Parenting is 50-50? Yeah, Right

Suzanne Murray

dad and kids
Photo by ColoradoLilac
Dads are much more involved in raising their kids these days than they were in the days of yore (whenever that was), and that's a wonderful thing. But do they share parenting duties equally with moms like so many parents claim? Let's not get all crazy now.

Like Michael Lewis, the author of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, says in his book, it might be the PC or expected thing to say, but it just isn't true.

Case in point:

Recently, I was invited to a baby shower, and I accepted the invitation as did all the other moms who were invited. A week after receiving that invite, half of us got another one -- this time to a birthday party for our kids' friend who was turning two. (The mom throwing the birthday party was not invited to the baby shower and had no knowledge of it.) Both events were on a Saturday.

I responded "yes" to the second invite on behalf of my daughter, who, like any two-year-old adores everything about birthday parties -- cake, balloons, singing, candles. There was no reason she should miss her friend's party because I was busy -- her dad could just as easily be her chaperone.

Every other mom declined the birthday party Evite, saying "Sorry, we have another obligation that day." The obligation was, of course, the baby shower (to which no children were invited). Rather than attend the birthday party, all those other kids stayed home with their dads, who could not take them because the family's one car was being used, there wouldn't be any other men there, they were deathly ill.

My husband took my daughter to the party, which was held at an art museum, and they had a lot of fun. I went to the baby shower, had some girl time (and a little wine) with my friends, and oohed and ahhhed over cute baby stuff at all the appropriate moments.

Am I bragging that my husband shares parenting duties evenly with me? Ha ha ha ha. No. Sure, he's a great dad. He plays with our daughter for an hour or two every morning before he leaves for work, he stays with her on the rare occasion I go out with friends or take some kind of class, he lets me sleep in on weekends and takes her on a hike or to a park or museum. He buys diapers when we're running low. He helps out. But is it a 50-50, down the middle, even-steven split? Not even close.

Am I complaining? No. I'm thankful that I'm married to a guy who just wants to make his little girl happy -- and that I won't be solely responsible for carting our daughter around to all her weekend activities for the next 16 years.

Do you and your SO share parenting duties evenly? Do you tell people you do?


Read More