Wow, so true.
Joanna Kaplon

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

I think that, actually, both my parents appreciated each other and taught us to — even and especially after their divorce. Though they were likely hurt by and frustrated by the situation and ex-partner, they always made an effort to speak well of the other’s parenting efforts and admirable qualities. They recognized how much that mattered & how much we’d absorb their perspectives about the other parent.

I would say my parents tried far more than average to have a fair partnership, even when separated, and they both hold pretty liberal views of women (likely even more so after having two daughters).

Which is why I tried to take a more honest and critical look back at their roles and dynamic — because in spite of all of their open-mindedness and efforts towards equality, I can recognize that it probably wasn’t actually as fair as they wanted it to be. It’s very hard to escape cultural and societal expectations.

As the article references, even when couples believe they have an equal distribution of work, it often is lopsided on the part of the mother doing more. But we (parents, children, society) tend not to notice it because it is so entrenched in our understanding of gender roles and family dynamics.

Hopefully the more that we recognize it and take more honest looks at our own relationships, the better we can improve the situations for ourselves and future generations.