Ruth Bader Ginsburg just said what every mom has been thinking for years: Why do teachers only ever call the moms when something goes wrong at school?
Every parent dreads getting a call from their child’s school.
Whether you work in a traditional office setting, run your own Etsy store or work at home caring for your other small children, a phone call from school is never a good sign.
It usually means that your child is sick, or has gotten hurt.
In some cases, it might also mean that your child has displayed a behavioral issue, or is not meeting the school’s standards for student conduct.
All distressing possibilities. But on top of this, have you ever noticed that many schools only contact the mom, rather than calling the dad as well?
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In fact, Supreme Court Judge and lifetime women’s rights activist Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently spoke about this issue of inequality to NPR, saying that when her son was young, his teachers kept calling her and interrupting her very busy work day any time there was an issue at school.
Ginsburg has two children. And while she was in the middle of her career, she often received phone calls about her son James.
“The child was what his teachers called ‘hyperactive’ and I called ‘lively,'” she said.
Ginsburg couldn’t help but wonder why the teachers never called her husband.
After all, she was logging just as many as hours (if not more) at the office as her husband. But it seemed like the teachers were hesitant to disturb his work day, as opposed to hers.
Ginsburg’s Clever Solution
Ginsburg said she finally decided to address this issue after she pulled an all-nighter finishing a legal brief. The phone rang, and it was her son’s school again. She decided enough was enough.
“This child has two parents,” she said. “Please alternate calls. It’s his father’s turn.”
Wow. That must have taken a lot of chutzpah!
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Moms who have jobs outside the home already get a lot of flak from critics, and they often feel like they have to constantly prove that they are still “good” moms, even if it means sacrificing their own sleep, health and well-being.
Hence, Ginsburg was being very brave by refusing to fall into that harmful trap, and instead saying, “Wait a minute. I can’t do everything. My husband is an equal partner in this, too.”
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What an inspiring story. Does your child’s school always phone the moms first, or do they alternate parents?
[h/t: Working Mother]
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