I love watching TED-talks. This one just became my newest fav.
It was filmed over three years ago, in June 2013, yet I only just discovered it and it inspired me to write this.
Plus, lately, a big topic of conversation among my friends, family and clients has been women in power. Perhaps the recent presidential election brought light upon the issue and opened up a way for dialogue to happen, or it’s just something that I’ve been struggling with and keep coming back to so I’m talking about it.
I’ve come to find out that there is still lots of ambiguity around being a high achieving boss babe, and even more so around being a successful lady while having a successful family.
The world is still very much a “man’s” world…
Though women are now expected to also be able to provide bread for the household, the expectations around the kitchen, laundry, cleaning and caregiving really haven’t changed.
The housework and the caregiving is still mainly a woman’s job…
Is it any different in your life?
Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have wonderful role models showing me just how beneficial it is for children to have both parents participate equally in the role of caregivers.
No, it wasn’t my parents. They aren’t the role models. My mother was a stay-at-home wife and my father a very traditional breadwinner. The awesome people I’m referring to are the wonderful parents of two lovely children that I used to babysit.
Years later though I no longer babysit they are still dear friends, and I get to see them every few months. I get to hangout with them and I’m able to see just how well-adjusted these two children have grown up to be.
Their parents were both involved in caring for them throughout their early childhood years. They both put in equal time and effort. I got to witness just how beneficial that is for children.
It all has to do with equal parenting.
Now, that’s what I want for my family. And, that’s what the norm should be for everybody. The roles of caregiver, household manager, all the responsibilities should be equally shared —but are they…?
Looking back I can’t think of many more examples of equal dual parenting —other then that one wonderful family that I used to babysit for… okay, that’s looking back: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, parents of friends, other babysitting clients. Nope, nothing.
What about now? Many of my friends have started families… well, the females work and take care of the home and kids. The guys just work. Maybe the guys also hangout with their kids but it’s actually more like “play-time”, and when the kids are sick it’s most certainly always the mom’s job to take care of them.
Alright, so perhaps my friends just didn’t pick the right partner —but we’re Millennials! It should be common practice for us to practice teamwork —aren’t we the generation that’s open-minded, progressive, and unbound by the rules of the past…
The fact is that many of us are still bound by the rules of the past. Though we are open-minded and seemingly progressive we tend to look to our parents and grandparents to show us how to run our relationship with our partner, our family dynamics, and our household.
Should we be doing that?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And because things are so ambiguous now we really must make an effort not rely on automatic responses for things, we must analyze everything, and question why we do anything. And, we must continue this dialogue.