Fans of "equally shared parenting" believe moms and dads can split the work.
The cover story of The New York Times Magazine celebrates the "equally shared parenting" movement, and the couples featured in the piece work hard to split parenting, wage-earning and household duties 50-50, no matter what.
According to equallysharedparenting.com, started by Marc and Amy Vachon, the definition of the practice is "the purposeful practice of two parents in an intact home sharing equally in the domains of child-raising, housework, bread-winning, and recreation time."
This article comes hot on the heels of a survey that found that 37% of working dads said they are willing to take a pay cut to spend more time with their children; 42% would take a pay cut of 10% or more.
"More and more men want to be more involved in their children's lives," says psychologist Joan Reese. "Many modern-day parents are getting tired of the traditional setup, where either the man is the breadwinner and the woman does the majority of the household and childcare duties, or both the mom and dad work, but the woman is still expected to do more at home than the man does. This dynamic typically leaves both partners feeling stressed, and it's the kids who suffer for it."
That's where equally shared parenting -- where both partners work less and participate more in childcare -- is the answer. "You and your spouse are a true team," Amy Vachon claims on her Web site. "You are both leading lives in balance. Equally shared parenting truly is half the work, and all the fun." But opponents of equal parenting call it "genderless parenting," and say it erases traditional male-female roles and confuses children.
We love the idea of moms feeling less expected to do it all -- because, we gotta tell you, most of us are exhausted trying to do the impossible day in, day out. And dads pitching in more sounds good, too. But let's be realistic, how many bosses will go for employees working less, especially in this economy? And do guys really want to take on bake sales, doctor appointments and homework?
Tell us your thoughts on equally shared parenting.