No, motherhood does not make women less ambitious

With flexibility, we can do both. Or either. It all comes down to choice.

No, motherhood does not make women less ambitious

A few years ago, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes infamously appeared on Fox News with an outrageous, yet-all-too-common claim: women are paid less and occupy fewer leadership positions because they would rather be at home with their children than working late at the office.

He even went so far as to say that it's “nature's way" of saying “women should be at home with the kids" because “they're happier there." When analyst Tamara Holder chimed in, McInnes fired back saying she was making a mistake by sitting at the news desk and would be much happier as a full-time stay-at-home mom. (ICYMI, you can watch the video clip here.)


McInnes's comments quickly went viral, but he's not the first person to make this claim—and he certainly won't be the last. The false idea that all women are inherently less ambitious than men is deeply rooted in our culture. That's not to say every woman dreams of becoming CEO or the first female POTUS.

However, recent data shows that the vast majority of women who become parents are just as likely to aspire to positions of leadership as female co-workers without children, and working moms are 2.5 times more likely to change jobs for a promotion or for higher pay than those without children.

Also worth noting is that a significant number of mothers end up taking pay cuts in exchange for more flexible hours, which confirms what we already knew—women don't just want flexibility, they need it. Their success depends upon it.

These findings prove that the gender gap isn't caused by a lack of ambition, as McInnes and so many others claim, but rather a lack of work-life compatibility. Of the 30% of credentialed women who leave the workforce entirely after having a child, an overwhelming majority—70%!—say they would have kept working if they had access to flexibility.

If we're going to finally change these misconceptions and close the gender gap for good, we must fundamentally change the structure of work so it's compatible with the lives of ALL women.

Flexibility must become an integral part of every job across every single industry—not just a perk or an afterthought or something women have to prove they deserve. Flexibility is not a reduction in scope, responsibilities or expected results. In fact, employees who have access to flexibility are more productive and less likely to quit.

So let's stop making women choose between care and career. With flexibility, we can do both. Or either. It all comes down to choice—and we support all women no matter what choice they make.

This article originally appeared on Werk.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

Keep reading Show less

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play