There is the penalty against working women in their 20–30s whether they are mothers or not. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked if I am planning on having kids or have kids. I’ve had countless friends go to interviews and be asked these sorts of sensitive questions. It is assumed if we are not YET mothers, we will be, even when we indicate those are not the things on our radar.
While I personally did not have kids of my own (older now, dating someone with kids in college), I can attest to being overlooked because it was assumed I’d get married and have kids and what was the point in investing in me, regardless of how much I had proven myself to be smart, hardworking, reliable, capable. Looking back, I feel taken for granted.
There is a sexist double-standard where men are not pigeon-holed the same way women are into parenting or potential parenting roles. I applaud your dad for having you at work, but I agree, he was never going to get penalized for it professionally the same way your mother would have been. He is seen as the ‘great dad’ with the assumption someone else is at home caring for the children the rest of the time. Whereas, when women with kids work, they are penalized with the ‘she’d be too busy with her kids to do this project’ or ‘she’ll be distracted because of her kids.’ Never dad.