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

Monday, July 09, 2007

What's With the Knife?

It was our big debut as a feature in a newspaper article. The article in the Boston Globe could not have come at a better time - the prime Father's Day Sunday edition. We were thrilled! We shared it with you. We told family and friends. We gave copies to our parents. Everyone smiled and cheered us on.

Then almost everyone said "but what's with the knife?". You see, the photo on the front page of the Globe's Career section depicted our daughter posed with what some described as a dagger over a pile of strawberries. The photographer had asked us to go about our daily business of preparing dinner while he snapped away, and Marc had nonchalantly handed M a knife to help cut up our fruit. An almost 5-year old with a grown up knife.

In our defense, it was actually a small paring-size knife. But even my mom was horrified. I flinched whenever yet another person mentioned it. What was really going on here? Are we just terrible parents?

Not so fast. M is actually pretty darn good with a knife, and we have come to see this whole thing as an apt symbol of ESP. If it were up to me, M would probably still be wearing a padded suit watching me cut everything. But because of Marc's equal involvement in her daily life, she's a careful and competent whiz at cutting strawberries before her 5th birthday. The fact that others jump to criticize the knife in her hand is a great example of how society will try to 'correct' the lifestyle of equal sharing. The fact that I cringe from the comments is an example of how mothers take outside criticism so personally. Marc and I need to be proud of M's skills together, not hide when criticized for our joint parenting decisions, and shoulder the comments equally.

Even my mother has agreed to drop the topic. What's left is how cool it was to bring ESP to Globe readers on Father's Day. Maybe 'how to cut with a real knife' will make it into the Daring Book for Girls!


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