Am I wrong or did the New York Times just devote 2,000 words to a handful of women who lack time management skills and allow self-imposed guilt to interfere with their daily lives? Seriously. The piece reads like fabricated nonsense, a arbitrary string of anecdotes from a handful of mothers, constructed in order to generate a buzz-worthy headline. As a teacher for more than a decade, I have known hundreds of moms, and many have become my close, personal friends. None of the women featured in this piece resemble anyone I know in anyway whatsoever.
Frazzled moms? Aren’t most people’s plates a little overfilled today? Must we characterize mothers as the only people struggling to fit everything in?
And isn’t it time we dispense with the phrase frazzled mom altogether? When do you ever hear the word frazzled attached to anything but the word mom?
Google the phrase frazzled mom, for example, and pictures like this are displayed on the first page of results:
And hundreds more can be found in the images section of Google.
Search on the phrase frazzled dad and no such picture exists.
Search Google’s news section for the term frazzled mom and you will find 48 current news stories that include the phrase.
There are zero news stories returned for the search terms frazzled dad or frazzled father.
Mothers around the world should reject this two-word combination as a perpetuation of a stereotype that casts their gender in an incompetent and inaccurate light.
Do you know the difference between a frazzled mom and one who is not?
Frazzled moms don’t stop talking about being frazzled. They whine and complain and stick pictures like the ones above onto the blogs that they somehow find the time to write despite the fact that they are frazzled.
Mothers who are not frazzled simply go about their lives without the need for such vocal vociferation, managing their time effectively, balancing work and family as best they can, and spending quality time with their children.
Do they struggle at times with these issues? Of course they do. Finding the time to meet every need is not a motherly concern. It is a human concern.
But these mothers are not struggling to the point of being frazzled, they do not resemble the stereotypical pictures of a frazzled mom, and you will never see them featured in a New York Times piece that reads more like self-therapy than an actual news story.
This is a case where the exceedingly loud minority dominates the adept and focused-on-better-things majority, and if I was a mother, I’d be mad as hell.