Why I Hate Being Told I'll be a Good Mother

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told by acquaintances and friends that I will be a good mother. Totally random, right? I’ll be minding my own business, having a nice conversation when BOOM, someone will out of the blue tell me about my apparently inevitable future and aptitude at motherhood.

As someone who is planning on getting married and starting a family, one would think I would take such a strange statement as a compliment. I don’t. And here’s why.

1. It makes an assumption about my future.

Saying that I’ll be a good mother is like saying I’ll be a good veterinarian. You have no idea what my life plan is! Don’t make sexist generalizations about my future role in society.

2. It makes hurtful generalizations about women’s worth.

Not all women are able to have children. By continually impressing the importance of motherhood on women, one intrinsically connects a woman’s worth to her child-bearing capability.

Instead of telling girls that they will be good mothers, you should use adjectives to describe beneficial traits she has. For instance, instead of saying, “You’ll be a good mom,” you should say, "You're kind/ brave/ intelligent/ a good problem-solver," etc. 

I have not ever heard someone tell one of my male peers that they will make a good father. This is because fatherhood is not expected to be a priority for men. A man is defined by his employment aspirations, not his family. This can be just as toxic. 

I think it's at this point that a note about feminism would be beneficial. Just because this article focuses on the issue of strange expectations to females doesn't mean that the opposite can't be just as toxic. Forcing women and men to only prioritize work is just as toxic. I think, for men specifically, society judges people based on the prestige of their employment and how much money they make. Society seems to be uncomfortable with the prospect of stay-at-home dads as well. The take-home point is that making expectations about people's futures and attaching their worth to these expectations is toxic to society as a whole. 

The point of this article isn’t to belittle motherhood or parents at all. Both things are extremely important to society. The point is that women have the right to choose the best path for them, whether or not that includes marriage and children. Don’t expect motherhood, but respect it. So before you tell a lady in your life that she'll be a good mother, think about the burden of responsibility and expectations you're putting upon her. 

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