While we are the only equal parenting website run by equal
sharing parents that we know of, we aren’t the only ones
talking about this lifestyle. Look below for
information about excellent social studies texts, books,
and organizations supportive of our cause. And
you'll find even more resources in the back of our book, Equally
Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New
Generation of Parents.
- Equal Couples: Equalcouples.com.
Fantastic blog devoted to examining power equality
within couples of all types - with or without
- Evolution of Dad:
of experts (lauded academics and practicing fathers).
- Father and FamilyLink:
organizations. The site is dated – no one seems
to be keeping it current these days – but it does
contain a good review of the literature on equal
sharing by Terry Arendell from 1997.
- National Center for
Updated resource for all things daddy. No
presence on this site for equal sharing, however.
- Center for a New
American Dream: www.newamericandream.org.
'living consciously means
aware of what’s going on around you, finding balance,
and having a little fun while you’re at it'. The
website is full of excellent resources.
Sharon is a work-life and career coach who raised her
now-grown children under the equally shared parenting
model with her husband. She coaches working
parents throughout the US, helping them create the
work-family-self balance that works for their family.
ThirdPath Institute is an organization dedicated to
reform and education to make equally shared parenting
(‘Shared Care’ is their term) possible.
ThirdPath offers consultation, a workbook, a free
email newsletter, and many other resources to help
couples work toward equality. We love ThirdPath!
- Against the Grain:
Couples, Gender, and the Reframing of Parenting
(Gillian Ranson; 2010). Thoughtful sociologic research
of 32 couples with non-traditional gender roles (6 are
ESP couples) that highlights what it means to 'undo
gender' and 'parent' rather than 'mother' or 'father.'
For more information, see our review of this book here.
- An Unconventional Family (Sandra
Lipsitz Bem; 1998). Fascinating personal story
of an ESP family devoted to feminism and gender
neutrality. For more information, see our review
of this book here.
- Baby's Here! Who Does
What? (Duncan Fisher, 2010).
Fantastic, short, graphics-based handbook on equal
parenting. See our review of this book here.
- Couples, Gender, and
Power (Carmen Knudson-Martin and Anne
Rankin Mahoney ed., 2009). Excellent compilation
of sociological research on gender and its effect on
power in relationships, with a review of the
literature on relationship equality. See our
review of this book here.
- Family Man: Fatherhood,
Housework, and Gender Equity (Scott
Coltrane; 1996). Sociological discussion of
shared parenting from the perspective of the father
rather than the mother.
- Father Courage: What
Happens When Men Put Family First (Suzanne
Levine; 2000). Refreshingly
positive description of men who are fully involved in
their children’s lives. Introduces the concepts
of the ‘Dreaded Tape’ and the ‘Grinding Gears’ to
describe how men and women are different in their
approaches to family and work activities.
Vertigo: American Families in Transition
(Barbara J Risman;
feminist look at gender and how it pervades all
that we do, followed by an in-depth
analysis of 15 equally sharing couples with
children. The kids are interviewed as well
as their parents, for an interesting study of
how gender equality at home can affect
children's views of men and
women. For more information,
see our review of this book here.
- Get to Work: A Manifesto
for Women of the World (Linda R.
Hirshman; 2006). Controversial
and strongly worded call to all women to create a
fulfilling life for themselves rather than fall prey
to inequality. Although Linda writes in a
dictatorial and accusing style, her philosophy is
centrally about equality between partners. We
disagree with her view that women should only have one
child, marry young or much older, and other specifics,
but hope that her equality message is heard above the
din of her enemies.
- Getting to 50/50: How
Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All
(Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober; 2009).
Inspiring look at equal sharing written primarily from
the perspective of the working mother. This book
includes a good look at the data that support
two-career families and shared home duties between
partners. For more information, see our review
of this book here.
- Halving It All: How
Equally Shared Parenting Works (Francine
M. Deutsch; 1999). The most
comprehensive study of equally shared parenting, as
gleaned from interviews with parents. The
parents interviewed varied in their degree of
equality, and almost none of them seemed to
intentionally create an equal sharing lifestyle (they
just fell into it). Nonetheless, the author
reviews much of the philosophy and practicality of
equal sharing in a way that no other book does.
- How to Avoid the Mommy
Trap (Julie Shields; 2002).
Excellent how-to book for creating equally shared
parenting. This book is written from the
perspective of the woman, not the couple, although it
does discuss the benefits of equal sharing for
men. It aims to teach women how to marry the
right guy, negotiate for equality, and make it
Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies, and Bargaining
Power (Rhona Mahony;
1995). Detailed description of why women in our
society end up with most of the housework and
childraising tasks, and what to do about it.
for a more indepth review of this book.
- Love Between Equals:
How Peer Marriage Really Works
(Pepper Schwartz; 1995). Lovingly crafted ode to
equal marriages that examines the benefits and
challenges and compares this lifestyle to traditional
and 'near-peer' relationships. While not
specifically focusing on couples with children, many
examples include such couples and a whole chapter
describes equal childraising. Click here
for a more indepth review of this book.
- Marathon Dad: Setting a
Pace that Works for Working Fathers (John
Evans; 1998). Lovely how-to book for men on
becoming involved fathers and why this is the best
thing they can do to lead happy and meaningful lives.
- Men Can: The Changing
Image and Reality of Fatherhood in America
(Donald N.S. Unger; 2010). Refreshing view
of how and why men can break out of the standard
gender roles. Read our review of the book here.
- Men Can Do It! The Real
Reason Dads Don't Do Childcare and What Men and
Women Should Do About It (Gideon
Burrows; 2013). Witty, sometimes sarcastic but
very passionate directive to British fathers to step
up and brush past excuses to a life well led as an ESP
dad. Read our review of the book here.
