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, October 15, 2007

Commuting Time

A reader sent us this question recently: "How do you guys count commute time? Does it count as part of your share of work time because it is non-kid time? Or do you each get the same number of total non-commute working hours?"

Well, let's set aside the fact that Marc is not currently commuting to a job. Before his layoff, we roughly considered commuting time as part of working hours. Too bad employers don't think this way! We did, however, because we felt that the total amount of time needed to be employed should come out about even between two ESP parents.

Let's take an extreme example to illustrate this point. Say Parent A has a 1 hour commute each way and works 4 days a week for a total of 32 hours on the job and 40 hours including commute. Parent B, on the other hand, works from home (zero commute time) for a total of 40 hours a week. I consider this equal. Both parents are devoting an equal amount of time to the pursuit of their careers, and both have an equal amount of time left over in their weeks to be given to childraising, housework and recreation time.

Strict accounting, of course, is not how we want to approach equal sharing. But I love this question (thanks to our reader and new friend, D!) because it illustrates how an ESP couple can have interesting conversations about what we're really doing as we're living our days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on my question! We don't keep an exact accounting around here either though I think our approach is generally similar to yours. Fortunately we both double count commute as exercise by walking/biking, but sometimes it does get a little tricky. My commute is longer and if a deadline is looming I can feel a little jealous, since A gets a nice short commute AND more time to meet work demands. Most days though, I just enjoy the bike ride and feel really lucky that this is the best I can do in terms of finding a division of labor challenge in our family!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

My husband and I share an office, so we have the exact same commute. But like D., sometimes my husband bikes to the office which takes longer. Still, he leaves the house at the same time and comes home at the same time. He just takes the additional commute time into account. So we also take the same approach - commuting time is part of the "work time."

10:19 PM  

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