This is what it means to have a family: diapering, cleaning, bedtime stories, untold drinks of water at bedtime, cooking, homework supervision/assistance, school drop off and pickup, daycare drop off and pick up, scheduling play dates (including hosting play dates), comforting and conflict resolution. If you aren’t willing to do those things, why the hell would you have a family?
I’m seeing these themes a lot lately, with Sheryl Sandberg and Penelope Trunk also stating that one of the most important career decisions you can make as a woman is picking a good husband – one who will be an equal partner in household and parenting duties. Though I certainly didn’t need them to tell me that. It’s been a deal breaker of mine all along.
In our family, Neil is still the only one who’s done a single-parent overnight shift. In fact, he’s done two, and I’m about to leave for a 3-day business trip where he’ll do our first multi-day single-parent adventure. I assume that there will be times in the future where I’ll return the favour.
And as the first commenter on Jon’s site says, while I feel grateful that I have found a partner who plays an equal role in running our family, luck has nothing to do with it, and neither of us deserves special recognition for being competent, responsible adults.