Friday, June 13, 2008

Parenting - Trying to Make It Truly Equal

I just finished reading a really interesting (and really long) story in the New York Times magazine, "When Mom and Dad Share It All." It's about shared parenting, and features parents who have decided to really give a go at truly equal parenting.

The statistics are a bit depressing, but not surprising. Married women still do most of the housework - at the same percentage as 90 years ago. Yes, 90. And parenting isn't far behind. Women, working full-time, part-time or staying at home, are, more often than not, the "directors" of the household, with husbands being "helpers."

But this article isn't about disparities - it's about a small group of parents who've decided to consciously split up their non-working life more evenly. It's harder than you'd imagine, and you probably already think it's pretty hard. And for reasons you might not think of. Duties that mothers have difficulty giving up, duties that men don't find necessary, how to split time when one person's job is less flexible than the other's. These people have made some hard decisions - one couple has decided that both will work part-time, and thus live a simpler lifestyle. Another has a (what seemed to me) complicated computer spreadsheet with hours bracketed out in color codes.

But anyone who's thinking about being a parent, or is a parent already, will probably find this article interesting and thought-provoking. Well, if you're okay with reading a multi-page article. I'm very ambivalent about having children, and I found it interesting.

Permalink to article

Cover Story
When Mom and Dad Share It All
Published: June 15, 2008
How do you truly split domestic duties? Spouses who are determined to adhere to "equally shared parenting" do it minute by minute.

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