Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Would You Marry This Man?

Here's a nice post from the blog, "Knocked Up (and in Law School)" about the benefits of co-parenting:

I have heard many women say that a father could just never love a child the way a mother does, and can't take care of them the way a mother does either. I don't believe that's true at all, and I think it's disrespectful to all the men who are spectacular parents. And I want to know why no one tries to make men feel guilty because they work outside the home? That's the real question. Why does Law School Mom state that it matters whether she or a nanny takes her kids to school, but makes no mention of her husband in that scenario? Why do we as mothers put all of the guilt on ourselves (and on other women) instead of equally between both parents? Why is his career important, not to be inconvenienced by taking care of children, but hers isn't? Why is she a bad mother for working, but he's a good father for providing for his family? These double-standards are harmful for all parents, and perhaps the work environment for all parents, not just women, would improve if society expected men to take a more active role in all aspects of parenting, instead of viewing it as an abomination. Just because I'm the one with the uterus doesn't mean all of the responsibilities of child-rearing fall on me. Having full responsibility ends at delivery.

To Husband and I, co-parenting means both of us being equally responsible for the care of our child. When Cora was born, Husband took a nine week paternity leave to take care of her. When I started back to school full time four weeks after she was born, he got up with her during the night, and cared for her during the times I was in class. I don't feel like I'm a bad mother and not bonding with my child because my husband does an equal share of the parenting, and sometimes even more than half. Since he went back to work, I'm on my own three nights a week. He takes over when he gets home from work in the morning and lets me get a little more sleep. On the days he doesn't work, he takes care of Cora during the day while I'm either in class or at work, and gets up with her at night if she wakes up. He takes her to all of her doctor's appointments, whereas I handle all the bill paying/fighting with Evil Health Insurance Company and Incompetent Medical Billing Agencies. We divide the tasks that way because those are our areas of expertise, and because that's what our schedules allow, not because any gender role dictates as such.


chicago pop said...

How well said. And interesting blog at the other end of the link, too.

When I read things like this: "I have heard many women say that a father could just never love a child the way a mother does, and can't take care of them the way a mother does either" it occurs to me that this is a prejudice like any other; like the very old prejudice that women can't think rationally; that blacks are savages and can't govern themselves; that Jews can't be patriotic, etc. etc.

All wrong.

Anonymous said...

I love how you guys are re-shaping what it means to be a dad, and affirming that childcare and family is just as rewarding to men as career. I really needed to hear that.