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, July 22, 2008

The Top 11 Reasons ESP is Growing

Okay, I cheated. The first 10 reasons are here in this Strollerderby blog from Babble magazine - a great list of ways our society is changing to make it more acceptable for men to be involved and equal parents. The list ranges from small physical signs like diaper changing stations available in some men's bathrooms to more all-out evidence like a growing number of breadwinner women.

Here's my eleventh reason: Because Daddy and Mommy want it. Yes, according to leading sociologists, Generation X and Y parents want equal marriages and balanced lives more than they want almost anything else. Definitely more than power jobs that take either parent away from family. This is true for both women and men; in fact, 2/3rds of men in this demographic say this is what they want.

The article starts by intimating that ESP may be an impossible dream. Ah - not so! Equal parenting is not an exact, black-and-white situation. Think of it as co-parenting in which both partners have a general goal of being equal in their involvement with the kids, home, career and self, and then it becomes perfectly attainable. Not perfect, but perfectly attainable.

These little signs that traditional mom-lead childraising is not the only option will snowball over time. Right now, we have a small number of ESP parents forging ahead against still-strong cultural and workplace barriers. But soon, as role models lead the way, it will take slightly less courage for the next wave of men to ask for a reduced-hours work schedule, take paternity leave or show up in public with their own diaper bag. And then someday each of these things will become so commonplace that they'll be easy to claim by any man who wants them. A critical mass will be reached and ESP will be an obvious option right up there with all the other standard family arrangements. I just know it....

Hat tip to Daddy Dialectic for linking to this Babble blog.


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