Mom Calls Out Daycare That Refuses To Recognize Her Partner As Their Son’s Primary Caregiver

Gender inequality is still firmly rooted in areas you wouldn’t expect. It’s shocking that you’d find it in a place like a daycare. However, that’s exactly what happened to Dr. Raina Brands’ partner.

Dr. Brands explained how the daycare always calls her when their child is sick, despite her repeatedly having told them to call her partner. According to her, the staff working at the daycare “are incapable of viewing him as a primary caregiver” despite all the effort he puts in.

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The tweets went viral and prompted other Twitter users to share their own experiences with gender inequality in a variety of areas. Scroll down to read them, dear Pandas. And when you’re done, let us know in the comments what cases of inequality you’ve recently seen.

Bored Panda reached out to Dr. Brands, who is a Professor at the UCL School of Management, to have a chat about her viral tweets. She was kind enough to answer our questions about gender inequality which she sees as a self-reinforcing system. “I am happy to have started a conversation on an important topic. I was appalled by some of the stories that women shared in their replies, which recounted seriously egregious examples of sexism,” she shared her thoughts with us.

“I was also quietly amused at the small number of people who took offense to me referring to my partner as my partner instead of my husband (even though we are not, in fact, married),” she said. Scroll down to read our full interview with Dr. Brands, dear Pandas.

More info: Twitter |

Dr. Brands tackled the issues of gender inequality in daycare

Image credits: RainaBrands

Image credits: RainaBrands

Image credits: RainaBrands

Image credits: RainaBrands

Dr. Brands reiterated that gender inequality is a self-reinforcing system. “Just take my experience as an example. If nursery workers, doctors, etc., assume I am the primary caregiver and call me and not my partner, I will end up doing more childcare than him. An hour here, a day off there—any single instance doesn’t matter. But the cumulative effect is significant,” she explained to Bored Panda that this has a knock-on effect on every aspect of a woman’s life, including professionally and at home.

“Perhaps my employer notices I am more distracted at work, or that I am more unreliable than before I had a child, and I don’t get that promotion I wanted. At home, I will likely find it more difficult to balance work and home commitments than my partner because I’m doing more childcare, so I might start to think about a job or career change that will give me more flexibility,” she continued.

“But flexible jobs tend to be paid less than demanding ones, so if I take one, suddenly the earnings gap between me and my partner is a lot bigger. And then we are in a situation a lot of couples find themselves in, where it doesn’t ‘make sense’ for my partner to contribute an equal share to the childcare because his career is so much more important to the household,” Dr. Brands went into detail about how a small decision by a daycare has a far wider effect than it might seem at first glance.

However, she noted that childcare workers aren’t the ones to blame for assuming that the mother is the primary caregiver. “It usually is the case. Why? Because men in the UK rarely get more than a week or two of parental leave! This is what I mean when I say it is self-reinforcing: gender inequality in the home is reinforced by gender inequality at work/society which leads to more gender inequality in the home.”

Dr. Brands also told us a bit more about herself. “I co-founded Career Equally, which I use as a platform to give women free advice on how to de-bias their careers. We do this by educating women through our newsletters and webinars on what bias to look for, how to measure it, and by giving them tools and tactics to confront it. We want to inspire women to take collective action to de-bias their workplaces and create meaningful connections to other women to further their careers.”

The mom’s daycare post got over 20.5k likes, and revealed just how deeply rooted inequality is in certain areas. It’s 2022, yet dads are still seen as secondary caregivers by some, which is ridiculous.

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Something like this would probably very rarely happen in any of the Nordic countries which are very big on gender and parent equality. And dads are naturally seen as being very involved in their children’s future. In other words, the basic assumptions there are that parents are parents, no matter their gender. Dr. Brands agreed that some countries “are more egalitarian, others are more gender unequal.”

However, it wasn’t always the case. When shared parental leave was first introduced in the Nordic countries in the 1970s and 1980s, at first, few fathers actually took advantage of it. However, over the decades, attitudes changed and Nordic dads embraced their more involved roles as parents. And along with that changed societal attitudes.

Here’s how some people reacted to Dr. Brands’ post. Some even offered some spot-on advice

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Unfortunately, in many countries, gender equality continues to fester. During an earlier interview, human rights advocate Elizabeth Arif-Fear told Bored Panda that the most obvious indication that such inequality exists is the gender pay gap in the workplace. To her, the pay gap is “a gross violation of women’s rights.”

In Arif-Fear’s view, women are most definitely recognized for their talents in the workplace in the West. However, they still face numerous obstacles.

“Discrimination includes women being denied work, in preference for men due to maternity leave allowances. Due to the imbalance between caring for children and housework among male/female partnerships—which is still prevalent across the globe—women are left juggling a high amount of childcare and work which places extra demands on women,” Arif-Fear said.

“Practical barriers add an extra burden onto women. Beyond childcare, women in leadership is an area that is evolving but there is still a massive glass ceiling. We need more women in leadership positions,” she added.

Twitter users shared their own experiences with gender inequality in childcare

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Some women shared other areas where they experienced sexism

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The post Mom Calls Out Daycare That Refuses To Recognize Her Partner As Their Son’s Primary Caregiver first appeared on Bored Panda.


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