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, September 10, 2009

Parent of Record

Now that we're in the thick of the back-to-school season, it's time to fill out all those forms sent home with our children that ask for our names, addresses, cellphones, emails and places of work. Oh, and that determine which parent will be the lucky recipient of those automated phone calls alerting us to our children's tardiness, absences, the school spirit day family gathering, the next PTO meeting, early release days, the start of the book fair and bake sale, and any number of other announcements. Who to pick? Mom, as usual? Dad, just to freak out the school secretary? Both (but that could be rather inefficient for you)?

We've typically defaulted to me as the parent of record, only because our work schedules mean I currently do more of the drop-offs and pickups than Marc does. But that does leave me either holding the responsibility for taking care of the news, or feeling petty for passing on this job to Marc when it is so easy to handle myself.

At T's school, we're both listed on the general contact list. And at M's school, I'm the auto-call recipient but both of us appear on the class contact list (the only set of parents on the list, by the way).

Today, one of T's friend's parents called Marc's cellphone with a birthday party invitation. Since calls like this usually come to me, he hesitated a few seconds before diving in to check our schedule, tell me about the event, and then respond with a "yes, T would love to come" and book the date. His hesitation? Men don't own this stuff - they pass it on to women to do. Recognizing his slight urge to pass it on was interesting for Marc to observe and then push past.

How do you handle the 'parent of record' issue?


Anonymous Dennis said...

We put both of us down. Looking through our school's on-line directory, most families have both parents listed.

As for ownership of the calendar, we share it. We have an "official" calendar hanging in the kitchen and we put everything on that, so it's easy for either one of us to check and schedule thins.

8:07 AM  
Blogger geekymummy said...

We do t badly. He drops off, I pick up, we stick post its on counters and email notes to our iPhones, but all to often we leave the kiss atschool with no diapers, leave our laptops at home, and double book our weekends, and run out f milk!

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Love your post. It's such a good example of how deeply these old roles go and how hard they are to kick. Good job Marc! www.equalcouples.com

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. As Dad is often the one who can be reached best, but I am the one who can be flexible to come home in case of persistent vomiting (etc) both our numbers are on record. Much of the contacts with the daycare are through Dad at the moment, as there is more time to chat with the staff when dropping Baby off than at day's end. However, scheduling our social life is often my job.

2:30 PM  

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