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, March 26, 2009

Aversion to Equality

Sometimes I catch myself being turned off by talk of gender equality. Maybe it's just my mood or perhaps my frustration at the lack of progress toward this goal, but lately I'm starting to understand some of our critics when they say, "Why do we care so much about being equal?" OK, it's time to come clean...we don't!

Well, let me clarify. I have never had much interest in convincing couples that they should equally share all the household chores or even have equal time with the kids for that matter. If, however, they want to be equally happy and care about creating a team of equally valued parents, then I'm more than motivated to discuss ESP. Not as an artificial way to keep score, but rather as an equivalently valuable path to a balanced and enjoyable life.

I am encouraged today after reading in Motherlode about a study released by the Families and Work Institute. In particular, this study looks at the "ambition level" of both men and women age 29 or younger, as defined by a desire to achieve greater responsibility at work. It turns out that the responses are closing in on gender equality and reflect a downward adjustment to the importance of paid work in their lives. Lisa Belkin calls this "a change that seems consistent with a growing desire by both men and women for balance in their lives."

Desire for this kind of balance at a high level is the foundation that will make sharing in all life's domains more equitable. This is fertile ground for ESP.


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