Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: Equally Shared Parenting

Our friends, Marc and Amy, have a brand new book out:

Equally Shared Parenting: rewriting the rules for a new generation of parents. We got a sneak peak and it is amazing. It's written primarily for heterosexual couples, but Marc and Amy write a convincing welcome to gay and lesbian families, and also include a lesbian family among their examples throughout the book. That family happens to be us! We love how they treat our two-mom family as just one more example, and not some sort of extraordinary special case. While some of the material does focus on traditional gendered division of labor, it doesn't take much to extrapolate to other family arrangements. We think about this stuff all the time (and even talk to Marc and Amy about it frequently) and still came away from the book with smart new ways to look at how our family life and work is structured.

We've heard Marc say that it is important to them to create a family based on relationships rather than on roles. This is particularly appropriate for queer families because we don't fit into clear-cut roles. Instead of trying to squeeze our families into confining gender roles, the Vachons suggest we try to create balance for both parents in the spheres of childcare, career, housework, and personal time, so that both parents can live fulfilled lives, relationships can flourish, and the whole family can work as a team. I found the chapter on career and breadwinning particularly helpful, as this is a particularly hard place for Gail and I to find balance as individuals.

(Another plus -- this is the only parenting book we've found that doesn't talk down to dads, and assumes they are full and competent members of their families. I wish that wasn't such a rarity.)


N said...

:D *thumbs up*

Cindy said...

You are so famous! Looking forward to seeing the book....