Obviously, parenting norms for mothers exist and are putting a lot of pressure on moms around the world. Having parenting norms can either provide shape to the routine of a mother, or it can apply unnecessary pressure to perfectly fit into the role of being a mother. Ranging from physical to emotional factors, the routines and habits of mothers, in general, are found to have formed according to these factors. These factors influence the behavioral requirements every mother feels the need to fulfill in her family role.
Of course, these so-called “parental roles” have evolved throughout the centuries, but the general idea is still implied that the husband of the family must provide the majority of the income, while the wife of the family takes care of business at home. With these standards implied during the 21st Century, they can be encouraging as much as damaging to women. It is evident that occasionally, women find the courage to stray away from these standards embedded into the scheme of relationships and marriages and follow a lifestyle that they truly desire. However, society, directly and indirectly, puts a lot of pressure onto women to follow the standard plan of marrying, having children, and taking care of them while your husband constantly works. No one directly said that we must follow them, but society surely does make it hard to pick any other path. It also applies major pressure on women because soon, they start believing that there is only one “correct” path that they must follow.
A 2006 study by Abma and Martinez found that American women aged 35 to 44 who were voluntarily childless constituted 5% of all U.S. women(1). This means that a booming 95% of women did have children throughout their lives. Of course, I support this cycle as I’m a firm believer in the reproductive circle of life, and I believe in the phenomenon that your family legacy should be continued. However, for the purpose of the question that’s being explored, think of these statistics from a different point of view. About 95% of the female population in the United States all followed a similar lifestyle when it came to parenting. That means that the majority of the female population feels heavily pressured to fulfill the standards created by others.
If these so-called “norms” are eventually eliminated, it would give women around the world more freedom and flexibility in their lifestyles, meaning they would have more opportunities to pursue what they want. What this ultimately shows is that not only would it make women feel freer, but also feel more inspired to explore different fields throughout life without being chained to a standard that they feel the need to fulfill. Parental roles put an unhealthy label on qualities that must be fulfilled in order to be a “successful woman” or a “good mom”, so if we stopped attaching certain standards then we would see a bigger representation of women in all fields in life. This would provide women with a pleasing constant feeling of freedom in our society, while uniting people and coming one step closer to providing the female population with equal opportunities throughout their lifetimes.