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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't Let Money Get in the Way

Paul Nyhan at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's 'Working Dad' blog reports recently on an anecdotal survey about the marital bliss (or lack thereof) of couples in which a woman outearns her husband. Primary breadwinner wives in the survey - a full 100% of them - say that this monetary imbalance has hurt their marriages.

This news annoys me. It means, if this hardly-scientific data are to be believed, that we've got a long way to go. If men cling to their breadwinning prowess as their identity, they end up with an inferiority problem if their wives outearn them - one that is directly proportional to the wage gap between the two partners. If these primary breadwinner women then also cling to their need to control the home, we've really got a problem - a man with no power base and a woman holding all the cards.

As Marc wrote in the previous post, redefining masculine success is a key toward a happy gender equal parenting arrangement. I will add that redefining motherhood is essential as well. Who says real men are providers before nurturers, and real women are nurturers before providers? These are made-up rules that are meant to be broken by those of us who want happy, equal partnerships and lives that include a full measure of both realms.

It doesn't matter who earns more money. In our marriage, Marc and I have shifted that title back and forth between us over the years. Don't let the number on your paycheck dictate who is in charge of whom (or what)!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a bizarre response anyway -- very hard for those of us who aren't like that to imagine being unhappy with our partner bringing in more money! The more the better!

2:12 PM  

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