screams "stability" whereas women with children screams "run in the other direction."

Perhaps you disagree. But please tell me why then is it so much easier for men with children to start over after a failed relationship as opposed to women? Is it a difference in maturity levels between the two sexes? Are women more attracted to men who seem like good nurturers (i.e. dads)? Are men more threatened by the perceived competition when it comes to dating a mother?

All I know is that when I ended my marriage, I felt like the world was my oyster and after soul searching, I bravely entered the world of dating again only to find that men were so quick to bash a single mother and stereotype and stigmatize us. I remember feeling hurt, angry, and confused when seemingly promising connections quickly dissolved after I revealed I had a child. But this didn't seem to be the story for the single men. Quite the opposite seemed to occur in which single women quickly flocked to men who had children (especially if they were the primary care givers) because they were the perfect reflection of a real man who had his shit together.

So my point is, double standards do exist. There is nothing particularly special or extraordinary about a single mom who takes care of her offspring because well hell, that is what she is supposed to do! But a single dad...a man who takes responsibility for his offspring whether it be as the caretaker or that is a real catch! I'm just saying...


  1. Totally agree. I think people appreciate rarity and take standards for granted. So a responsible man is like a diamond, but a responsible woman is yet another bowl of plain Cheerios. FTR, I always liked dating women with kids, because I'm good with kids, which, yes, made me look like a much better catch than I actually am.

  2. Thank you for your feedback. I remember being so shocked and perplexed by some of the responses I was getting. As always, you've simplified it to an extent that makes it easy to see why these distorted perceptions exist. The truth is, I don't need to be recognized as a super hero. My son validates me and I know that I am doing a good job and that is what I need to focus on.

  3. All i gotta do is just WALK into the supermarket with my children and I get compliments, free stuff, and phone numbers... I am like REALLY?

  4. Damn...that is deep! All I gotta do is walk into a supermarket with my kid and the looks seem to be saying : please don't let that kid have a tantrum. Keep him under control. The world we live in...

  5. You couldn't get it any more right! Double standard in every way. Worst part is, it's not just men creating these social stigmas and stereotypes. Women do it, too, as you referenced the lady on the train. So frustrating...

  6. It's sad that it is both men and women contributing to this issue. And I just felt so strongly about it and that is what produced this post. Everyone should have a fair chance at starting over and it's not a competition. Why can't both women and men who are parents be represented as responsible, mature, caring adults?

  7. Jenn, you have hit the nail on the head, yes double standards do exist. However, I would like to give a fresh outlook from a stepmom's point of view. When I see men out alone with their children, I am excited that a single mom, mom or stepmom is getting a much deserved break. With only 20% of single men having custody of their children, the one's you are seeing out and about are most likely part time dads on visitation. Yes, let's applaud them and cheer them on so they will do more of it.
    Great job to all the single moms out there who are parenting with part time help or no help at all. We take care of our children because we love them and no ones has to give us an award for it. If no one else applauds you I do!!!

    Yes, men with children are cute and look responsible, but do your homework and think twice about dating or marrying a man with children. Many a frustrated stepmom will tell you that all is fine until you say I do. There is a large group of career stepmoms who say if they had to do it over again, they would never marry a man with children. Hmmmm.
    As the biological mom of 2 and stepmom to 6, I felt the same way until we learned how to survive as a stepfamily. By the way if you need some stepfamily help, check us out at
    With that being said, let's flip the script on this double standard and as single moms let's look at men with children differently. Like I said, let's give them kudos for taking care of the kids for whatever time they do and encourage them to do more of it. And then let's think twice before dating them, because after all you could end up a frustrated stepmom and have to do coaching sessions with me JLove the Stepmom Coach.

  8. I have been raising my daughter since she was 2 (she is now nine) and I find that women are impressed yes, that I am raising my daughter. But as soon as they realise that I have no time to be spontaneous in the relationship they soon depart. Many women that I have dated don't want the responsibility of another womans child even if it is just as a friend and role model. So I have given up. I will just continue to be there for my daughter. Continue my studies at Uni, continue to work on the not for profit organisation I started and wait till my daughter is grown up and I have an income that is sufficient before I start dating again.