Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fearless Friday
Today is Fearless Friday on blogs across the land! The motherhood literary community, MotherTalk, is promoting the paperback release of Arianna Huffington's book On Becoming Fearless with a call for simultaneous posts on the topic of fearlessness today. I have not yet read Arianna's book, but the topic is highly appealing to me. What is life if you cannot get out there and be yourself - imperfections and all? We learn when we take chances, and we're really alive when we live from love and not from fear. So, here is my contribution to Fearless Friday:

From Me to We

I'm a control freak. Yes, absolutely, that is me. My friends would agree, in a lighthearted kind of way I hope. I go around with checklists of things to do. I straighten and tidy. I get queasy around clutter. My biggest worry if I die is that I won't be around to direct things.

But I want something else even more than control. And that something is an intimate and equal partnership with my husband. This dichotomy has battles in my head - and when I am fearless, the equality warrior can win. To be real equals, I have to completely let go of the notion that a mother is more than a father to a child. Except for my far superior childbearing skills, I am just one of the two parents that M and T have been given.

I come to motherhood with huge hopes and dreams for my children. From their very first cry, I want to protect and, well, mother them. I feel enormous responsibility for their welfare, their emotional growth, and their development in the skills that are needed for happy and productive lives. It is so easy to just take over these tasks, pushing aside my partner or telling him how to get from A to B! But if I do, I believe that something beautiful is lost. Society says that mothers possess some special innate elixir not given to fathers that is essential to a happy and healthy childhood. I say this is not true. I'm betting my children's very happiness on a new way.

And so I choose fearless mothering that steps aside to make room for equal fathering by Marc. Absolutely equal footing for both of us. I choose this because I believe in the depths of my heart and soul in this type of a family. I thank God for Marc - a man who is up to the task of keeping me on track with equality, and a father who wants this as much as I do. I am so grateful for a co-parent in this scary and thrilling (and very hard) responsibility of raising children. I'm relieved that Marc's neuroses are different than my own, so that we can learn and grow from each other and so that M and T will not be smothered by those of one of us alone. The world may say that I'm abdicating my motherhood. I say I'm putting parenthood ahead of my own needs to be a mother. M and T just say "is it time for a snack, Daddy...I mean Mommy?"


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