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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Angry Wives

Check out this long rant at Parenting.com about what makes women (specifically mothers) mad at their husbands. It is actually funny, and I know guys who behave exactly as described in this piece. The article catalogs many sins of my gender - dads don't notice dirt, dads do dumb things when they are left alone with the kids (like feed them snacks 10 minutes before dinner), dads can't seem to multitask, dads get more time for themselves, dads need to be nagged to do chores, dads never keep to-do lists of household management tasks.

I'm willing to bet that a lot of this is true. The article is even full of statistics about the percent of women who are spitting mad about their lot in life.

But I'm not willing to say that men should take more than half of the blame here. For every complaint by women, there is the other side of the argument. Why are men so horrible? They aren't. They behave in ways that make perfect sense to the nature of all human beings. They don't spontaneously volunteer to do more work if they don't have to do it, or if they are likely to be criticized for how they do it, or if they aren't given half the authority to make the decisions about how a given task should be done.

The answer, this article says, is for women to talk with their husbands about how they feel. Yes, that is a start (necessary, but not sufficient). Talk, talk, talk, and listen, listen, listen. But the prescription must also include: don't judge, take a team approach to solving issues, make the solutions benefit both partners (not just dump on one), and work to become true equals - in responsibility, power and workload.

Do women want a partner, as this article says they do, or do they simply want a better helper? If they really want a partner, we have a solution for them. All those men avoiding those angry women...I'm wondering if they, too, might be thrilled to give ESP a whirl.


Anonymous Dennis said...

Your last paragraph is exactly the problem. My experience is that most women want a helper, not a partner. They want to make the decisions and have everything done their way. The want to be the CEO of the household and not share the decision making.

3:00 PM  
Blogger JohnMcG said...


Yes, if there's one thing our culture needs more of, it's expressions of anger from mothers of young children toward their husbands.

Now I'm angry. What should I do about that?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Thanks for weighing in guys. John, I look forward to the story about the poop!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Where's the sense of team? Where's the idea of working together? Even if a couple has to stick to more traditional roles, it's this kind of "me vs you" mentality that spirals marriages into madness. If couples would spend half as much time doing "team building and planning" meetings together as they would complaining about the other, they'd be that much more ahead in a mutually satisfying relationship. Oy!

3:16 PM  

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