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

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Creative Balancing

We are fond, as you might know, of reduced hours careers for both parents while the children are young. Not because this is a requirement for ESP, but because it is simply easier to balance one's life - having enough time in the alloted 24 hours per day for kids, jobs, home and recreation - if one isn't working 40+ hours a week. The world of possibility really opens up when neither partner has to work full time, and we are huge fans of this option when it can be arranged.

But ESP is absolutely possible when full-time work is the only - or preferred - choice. Even if both parents have relatively demanding jobs. Take this couple showcased in Lisa Cullen's 'Work in Progress' Time.com blog today. With two children in elementary school, this pair has finagled their work hours around the school schedule and still enjoy challenging high-profile jobs. She works 6am to 2:30pm and he works 8:15am to 5:30pm. He handles the morning routine and school dropoffs and she does pickup and has the afternoon with the kids. With any luck, everyone can be around the dinner table every night. Both parents have ample (and approximately equal) alone time with their kids, and there is plenty of opportunity for family and couple time each evening.

Both parents also work from home, which eliminates commuting time and lets them make school dropoffs and pickups without cutting into their workdays. But with a bit of additional creativity, I don't think an outside job in decent proximity to home would be a stumbling block to this arrangement.

When both of our kids are in elementary school (less than 3 short years from now), this is the type of schedule Marc and I aspire to have. I love that an arrangement like this couple's is also coveted in Time.com.


Blogger mom said...

My 2 cents -- we call this "staggering" in our house and tried if for a bit, only to decide against it. We prefer to each work 9-5 (no, not enough time to get your work done) with one late shift each week (usually 8-midnight, after the kids go to bed) so that we can do it all together. We do have the one late night, but as it is now, we eat breakfast and dinner together every single day and no one is left doing mornings or afternoons alone. Yes, this means after school care, but for us, it's worth it. We're all about "Better Togther" as Jack Johnson sings -- not just to share the work, but to share the fun. We both enjoy our kids much more when our other half is there too (how else can we share that knowing glance or eyeroll?!)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi, Mom! Great to hear from you! I SO miss your blog, by the way. I agree that time together with the kids is the best. But I would love to try quasi-staggering so that each of us get some time alone with them and then plenty of together time. Maximum staggering, aka tag-team parenting on opposite shifts, doesn't sound like fun to me at all though.

9:01 PM  

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