Words We Love
Can I share something with you that made me smile from ear to ear today? It is the latest entry on the amazing Equal Couples blog, from Anne Mahoney, Professor of Sociology at the University of Denver - who has just finished reading our book:
Amy and Marc Vachon’s book Equally Shared Parenting should be on everyone’s baby gift list. Don’t worry that the couple might get more than one copy. They will wear out several over the years. In this month of weddings, think of it also as an equally appropriate wedding gift. This book lays out, on a day-to-day basis, how to work together as an equal couple. It gets down to the nitty-gritty of how a couple learns to share life together in an equal way and why equality is so important for life and love. It is well written, a good-read, and is the best guide for couples who want to share life together that I have ever seen.I am not a sales person by my very nature. I actually abhor the idea of trying to peddle our book, racking up sales just to hit some number on a book popularity chart. But I'm quite proud of our book's contents and message and I DO want it to get into the hands of those who can use it. And I kinda think a lot of people might fit that category! So I'll be happy today with such a beautiful endorsement from Dr. Mahoney, someone who has worked for years to help marriage therapists teach couples to reach equality. And someone I greatly admire.
I LOVE your website and blog. While my husband and I equally share many parts of life, we are working to more equally share parenting. We thought the ideal situation would be for me to stay home with our 14 month old twins. I soon realized I missed my career and wished my husband would be more actively involved in our daughters' lives. We have had so many conversations where I would try to describe what you have so perfectly titled "Equally Shared Parenting". You have completely validated our search for balance and made us realize that it is possible to share life and parenting! Thank you - I'm looking forward to reading your book!
I want so much to give this book to new parents near and far! And I certainly have referred a number of people to the book. I have found that talking about Equally Shared Parenting is actually more charged than I expected, however... that is is sort of threatening to people. It is disappointing - and I still work it in as often as I possibly can - but I wonder if this comes up for others who like to share the ESP lifestyle and even suggest it to friends. Is it just me that has this sort of awkward situation where I feel like I am somehow "imposing" my beliefs when I share our ESP lifestyle? If you experience this, how do you handle it? I definitely want to keep the conversation out in the open - and giving the book is such a beautiful way to introduce it - I just worry about offending the receivers with my gift as though I am telling them how to parent/be in partnership... (eek... I'm showing my "want everyone to like me side" here...) Any tips, experiences, thoughts are much appreciated...
Beth and Michelle - thanks...more words I love! Marc and I struggle all the time with finding a way to share the joy of this lifestyle without making it seem as if we are judgmental. We truly don't ever want to judge another parenting couple for their choices, but if they themselves wish an equal relationship we would sure like to be a part of helping them achieve it. Because we believe everyone can do it! I think if we were not a couple who actually practices what we teach, our message might feel less threatening somehow (but also less 'in the trenches' believable). If it was just one of us writing about ESP, and that person had a PhD in sociology and never spoke about his/her homelife, it would be perhaps more sanitized and less loaded.
So I don't have a great solution for sharing the great news about ESP without being catagorized negatively, except to know that those who would do so probably aren't our target audience anyway.
I think if you share when the context is appropriate from a this-is-what-works-for-us perspective, and avoid unsolicited advice, people can take it as they will. If they get offended or defensive it is their issue, not yours.
I just finished your book and my husband is reading it. It's wonderful, and put to words many things that were clanking around in my head but which I hadn't articulated. We are taking steps towards achieving ESP in all four domains you defined. Scary but exciting! Once we have our new structure in place I'll drop you a note and tell you about it. Thank you!
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