Guilt: Learn to Worry Less, Focus on What Matters
Most, and Raise Happier Kids (Julie
Bort, Aviva Pflock and Devra Renner; 2005). Book
written for moms only (unfortunately, but
understandably) outlining general philosophies and
providing dozens and dozens of tips to enjoy
parenting. Teaches moms not to feel guilty about
pursuing their own hobbies, and sifts through all the
garbage we tell ourselves to get to the real meaning
of parenthood. Small section on fathers explains
how moms should learn to let go and let their husbands
take over some of the parenting.
In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself (Amy
Richards; 2008). Call to women (and men) to take
responsibility for creating the lives they want, and
discussion of some of the personal barriers to equal
sharing. Details of how to achieve equally
shared parenting are not provided, but this book is a
well-written description of what prevents us from
getting there if we elect to go with the cultural
- Parenting Partners:
How to Encourage Dads to Participate in the
Daily Lives of Their Children
(Robert Frank and Kathryn E. Livingston; 1999).
How-to book for each stage of your child's life,
written by a family therapist and fatherhood/parenting
- Parenting Together: Men
and Women Sharing the Care of Their Children
(Diane Ehrensaft; 1990). Older book, but
full of interesting discussions about the emotional
effects on parents who share equally in raising their
children and on the children themselves. This
book is the result of interviews with 40 couples who
- Perfect Madness:
Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety (Judith
Warner; 2005). Much discussed
and quoted description of mothers gone wrong –
exhaustion-fueled and filled with angst about things
that don’t really matter – while fathers escape to
work. Judith interviews primarily upper middle
class mothers and reviews the path of feminism from
Betty Friedan until today. Alas, equally shared
parenting is not mentioned as a solution to some of
the issues raised. An excellent read,
Marriage (Audrey D. Smith and
William J. Reid; 1986). Written way back in
1986, this book is based on about 200 interviews with
equal sharing couples (only 37 couples have children,
however). Authors are an equal sharing couple
themselves. The book is full of practical data
about the sharing of all domains in equal or
semi-equal marriages, and their findings are
interesting albeit now a bit dated.
Unfortunately, there is scant information here on
equal parents who both work reduced hours (only 2
Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality (Rebecca
2011). Compelling argument for equally shared
parenting as a solution to a balanced, happy life for
women, men and children, with an excellent chapter on
what works and doesn't work for promoting true gender
equality through governmental laws and examples from
multiple countries leading the way. A "call to arms
for a revolution in parenting." See our review of this
- The Daddy Shift: How
Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared
Parenting Are Transforming the American Family
(Jeremy Adam Smith; 2009).
Highly researched and tender analysis of how
caregiving is becoming a much bigger part of
fatherhood. While focusing on stay-at-home
fathers, this book is unmistakably pro egalitarian
parenting. See our review of this book here.
- The Feminine Mistake
(Leslie Bennetts; 2007).
Well researched and anxiety-provoking discussion of
what women stand to lose by becoming stay-at-home
mothers. Leslie believes in gender equal
marriages, and tries to live this way with her
husband. The book misses the nuances of true
partnership, however, and never addresses the
viability of reduced hours work for both
parents. See our review of this book here.
Four-Thirds Solution: Solving the Child-Care
Crisis in America Today (Stanley
I Greenspan and Jacqueline Salmon; 2001). A book
that touts equally shared parenting and both parents
each working 2/3rds time as the solution for balanced
families. Unfortunately, only one real-life
example in the book comes close to this ideal, but it
is still refreshing to read of such strong support for
equally shared parenting from a nationally known
childcare expert (Greenspan).
- The Mommy Myth: The
Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined
All Women (Susan J. Douglas and
Meredith W. Michaels; 2004). This book covers
much of the same territory as Perfect Madness, but
with much more anger. Compelling data are
reviewed on the media’s role in making us all anxious
and frightened parents, and the comparisons we make
with ‘perfect’ celebrity parents.
- The Pile of Stuff at the
Bottom of the Stairs (Christina
Hopkinton; 2011). Accessible, entertaining novel that
depicts the disintegration of a relationship built on
women viewing themselves as career martyrs and their
men as lazy husbands who can't do their part at home,
and what can change with a shift to equally shared
Truth Behind the Mommy Wars (Miriam
Peskowitz; 2005). Impassioned and
well-researched description of what is wrong with the
current state of unequal parenting. This book
focuses on external changes (e.g., better part-time
jobs, family leave, childcare); there is a small
mention of equal breadwinning but this book does not
explore equal childraising.
- The Unfinished
Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping
Family, Work, and Gender in America (Kathleen
Gerson; 2009). Revealing and hopeful analysis of
what young adults want from their relationships -
equal partnerships and balanced lives. See our
review of this book here.
- This is How We Do It: The
Working Mothers’ Manifesto (Carol
Evans; 2006). Written by the CEO and President
of Working Mother magazine, this book describes the
successful ‘can-do’ working mother balancing it
all. There is mention of equal sharing, although
it is not the main focus of the book.
- This Is Not How I Thought
It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives
We Want Today (Kristin Maschka;
2009). A beautiful story of conversion from a
traditional relationship to one based on equally
shared parenting, with plenty of wisdom and cultural
analysis. See our interview with the author of
this book here.
- Working Fathers: New
Strategies for Balancing Work and Family
(James A. Levine and Todd L. Pittinsky;
1997). Well researched description of the
problems fathers face in balancing their lives and
being involved with their children. Includes
tips for breaking cultural barriers at work, taking
meaningful paternity leave, and reconnecting with your