Smitten and Entitled
Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of babies each year derail their parents' plans for joint breadwinning. You've probably heard stories like this many times:
"We had planned for me to go back to work after my leave was up. I always believed this was the most sensible thing to do, and my baby would be fine in daycare. But from the first time I held her, my life changed. I gazed into her innocent eyes and fell deeply and completely in love. The rest of my leave was spent in her constant presence, and caring for her became the most important thing I ever did. When it was time for me to go back to work, I told my wife that I would be staying home instead."
Well, it sounded familiar up until that last sentence, right? And I don't mean a lesbian couple in this example - I mean the child's father told his wife that she'd be the sole breadwinner. How does this make you feel? Mixed up, right?
What would happen if both parents wanted to stay home in the name of 'loving their baby'? What then? Men in our society don't get this privilege, but women feel entitled to invoke it as necessary. I'd like to think that neither parent gets to unilaterally decide which family model will be chosen, and that together they choose what is right for everyone. Someday, I hope ESP is an option that comes easily to mind.