If your child is overweight, and you're a working mom, this recently published paper says it's all your fault.
According to the study, children whose mothers work outside the home are more likely to struggle with obesity than those whose mothers do not. Basically, if a mother works in a "high-intensity" job situation, then she's more likely to be stressed out and hit the local Burger King on her way home from work, rather than cooking her children a nutritious meal at home. And her kids also don't play outside as much (resulting in calorie-burning) because she's not around to watch them. As a result, her kids are overweight.
Unfortunately, what this study has done is to not only ignore the myriad other reasons childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, but to also place the blame for these children's health problems on the shoulders of only one parent. Once again, the "good mother" standard, whereby nothing but unattainable perfection in every aspect of the motherhood role can pass society's deep scrutiny, has thrown mothers under the proverbial bus.
This study ignores the fact that every time they switch on the tv, children are inundated with commercials toting every conceivable high-calorie, sugar-laden, nutrient-poor food on the market today.
This study ignores the fact that good, nutritious food costs quite a bit more than so-called junk food. If you're a poverty-striken working mother with a minuscule weekly food budget, are you going to hit up the supermarket for fresh organic fruits and vegetables, or are you going to try and stretch your dollar as far as it will go, and opt for the cheaper, but less healthful foods to feed your family?
And this study ignores fathers. Why aren't working fathers getting blamed for childhood obesity? In homes with two working parents, each of whom presumably has two functioning arms, I would think dad is just as capable of preparing a healthy meal for his children as mom is.
Mothers shoulder the blame for the vast majority of ills that befall her children. Sarah not reading at grade level? Her mother must not be reading to her at night. Brady acting out in Kindergarten? Clearly it's because he went to daycare when his mother should have stayed home with him.
It's not fair and it's not right. When are mothers going to catch a break?