Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sharing Parenting Equally

In this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Lisa Belkin wrote a thought-provoking article on "equally shared parenting." The concept behind equally shared parenting is just as it sounds: each parents spends as much time contributing to work, home, and family as the other. While I commend the parents who are engaging in this arrangement, I couldn't help but wonder about the details. How exactly does one track every single contribution in the work, home, and family categories? How does one weigh tasks that are more burdensome than others? Reading about the featured couples, it seemed to me that this arrangement could open itself up to persistent arguments over the division of labor.

One mother, whose family eventually opted out of equally shared parenting, had this to say about her family's experience: "The question should not be, Is it all exactly equal, but, What is best for all of us as a group right now?...If we decide it's really important that we are 50-50 on everything, we would work on that. If we decide it's really important that we be close to family, then we work on that."

Now, that sounds like an arrangement I could live with.

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