Equally Shared Parenting

A few months ago I was attempt­ing to write a post for the Car­ni­val of Nat­ur­al Par­ent­ing.  The descrip­tion of the month’s top­ic was:

Novem­ber 2010: What is Nat­ur­al Par­ent­ing?: Explore one con­cept from the nat­ur­al par­ent­ing phi­los­o­phy – why is it impor­tant to you/your fam­i­ly?

I knew right away what I want­ed to write about.  I was going to write about Equal­ly Shared Par­ent­ing.  So, I start­ed where every good writer starts.  I googled it.  I found the web­site for Marc and Amy Vachon’s book by the same name.  I start­ed writ­ing my post.  I wrote about how we share the child rais­ing, house work, recre­ation, and then I got to bread­win­ning.  We don’t share that.

Jason has a career that he enjoys.  He likes what he does.  He is good at it, and he wants to con­tin­ue to do it for some time.  I went to school for edu­ca­tion.  I have a dou­ble major in ele­men­tary and mid­dle school edu­ca­tion with areas of con­cen­tra­tion (sim­i­lar to minors) in math and his­to­ry.  I also have a mas­ters degree in spe­cial edu­ca­tion with the gen­er­al strate­gist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.  I, unfor­tu­nate­ly, do not have a career that I enjoy and want to return to.

So, while as much as I like to think that we are prac­tic­ing equal­ly shared par­ent­ing, we are not.  Jason shares all the respon­si­bil­i­ty for the tasks around the house and with the kids, but I do not share any of the respon­si­bil­i­ty of bread­win­ning.  I could explain why we’ve cho­sen for it to be this way, but in the end it real­ly comes down to the fact that I don’t work.  Right now, I’m okay with not work­ing (for mon­ey), and even­tu­al­ly I hope to return to a career.  How­ev­er, shoul­der­ing all the respon­si­bil­i­ty for this area is a lot.

(As a side note, remind me in the future that my 5 year old can­not nap for more than 30 min­utes or he will be up at 9:45 just toss­ing and turn­ing in his bed.)

So, as I was try­ing to write that post, I real­ized that in the future Jason and I may very well prac­tice equal­ly shared par­ent­ing, we don’t right now.  Some days I’m okay with that, and some days I wish it was dif­fer­ent.  Some days I feel guilty about ask­ing him to share all the oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties of our fam­i­ly but not shar­ing in the bread­win­ning.

I have some oth­er thoughts on careers, moth­er­hood, etc.  I may share some of them in the future, but until then I don’t have any­thing to neat­ly wrap up my thoughts on this.  I don’t have a great response ques­tion for any­one who might read this.  I guess I just thought I’d put this out there and see what hap­pens.

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