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, March 26, 2008

Breaking into the Sanctum

This Washington Post article says our country may be headed for a matriarchy, as more young women reach higher educational levels and earning power than their male peers. What will happen when/if this occurs? Will women be content to juggle a higher-earning job and the bulk of the housework and childraising, while their husbands play second fiddle in all three areas? This seems really, really unfair to me - both for women and men.

Enter ESP as a valid solution to this unfairness. But in order to get to equality, fathers will have to step up their share of housework and solo parenting time. The Washington Post says this isn't all that needs to happen though; mothers will have to step back too. And that cultural shift isn't a given - far from it. I agree with the WaPo - this change is a two-gender project and either gender can put the breaks on the whole evolution if so inclined.

As the article says, women will have to change their collective attitudes about men as parents. They will have to stop assuming that their way of parenting is 'right' and judging a man by how he measures up to their standard. If he is to be consider an equal, a man gets to create his own way of parenting, and go toe to toe against his partner's way to come up with the greater good.

But he has to earn it all too. No more feigned incompetence. No more "but you do it so much better, oh wonderful wife." No more pushing the responsibilities of remembering, deciding and doing onto our partners.

Motherhood is a social sanctum. It will take a big commitment to break in and claim our equal share of parenting. That commitment, I'd like to think, will come from a place of desire in a man's heart - when he realizes how great life can be as an ESP father - rather than from a grudging acquiescence to his wife's new power base. I'm hoping for a joint effort here - moms recognizing the depth to which they'll have to let go, dads digging in and getting competent in their own way, and both partners enjoying the intimacy and balance that equality brings.

p.s. Hat tip to Rebeldad for pointing us to this article, although his take is a bit different than mine.


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