Raising Children with Equal Parenting

by TerriRexson

We need to move to raising children with equal parenting. The idea of a Dad who is the main wage earner and a Mom who takes more responsibility for the kids is outdated.

Equal Parenting

My partner and I believe in raising children with equal parenting. We both take equal responsibility for caring for our children and think this is hugely beneficial for our kids. I know that not everyone would want this approach but I think it should be more widespread. 

I did take maternity leave so I spent more time with our kids as babies. My partner was working a four day week, worked from home some days and was home by 4:15 on other days so he was around a lot too. Both kids went into childcare 3 days a week before they were 1 and we each spent a day at home with them and worked four days. We both worked the same number of hours a week (though I earned a lot more!)

My partner loves being so involved with the kids and I think the kids benefit hugely from having two equal parents. He doesn't have that sense of panic that many Dads have when left with the kids for long periods. It's just normal. 

What do you think about Equal Parenting?

Equal Financial Responsibility

Since having children I've had an intense drive to provide for them financially. Apparently this is a typically male response to having kids (I'm guessing that's largely societal.) But I'm female and feel it very strongly. The idea of not earning money is terrifying to me. I could not be a stay at home Mom!

I worked in a professional job until recently. Society isn't really geared up for families where both parents have professional jobs and a fulfilling family life. We both just about managed to do our jobs in 4 days a week, but it was hard and we often felt guilty about not being there on the fifth day. I do understand why a lot of couples feel that only one parent, usually the Dad, should have a career while kids are small. 

I loved my job, but needed to change role (I get bored easily!) and for the first time in my career couldn't put in the extra effort required to hit the ground running in a new position. I see why working Mom's careers stagnate ... For me that would have been soul-destroying. So now I'm working out how to earn money online from home (and my partner plans to do the same too as soon as possible.)

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Breadwinner Dads

In my professional career I worked with a lot of breadwinner Dads whose wives weren't working. The pressure they were under, especially in the current economy was dreadful. They would work long hours because they were terrified of losing their jobs. 

They wouldn't spend much (if any) time with their kids during the week and inevitably their relationship with their kids at weekends was very different. 

Impact on Working Moms

As a working mother I felt the repercussions of the breadwinner Dads. How could I compete with these guys who would work all hours because they had a wife at home to make sure their clothes got washed and the kids were bathed?

Well in my own way I could compete, but it's the old women have to do everything better to achieve the same. I could compete with them on fewer hours but I didn't want to keep up that pace. 

I decided to get out and start working for myself. But that's not an option for a lot of working Moms. It's no wonder that women are less successful at senior levels. 

When society progresses to the point where men take equal responsibility for childcare, then women will be successful in the workplace. 

Equal Parenting Book

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Is Equal Parenting the Future?

I'd like to see equal parenting as one of the normal life-balance models for the future. It's such a shame that Dads miss so much of their kids growing up and that the world of work misses out on a lot of diversity. 

Sadly, at the moment I see things getting worse rather than better. In the current economy the work environment is more pressured than ever (see breadwinner Dads above ...) This makes the workplace more hostile to working Moms who feel the greater share of responsibility for the kids too.  

I actually know very few working Moms. This fact surprises me. Most of them put professional careers on hold due to the cost of childcare and the difficulty of being a two career household. I do know a couple of working Moms with stay at home Dads. 

Most of these stay at home Moms would rather be working. Just not working insane hours. 

A lot of women are looking to work from home but don't know what they could do. 


Updated: 10/17/2011, TerriRexson
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TerriRexson on 10/18/2011

@Dustytoes - I think this is changing. I know lots of men who are very hands on with their kids when they get the chance. It's just harder for them when they're not around as much.

@Mujjen - I agree society does make this difficult. It's such a shame because I think more balance would be so beneficial.

Mujjen on 10/18/2011

I would like to be able to earn more money, so my husband could cut down. But, finding part-time employment is not easy. Like many others, I am trying to make more money online. I think both parents should have the chance to make a choice as to how to use their time. Society of today makes this very difficult.

dustytoes on 09/24/2011

I've always wondered what wonderful things the world is missing out on because some women are so overworked and exhausted just taking care of everything while the man works that they have no time or energy to concentrate on what they could accomplish. (I'm speaking from experience.) I think that equal parenting would be great for women who would like to work at something that makes them feel fulfilled and also have some help with all the mundane, day to day stuff. Unfortunately, I believe that most men don't want any part of the changing diapers, washing dishes, doing laundry, etc. and they are happy to have it the other way.

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