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, January 17, 2008

Team Spirit

There's an ESP-related article in the latest issue of Parenting's BabyTalk magazine - a rarity in journalism. The article, titled "Parenting as a Team," attempts to guide would-be parents into creating an equally shared parenting arrangement. It hits on some of the principles of ESP, such as the fact that most couples end up with manager/apprentice arrangements for childraising tasks rather than a team of equals (the article calls this coach vs water boy), or the idea that a couple should agree upfront on the basics of childraising (similar to the ESP tenant of setting joint standards).

Given that it's a fluff piece in a fluff magazine, I'm actually pretty impressed that the topic got covered as well as it did here. Of course there is so much more to tackle before a couple could hope to create and maintain true equality - but it's a start. If I were to change one thing about the article besides its breadth, I would ask it to challenge mothers to let fathers be absolute equals rather than still be relegated to helper status. The author (a man) stops shy of requesting that BabyTalk readers (read: mothers) accept men as equal parents when he advocates women "delegate" more childraising responsibilities to men. Delegation is still coach vs water boy behavior. It is better than gatekeeping, surely, but it is not equality.


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