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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Real Life ESP

No, they're not one of our Real Life Stories couples (although they definitely should be). But they definitely are an equally shared parenting poster family! I'm talking about the couple showcased in a great little article in the UK paper, The Guardian, yesterday. The parenting and work schedules of Mike and Albertine Davies are described - she's a teacher and he's a probation officer and they each work part-time and share care of their two young sons (with a little help from grandma).

The Davies eloquently spell out some of the challenges and benefits of ESP, and I agree with their thoughts. One of the challenges they mention is the salary reduction of two part-time careers as compared to two full-time ones. They counter this with the fact that two part-time jobs usually provide a bit more income than one full-time one (with one SAHP). I would add that two part-time careers can actually bring in a lot more than one full-time one if those part-time hours are closer to 30-35/week than 20/week - and still accomplish the goal of minimal outside childcare requirements if schedules are carefully crafted. And two part-time jobs can sometimes even eclipse the net earnings of two full-time jobs if you take into account families with no grandma to care for multiple kids while parents work.

I love that the Davies mention the balanced lives that ESP provides each of them, the equality that is felt between them, and the intimacy that comes when "the other person knows - really, really knows - exactly what it's like."

The article is part of the kick-off of the paper's Work/Life Balance Week. Big thumbs up for The Guardian's coverage of a true ESP couple on their first day!


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