Saturday night, FiveThirtyEight tweeted a graphic showing the difference in the number of minutes moms and dads spend performing parenting tasks daily. It's not surprising that moms invest more minutes a day in parenting, but what surprised Twitter users was the characterization of that time.
I have never heard a mother characterize time with her children as "wasted" time. Perhaps the use of that term was a joke by a social media intern trying to drum up weekend traffic? Nope. The tweet is the headline of the article, written by a woman, and the conclusion uses "wasted" as well:
All in all, your mom wasted a pretty big part of her average day on you: 90 minutes and 6.1 seconds to be precise.
FiveThirtyEight botched that title in a big way (just like their 2016 presidential election prediction).
Not only were people taken aback by the use of "wasted" - they believe the 90 minute number is a very low estimate. The hundreds of replies to the tweet almost universally took FiveThirtyEight to task.
@FiveThirtyEight By using the word "wasted", you dishonor mothers today.— Dean Thornton (@ironskeleton) May 14, 2017
Many quickly substituted "invested" for wasted."
Some saw it as an extension of the way liberals view "choice."
@FiveThirtyEight So in womb children are clumps of cells and out of womb they are a waste of time. No wonder the left has so much self hate.— Hugh Akston (@Right_Academics) May 14, 2017
Because many feminists don't value a woman's choice to stay home and invest years in raising children.
@FiveThirtyEight So my choice to stay home for 5 years while my sons are young is, by extension, a colossal waste of time. Good to know.— K8t (@KECS13) May 14, 2017
But I became a doctor, so she's got that going for her. https://t.co/9K0liLwKAT— Arie Friedman, MD (@ArieFriedman) May 14, 2017
I couldn't let it go without bragging about my kids. My oldest:
And the one I waited years for.