Motherhood Penalty at Home and in the Workplace

Peace at Home January 23, 2024 | Ruth Freeman

Peace At Home founder, Ruth E. Freeman, LCSW recently sat down with inspiring Peace At Home teacher, Lucinda Gibbons, MMFT, and lead trainer for the Fair Play method to consider how the method might counter the Motherhood Penalty in the workplace.

Understanding the Motherhood Penalty -The Motherhood Penalty is a pervasive bias against working mothers, rooted in the assumption that their parental responsibilities make them less ideal employees. This contrasts starkly with the “fatherhood bonus,” where fathers are often perceived more favorably. This gender disparity places working mothers, especially those of color, at a significant disadvantage in the professional realm.

The Fair Play Method – Fair Play is an innovative method based on the N.Y. Times best seller by the same name that delivers a new way to divide up domestic responsibilities among heterosexual couples. The method addresses this imbalance at home in a playful, focused and innovative way and addresses the gender pressures and workplace perceptions on men. The Fair Play method encourages equitable distribution of household duties between partners and fosters clear understanding of pressures each parent faces. This approach not only fosters fairness at home but also aids in mitigating the motherhood penalty by challenging ingrained biases and perceptions. This approach also frees men up from the constraints of traditional roles and expectations.

Impact on Families and Workplaces – Fair Play can harmonize home life, freeing up mental space and energy for working mothers. This method can potentially reshape workplace perceptions, promoting a more equitable view of working mothers. Fair Play’s principles of equitable task distribution and communication can be transformative, bringing a sense of partnership and shared responsibility to family dynamics and strengthening the couple relationship.

Building a Secure Base – The conversation also delves into the broader implications of Fair Play, highlighting its potential to create a secure base for children, fostering resilience and stability. When co-parenting partners who live together are clear about who is responsible for specific tasks, including the mental activities of planning and tracking, parents have less conflict and get along better. This harmony between the leaders of the family is essential to creating what clinicians call a secure base for children. This is crucial in today’s tumultuous times, offering predictability and flexibility that are foundational for children’s emotional and psychological well-being.

Join Ruth and Lucinda for their Live Interactive Workshop Rebalance Chores at Home and Reignite Your Relationship with Your Partner: Playful Practical Strategies to Reduce the Stress and Increase Harmony on March 5th at 8pm for more insights into this transformative approach and take practical steps toward more balanced and fulfilling family and professional lives.

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