Why we shouldn’t criticize women who find purpose in motherhood

Some people have been critical of Adele because she has found purpose in motherhood. Here's why that's wrong.
Feb 17, 2016

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  • Adele's soulful voice may have propelled her to the top of the album charts, but that's not the only reason she's so cool. Her parenting style has also proven to be pretty unique and awesome.

  • Ahead of this past Monday's Grammy Awards, Adele and her boyfriend Simon Kolecki took their son, Angelo, to Disneyland. And while this was enough for tabloids to snap a flurry of photos, viewers on the Internet also rejoiced when they saw that Adele had let her son dress up as Anna from "Frozen."

  • Adele's take on motherhood has been a topic of discussion recently, mostly because the Grammy Award winning singer said it's given her a new purpose in life. As she told Vogue in the magazine's recent cover story, her son "makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn't."

  • And, to put it simply, she said, "My main thing is Mum, then it's me, then it's work."

  • But not everyone is happy with Adele's recent comments, especially feminists who have made Adele's recent comments out to be something negative.

  • Slate's Elissa Strauss wrote that Adele's comments were "bold, potentially controversial" because a highly successful woman — who is as high on the mountain top as you can get in the music industry — only found purpose in life when she became a parent. Strauss said this is why some have said Adele's comments may make her less of a feminist.

  • "A major goal of feminism has been for women to be able to seek lives and identities that exist outside their traditional roles as mothers and caretakers," she said.

  • Strauss said the only reason it's OK for Adele to embrace her motherhood is because the singer sees it as a powerful experience that accompanies her career success. It's only because she can manage motherhood, a career and a social life that she gets a pass on supporting the stereotype.

  • But Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist says this shouldn't be the case. Americans shouldn't look down on women who embrace motherhood, regardless if they've had a successful career or not. Motherhood has proven to be a good thing for all, and shouldn't be seen as a form of weakness among women, she argues.

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  • In the eyes of some Americans, raising happy children is seen as worse than becoming a successful office worker, even though motherhood can provide so many benefits that influence generations.

  • "Motherhood remains an unalloyed good for most people," she wrote, "and worry or concern about those women who find purpose in it is a good indicator of the problems at the root of feminism."

  • But Adele's struggle is nothing uncommon in America today. Modern mothers are often balancing both their role as a mother and their time in the office, creating an entirely busy schedule, CNN reported.

  • In fact, the Pew Research Center found that mothers often feel there just isn't enough time in the day to balance both their role as a mother and their career. Specifically, 39 percent of moms feel there is "too little" time.

  • Many working mothers also say that their role as a mother has kept them from career advancement. That's something that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been writing about for nearly three years, specifically through her book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead." She explained in the book that women sometimes have to make choices between a successful career or motherhood, when in reality both are attainable if women face the challenges ahead.

  • "All mothers have to make choices and we're judged differently," she told CNN. "The choices for working mothers are more costly than it is for men. And until that changes, you'll have women opting out."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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