Chelsea Clinton Shamed for Missing Daughter's 1st Day of Preschool (Like No Working Dad Ever)

Chelsea Clinton shamed


In a post that has since apparently been deleted, a Fox news station out of Chicago offered its Facebook followers a chance to sound off on an article regarding Charlotte Clinton's first day of school. (Don't worry -- we have a screen-grab.) The big "controversy"? Charlotte's father, Marc Mezvinsky, took the little one to school -- along with a nanny -- while Chelsea was busy on the campaign trail. The article and the Facebook post both are clearly angling to give Chelsea the bad mom of the year award, and I am NOT here for this sexist BS.



It's no secret that many folks (and media outlets!) enjoy calling out "bad" moms. It's controversial and allows for some good old righteous indignation. But it's also an awful practice that needs to stop. And more importantly, it's dangerous. When we feed into this notion of "good" vs. "bad" mothers, we set up unrealistic and unattainable expectations that do more harm to women and families than anything else.

Jumping off an article in the Daily Mail titled It takes a village! Chelsea Clinton's husband Marc and their nanny take Charlotte to her first day of preschool - which she misses to campaign for her sick mom, Fox 32 posted this call-out on its Facebook page:

Fox News Chelsea Clinton

"SOUND OFF....Should Chelsea Clinton have been there for her daughter's first day? Or is it acceptable for one parent to drop the child off?"


More from CafeMom: 16 Celebrities the Internet Mom-Shamed for Their Parenting

Let's be honest, this is a non-story. Let's review the facts:

1. Charlotte is 2. She is not going into kindergarten or middle school. She's essentially going into a daycare setting -- no matter how it's packaged like "school." She's 2. And even if she was going to actual school it shouldn't be an issue. Newsflash: Kids are sent off to their first day of school via the bus all the time.

2. Charlotte's parent IS with her. Her dad is actually her parent too! Yes! He's not just some random dude babysitting this adorable girl. Nowhere does it state that the mother is the only/primary caregiver. That's just the message our society continues to push out there, but -- believe it or not -- in many households, parenting duties are divided between the adults, so this is not unusual!

SO. WHAT. Really, that's what it boils down to.

Of course, these are the "facts" that the Daily Mail points out in large bullet-points at the top of its article:

  • Tuesday was the first day of preschool for Chelsea Clinton's daughter Charlotte in New York City
  • Charlotte's father Marc Mezvinsky and a family nanny took her to school
  • Chelsea was unable to go with her daughter, who turns two this month, because she was campaigning for Hillary in North Carolina
  • Hillary was also unable to join Charlotte or watch baby Aidan because she is recovering from pneumonia at her home in Chappaqua
  • Marc was seen on his phone while he and the nanny took Charlotte to school
  • After dropping Charlotte off, Marc enjoyed lunch for an hour-and-a-half with a friend  
Unbelievable. Please also note the shaming of Hillary Clinton for missing this event, and not being able to, you know, babysit. Mysteriously, there is no mention of Grandpa Clinton's whereabouts.
We don't ever expect much from that outlet, but this does beg the question: Is Fox 32 exploiting this story because they're anti-Clinton? Or do they get this concerned each time a parent fails to drop her -- or HIS -- kid off at daycare?
I'm super curious how they covered Donald Trump failing to personally drop each of his kids off at school on the first day (or ever!). Excuse me while I waste time looking for those headlines that don't exist.

We have a presidential candidate who has gone on record saying that he consciously chooses not to take any part in rearing any of his children beyond financial contributions -- essentially admitting that he does no parenting whatsoever. But, the important story here is a child being taken to school by her father instead of her mother?!

And yet this is how it is for women. We are continually held up to unrealistic standards when it comes to parenting because of the stereotype that moms must give over our entire lives to our children. That if -- heaven forbid -- we work outside the home or have other responsibilities, we have failed as mothers and deserve to have these "failures" spread across the news.

More from CafeMom:

The reality is that working moms in this country exist. We work to feed our families and help put a roof over their heads. And if that occasionally means we miss some things like a daycare or school drop-off, that's just how it has to be, because that is real life -- no matter how much we wish it wasn't. And until the government wants to step up and actually provide for families (ahem, paid family leave, paid sick leave, etc. ...) then it's ridiculous to even think about calling folks out. Granted, Chelsea Clinton is working with a lot more privilege than many working moms, but when you call her out, you're calling all of us out.

I'm fortunate enough to have a fairly flexible schedule as a full-time working mother. Despite that privilege, I still miss some school-related milestones. I'll be honest, it sucks. And I would absolutely hate for anyone, let alone national media, to snark at me because of that.

We're all just doing our best with what we've got. Sometimes that means I get to drive carpool, sometimes it means my husband is the one heading to school early to see our son play drums at the all-school meeting. It's a delicate dance and one I don't think needs to be played out in public.

More from CafeMom:

The bottom line is that there is no real story here, none at all. And yet, Fox 32 is doing its best to create one.

Instead of the headlines it has gone with, why doesn't it give Charlotte Clinton's dad the treatment women usually get when it comes to these types of stories? Here's a suggestion:

Marc Mezvinsky ignores his daughter in favor of playing Pokémon Go, forcing the nanny to push Charlotte in a stroller. Mezvinsky then abandoned his daughter at school to have a lazy hour and a half lunch with friend.

But, as it stands, most outlets aren't questioning dads -- either those who are there and those who aren't (ahem, Donald Trump). Instead, it falls to us moms to be the bad ones here when we miss school drop-offs or soccer games. Because despite it being 2016, there are enough folks out there who think we're still stuck in the 1950s.


Images via Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock; Daily Mail screengrab; Fox32Chicago/Facebook screengrab




Read More >