Are You There, Moms? It’s Me, Idiot Who Does The Most Parenting, You Or Your Partner?
Are You There, Moms? It’s Me, Idiot is an ongoing series dedicated to helping one very well-intentioned and dumb future-parent learn about the world of childrearing. Click here to see past columns.
In case there was any question, I’m a pretty big fan of equal parenting between all involved parents, or at the very least, balanced parenting based on what works best for your family. Of course, that’s fairly idealistic of me, and I know that it simply isn’t possible for all families to have each parent change an equal number of diapers.
I would say I came from a relatively egalitarian household. Both my parents worked full time, and split things like showing up to school events, driving the carpools, making lunches, and helping with homework. While my relationships with each parent couldn’t be more different, I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one took on more work when it came to the nitty gritty logistics of making sure we went out into the world with pants on and knowing not to curse in public. On the other hand, I do have some abstract sense that more was required of my mom than my (very involved, very dedicated) dad, even if I can’t quantify it. I wonder if they’d each agree with that assessment, and one day I’ll ask (although, I’m not particularly sure I want to wade into those waters).
I know that the balance between parents isn’t necessarily measured in school lunches or diaper changes–parenting is of course much more nuanced than that. Maybe one parent works to support the family financially while the other runs the household, or one is more nurturing while the other is the disciplinarian. There are endless configurations of parents and families–joint custody, two parents, single parents, a village of grandparents, family members, and close friends, and many more. So in your family specifically–how is the responsibility of parenting divvied up?