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.