Leighton Meester is done defending herself as a mom. The 32-year-old actor, who is a mom to her 3-year-old daughter Arlo Day Brody, opened up to Glamour about the double-standard question she’s asked far too often: “Who’s taking care of your kid?
“I’ve never heard a man get asked that question. I’ve been in interviews with male co-workers who are fathers, and I get asked that question and they don’t,” Meester said. “I was doing the pilot of a show and, harmlessly, once a day someone would say, ‘Who’s taking care of your kid?'”
Meester, who stars on ABC’s Single Parents, investigated the issue and asked her husband, actor Adam Brody, if he’s been asked the same question when he’s working or out without his daughter. “I asked my husband, ‘Do people ever ask you that on set?” He said, “No. No one’s ever asked me one time who’s taking care of my kid,'” Meester said.
Though Meester understands why there’s an instinct to ask the question, she challenges those to think twice before they feed into the double standard. “It’s not offensive; I completely understand the instinct, because it is typical that moms do the majority of the child-raising and housework. Even though men are working the same amount, if not at times less. And women are making less!” Meester said. “Parenting is more than a full-time job. You don’t get a day off. But my paid work is getting hair and makeup done, being creative, talking to adults, sitting down to drink coffee instead of chasing somebody…it’s like a vacation.”
As for the myth that parents can balance both work and parenthood, Meester doesn’t believe in it. Both keep her busy, and she’s perfectly fine with that. “For me, being home is amazing and being at work is amazing. But I don’t think there’s a balance. I’m lucky I can breathe between each project and appreciate both,” Meester said.