What can Google tell us about how we see working mothers?


Working parents / Sunday, November 26th, 2017

I was doing a bit of Googling the other night, as you do, until Google predictive search started to piss me off.

It wasn’t really Google’s fault. Its search suggestions come from what people actually search for, so Google isn’t a bastard – people are. Because here’s what I discovered:

We love to judge mothers – especially working ones.

For example, here’s what Google suggests when you search “mothers should”:

  • Mothers shoulder
  • Mothers should stay at home essay
  • Mothers should work
  • Mothers should go to work debate
  • Mothers should be listed as the first guardians
  • Mothers should go to work
  • Mothers should work or not
  • Mothers should go to work essay
  • Mothers should work essay

Apparently, the debate about whether or not mothers should work is still alive and well in 2017. Let’s write an essay discussing if pushing a small human out of your hoo-ha makes you incapable of entering the workforce!

In case you’re interested, here’s what one of the essays that Google suggests for “Mothers should stay at home essay” sounds like:

“Supporters of stay at home mothers believe that mothers have so many duties that they must do. Start in the morning, mothers should wake up earlier, make coffee for their husbands, prepare for breakfast, awaken and give bathe the children, prepare their husbands’ coat, tie the husbands’ tie, prepare the kids’ uniforms, and so on.

“After her husband and kids go for their activities, there are still many duties that mothers have to do such as laundry the clothes, wash the dishes, sweep and mop up the floor. In the afternoon, mothers should prepare for lunch and pick the kids out of schools. Then, they should help the kids with their homework and play with their kids.

“After that, mothers need to prepare the dinner, wash the dishes again and finally gather with family member. In generally, there are many works that mothers need to do each day. If they have activities outside, who will manage their husbands and the kids? The maid cannot do as well as mothers.”

I’m totally on board with the idea that stay-at-home mothers are busy, but:

  • Prepare their husband’s coat? How much preparation does a coat require?
  • Does anyone bathe their kids in the morning? We would never make it out of the house in time if we added a bath into the mix.
  • The maid? In my dreams. Trust me – if I could afford it, I’d happily let a maid manage my husband and child. Except my husband doesn’t need managing, because he’s an adult man who can prepare his own damn coat.

Anyway, let’s see what Google suggests if we type “Fathers should”:

  • Fathers should not be in the delivery room
  • Fathers should get paternity leave
  • Fathers should have a say in abortion
  • Fathers should pay child support
  • Fathers should teach their daughters
  • Fathers should teach his son
  • Fathers should help with babysitting
  • Father’s shoulder’s quote
  • Fathers should stay at home

It’s actually reassuring to see “get paternity leave” and “stay at home” there – gender equality and all that – but clearly not a lot of students are writing essays about whether or not fathers should work.

And “help with babysitting?” It’s called “watching your children.”

Okay, Google. What do you have to say about working mothers specifically? Here’s what you get if you search for “Working mothers should”:

  • Not feel guilty
  • Stay at home
  • Should mothers be working
  • Should working mothers feel guilty
  • Debate on should mothers be working or not
  • Essay on should mothers be working

Damn right they shouldn’t feel guilty – but there’s the old should-she-or-shouldn’t-she debate again.

And what happens when you type in “Working fathers should”?

Nothing.

No suggestions.

Because we still don’t really question whether a father should give up work when he has kids, or if he should feel guilty if he doesn’t. That burden falls squarely on the mother’s shoulders.

In order to right this wrong, I think we should all start Googling things like, “Should working fathers feel guilty”, “Mothers should do whatever they think is right for their family” and “Working mothers should be proud of themselves”. It’s time to start asking our search engines the right questions.

Tammymum
Rhyming with Wine
The Pramshed

16 Replies to “What can Google tell us about how we see working mothers?”

  1. I love this blog. I’m a single mum so don’t need to prepare any husbands coat haha! But I do have the occasional pang of guilt when I drop my 12 month old off at nursery 2 mornings or leave him with my dad so I can go to work. I’d bloody love to not have to work and be a stay at home mum but not as much as I want to be able to give my son the best childhood and go on holidays and have a house and food all that.
    Is it really bad that I’m not surprised at the results? I totally agree with you and not those results but I’m still not surprised!

  2. Any man that cannot get their coat sorted out by themselves really needs help lol. It is unreal that working mum’s (and mother’s in general) are still given such a hard time. Time for google to catch up.
    #FamilyFun

  3. This is so interesting and reflects that societal shifts still really need to occur even when we generally think some progress has been made. I can’t believe that essay you found – ‘should make their husband’s coffee’!!!!! It’s like something out of the good wife’s guide of the 1950s that I used to use show my Y10 History class when we were doing 50s and 60s GB as a topic! #familyfunlinky xx

  4. Eugh. Well done Google for giving me another thing to moan about before work this morning. Mums get judged on pretty much every decision they make. It would be nice if Google didn’t gang up on us too. Brilliant blog post! #dreamteam

  5. Fathers should help with babysitting – THAT statement right there makes my blood boil Google! Dads don’t babysit, they parent! I hate that people even say things to dads like “babysitting today?” because they never say that to a mom. #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. Oh, you have activated my inner beat Google at the algorithm game! I love this post, you are a genius! Thank you…I must go off and surf the web and stop the nonsense. #fortheloveofBLOG xoxo

  7. Someone said to me the other day, because my Mrs. was going to be out, that I get to babysit! ‘I said what the hell kind of crap language is that?’ I’m their mom, not their babysitter. No payment will occur, while we will be silly, and eat snacks, I am their MOM, dammit! ARGH! #fortheloveofBLOG xoxo

  8. Oh my god that essay had me howling with laughter. That poor husband would clearly freeze to death if his good wife didn’t prepare his coat for him every day 😂. How about we all (regardless of gender) do whatever the hell is right for us and our family and all the people with the ‘should’ questions go do one x
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

  9. I suddenly feel like I’m lacking a major life skill? I am clearly slacking in the coat preparation dept! I mean is one expected to sit coat down and give it a run down of the day so that it knows what to expect? My husband’s coat tends to be more “fly by the seat of its pants”. Good job really. Excellent post! Thanks for linking Katie. #DreamTeam

  10. I know it probably shouldn’t , but this has really surprised me . It just seems in some areas there is no progress being made at all despite changes in family dynamics. Also I’ve been single a very long time but a bare minimum I’d expect from a guy I was contemplating marrying would be that he could make his own coffee and put his own coat on!! FamilyFunLinky

  11. Fascinating to see the results that popped up here! Shocking isn’t it. Loved the suggestion women should be preparing their man’s coat for them, haha! #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. Blimey. Some of these attitudes really do belong back in old-fashioned times. It’s incredible that people still have such outdated ideas! #fortheloveofBLOG

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