It’s 2015 and equal parenting is all the rage, so you’d think moms could possibly get a little bit of a break. Well, you’d be wrong about that. Even when it comes to responsibilities that should be shared by the entire household, we still put the onus on moms to get it all done. Case in point: a new study shows kids aren’t getting enough exercise and — surprise — it’s all mom’s fault.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation sponsored a survey recently to see how much time moms spend doing physical activity with their kids. Turns out between working, household responsibilities, and being blamed for basically everything that happens to the people we’re related to, moms don’t have a lot of time to take their kids on three-mile bike rides.
According to the survey, the top three activities moms do with their kids are eating dinner, watching television, and doing homework — you know, all the things you have to cram into the five seconds you get together after work on an average weeknight. Of the 1,154 moms surveyed, only about half reported going for a walk, run, or bike ride with their kids in the past week, and only 26 percent had played a sport or danced with their kids. There’s no word on how many dads were out there running marathons with their kids after a long day at the office. Why? Because they didn’t fucking ask.
The survey was conducted by Woman’s Day, so I’ll blame some of the ladies-only aspect on that, but couldn’t they at least ask about family habits, as opposed to only asking how moms are spending time with their kids? Researchers were quick to point out that moms’ increasingly sedentary habits are creating obese kids and moms need to commit to instituting family workout time. What about dads?
The study itself was a part of the Commit2Ten initiative that tries to get families to commit to ten minutes of physical activity together every day. That means the entire family needs to get moving so why, as a mom, is it just a given that I’m solely responsible for making that happen? Why is it only my “bad” habits that are damaging my kids?
Moms are already expected to have perfect pregnancies, extended breastfeed, scour Pinterest to find the perfect Disney-themed gluten-free green lunches, not work too much but also raise freakishly ambitious feminists, monitor screen time, and never raise our voices or be depressed lest we emotionally scar our children and turn them into future terrorists — now we have to have to juggle this ball too?
I know moms play an important role in their families and that, as parents, we’re responsible for raising healthy kids. It’s just that we aren’t the only ones responsible for it, and I’m tired of reading surveys, studies, and press releases that seem to suggest otherwise. My husband gets to be a dad and still retain his identity and receive praise for the most minimal of parenting efforts. I don’t want praise for doing the bare minimum, but I do want to balance the scales. I may be a hero to my kids, but that still doesn’t make me super human.