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    Are You Married But Single-Parenting?

    By Kristen Houghton     

    Many married women seem to be living a double life of sorts. Despite the fact that they are one of two parents in a household, they have taken on the responsibility of single-parenting. They’re the moms who do everything from showing up alone for Parents’ Night at school to taking days off from work to care for a sick child, without any help from their spouses. As a parent it is the most frustrating of existences.

    Whether working full-time outside the home, or choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, some women are finding that all of the responsibility of raising a child falls squarely on them. They are the prime parent. The stories from the mothers I interviewed for this article all had the same theme.

    One mother told me: “I believe in parenthood and I thought that my husband felt the same way. He certainly was excited and proud about being a parent. But almost immediately after our son was born, his care became my responsibility. Even when I went back to work when he was six months old, I was still the one and only parent who got up at night and who made sure he got to the sitter’s in the morning. I know he loves our boy but he is not actively involved in his care.”

    Another mom had this to say: “Responsibility for every single aspect of our children’s lives falls to me. We decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom but that shouldn’t mean I have no time for myself. Sports practice, dance class, ferrying them to doctors and dentists; it is all up to me. Even though he is in the house, I feel as if I’m raising them alone and I need a little help!”

    Still another said: “Though he’d never admit this even to himself, deep down inside he feels that most of the mundane daily child care chores are for the woman to do. This is causing problems in our marriage.”

    While there are certainly times when one parent or the other is so overwhelmed with job related business that, out of necessity, the other parent takes on all responsibilities, the majority of the time parenting should be a shared experience.

    The percentage doesn’t have to be fifty-fifty. One parent may have more time than the other. But expecting only one person to do all the myriad of things caring for a child entails is unfair. Even a seventy-thirty division of parenting will work and the “seventy percent” parent will not feel overstressed and resentful towards the “thirty percent” one.

    In a two parent home, both parents need to live up to their responsibilities and share the raising of their children. The idea of one parent doing all the work, while both parents reap the joy of having children, is outdated.

    Being a parent is a joy and an honor as well as a responsibility.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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