Jenny Mollen could not be more thankful for husband Jason Biggs — but not necessarily for reasons societal expectations may have you think.
In an open letter for Parents addressed to “Dads Out There Killing It,” the actress, New York Times best-selling author and mother of two addresses the “laughably antiquated double standard” that sees dads often receiving heaps of praise for performing tasks moms are traditionally expected to carry out with little to no fanfare.
“From the time [now-5-year-old son] Sid was an infant, friends, both male and female, marveled at what an actively involved father Jason was,” recalled Mollen, 39. “At first I found their reactions confusing. For as shocked as they were that I didn’t know what size diaper the baby wore because I’d never bought him a single box, I was equally surprised that some of my married friends were raising their kids as if they had sole custody of them.”
” ‘You are so lucky’ became the words I’d hear on repeat at playdates and birthday parties,” she continued. “But as much as I loved my husband, I didn’t feel as though I should have to feel lucky. Nobody would ever say to a man, ‘Wow, you are so lucky your wife feeds and bathes your children!’ “
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
Jenny Mollen Talks Mom Guilt, Says “Nothing Makes” Motherhood “Easy” — Even Help from Her Nanny
Mollen explains that “caretaking” was always “second nature” for Biggs, 41, and that their “approach to parenting” could be because they come from “very different families.”
But despite the fact that the Orange Is the New Black actor was the one who more naturally took to parenting at first, Mollen has still felt the pressure “to do and be everything at the same time” since welcoming Sid and his little brother Lazlo, 19 months.
“Women are expected to love and protect and show up for soccer practice,” she writes. “For men, an hour or two alone with the kids on a Sunday during football season somehow warrants a trophy, or at least a World’s Greatest Dad mug. Sadly, this laughably antiquated double standard is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s, even in New York City, where we live now.”
And even if Mollen did find the time in the day to complete every parenting task herself, she realizes she’d likely still be at the receiving end of criticism because, as she explains, “Society shames moms who work and those who don’t.”
“The onus is on us to say this is BS and that imbalance is normal,” she says. “Sometimes I’m focused on my career, and sometimes I’m focused on my kids — just like Jason is. If he picks up my parenting slack, there’s no need to say it’s out of the ordinary. Everyone who is in a partnership deserves exactly that.”
“I wouldn’t have had children if I hadn’t found a partner who was just as invested in raising them as I was,” Mollen praises her husband. “I am lucky that I found such an incredible husband. He has taught me everything I know about love that my late poodle, Mr. Teets, didn’t.”
Jenny Mollen Shares Sweet Easter Photo with Son Sid, 5, Days After Revealing He Recently Fractured His Skull
“By watching him I’ve learned how to show up for people, how to occasionally put myself last and how to expose myself to playground skin cancer if it means having tuckered-out kids at bedtime,” she jokes in addition.
That doesn’t mean caring for their children has a scoreboard, though. In fact, both Mollen and Biggs are on board the parenting ship 100 percent.
“I refuse to say that I am lucky [Jason] shows up for our children as much as I do,” Mollen concludes her essay. “I expect Jason to be willing to both forgo football and crawl on glass if his sons require it. I am lucky because he’s willing to do the same for me!”
Source: Read Full Article