Mon, Feb 23, 2009 - Page 9 News List

An experiment in equal parenting

Mothers do more housework than fathers. Twice as much, according to a recent report. So could a US couple’s scheme of strictly dividing childcare and chores redress the balance?

By Viv Groskop  /  THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

I still firmly believe that more men should work part-time or flexibly. Then perhaps we will judge people on the quality of their work and their performance rather than on what time they leave the office. But it has taken this experiment to make me realize that this is my bugbear and not Simon’s.

It also occurs to me that we have been more canny than the Vachons. We have split our responsibilities not along gender lines but according to character. It suits me to be a bit of an eccentric workaholic and it suits Simon to have regular hours (and, probably, a place where he can get away from me). And he has realized that by regulating his hours a bit, he can see a lot more of the children.

Marc and Amy are very different. They both work shortish hours in jobs outside the house. It turns out I don’t want their life after all. Instead I am going to embrace the mess.

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