New UK Book on Shared Parenting
UK author Rebecca Asher takes on the equally shared parenting cause with a soon-to-be-released book entitled Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality. The book is not available in the US, unfortunately, but we'll be trying to get our hands on a copy. Rebecca published an excerpt in The Guardian this past Saturday, and judging from this snippet, I worry that the book will linger way too long on the usual woes and misery and deep unfairness of motherhood. I hope I'm wrong. We have plenty of these whiney books already - not to discount the truth in them - and I'd like to think we're getting past this phase and on to actual solutions. And I know that Marc would say here that women need to work on their sales pitch...complaining about how hard it is to be a mother is not exactly the best hook to get men to step up to a similar role as fathers!
The Guardian excerpt of Shattered does hint at solutions - but, like a lot of other rants on gender injustice in parenting, the solutions suggested remain external. I hope that the excerpt is just that - a taste of much more content within - and that the book gets around to a solutions discussion that goes deeper than what the British government ought to be doing (or not doing) to make it easy to be an ESP family. Again, governmental way-paving is great - I'm all for it. But we can't sit around waiting for just the right law to come our way. The UK awards a huge paid maternity leave to moms and a measly couple of weeks to dads? That stinks (although of course it's a whole lot better than what we can count on over here in the US). It can cause so many couples to start out unequal and then stay that way. But it doesn't have to; individual couples can decide differently and then act on their dreams. Until the laws change, we have to take full ownership and sometimes we have to look for solutions that don't bring in the most money.
I look forward to reading Shattered and hope to happen upon a copy (anyone know where, or how we might contact the author?). I hope it is the British ESP manifesto - I really do. The more all of us can add to the discussion of equal parenting, the sooner the dream can become a reality for many.