If you are in a traditional mother/father partnership, I urge you to seek out All The Rage by Darcy Lockman.
The subtitle is “Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership” and oh, baby. If mine hadn’t been a copy from the library, I’d have been highlighting, circling, folding down corners, and ripping out pages to throw at my husband. Moms, you will feel seen. Dads, don’t shy away from this.
The message isn’t “-eyeroll- husbands suck,” despite my husband’s defensiveness when, in the first 10 pages, I found about 18 different passages I felt compelled to share on Instagram stories. It explains, using science and data and interviews and real couples, how we so easily fall back into traditional 1950s-esque roles after babies are born, even though we all generally believe in gender equality and enter into partnership thinking things will more or less be equal. As most of us have now figured out, those traditional roles put the brunt of childrearing and household management onto the mother, even though she now likely works outside of the home. This causes a whole rage and resentment cycle, yet “but he helps” (lol changing a diaper does not a hero parent make) or “he’s a better dad than my friend’s husband.” Don’t get me started on the praise of fathers in public alone with their kid. I guarantee no one will ever glowingly fawn over me, “You’re such a good mom!” because I tackled a park trip alone with my toddler.
Get the book. It’s meaty, but it felt so darn good to read my experience- written much better than I could- and know that I’m not alone and there are ways to improve the situation. I’ll figure out how to write delicately around the ways the situation has improved at my house and do a follow up post because the good news is, things really have gotten more equal around here cue angels singing.