Difficult aspects of shared parenting

Watch Video: Difficult aspects of shared parenting by Amy Vachon, ...
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Difficult aspects of shared parenting

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Adjusting to a life of Equally Shared Parenting can be difficult and there are a couple of things that can trip a couple up early on. One of the things that can trip you up or certainly take some adjustment is what we like to call "The dance of communication." In a traditional home dad really doesn't have to know the details, the in and out details, of his children's lives, or what needs to be restock in the refrigerator but in an Equally Shared Parenting home, you both need to know everything. And so, in the beginning, especially when you’re first starting out creating schedules for a newborn child or when things change in your children's live and you've to mix up the schedules again, you’ve really got to talk about things, sometimes on a daily basis, a weekly basis, maybe even an hourly basis when you’re changing who’s on with the kids, when you’re shifting it up. So that dance of communication, I’m here to tell you, gets easier and easier over time because you’re both in the game, you both know all the details and pretty soon you don’t have to talk about them that much. Another thing that requires some adjustment is not doing what I like to call "A Power Grab." As a mom at home, that’s our territory and with the kids, that’s our responsibility. At least that’s what culture tell us and so sometimes we can be tempted, even with the best of intentions, we can find ourselves being tempted to say, “No, no, no, this is how it’s done. Or let me just do it or never mind, I’ll take care of it,” and that really does a huge disservice to our husbands but also to ourselves because we're nibbling away at what we hold so dear which is the equality. I’d like to day that when you find yourself doing that kind of power grab, laugh at yourself. Have your husbands say, “Hey, I noticed that,” and laugh along with him, and try to do things differently because the more you can allow your spouse to be your true equal, the more you really can count on him to be your true equal. The last thing I think takes a lot of adjustment, and I sometimes still need to be reminded of this, is that it’s okay to go out and have fun. Get rid of the guilt. You’ve bought into a lifestyle together with your spouse that includes that domain of self, that domain of taking care of self and having a hobby and having time to be with friends or just relax. So take that. You’ve left a completely competent partner at home with your children to take care of anything that comes up, so head on out and have fun. Remember that Equally Shared Parenting flies in the face of our culture a lot and the more that you can notice that you’re making these adjustments, the more fluent you get at practising the dream that you’ve created.

Watch Video: Difficult aspects of shared parenting by Amy Vachon, ...

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Amy Vachon

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Marc and Amy Vachon are the authors of Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents, and founders of www.equallysharedparenting.com. They are dedicated to helping parents achieve their dream of an equal partnership, and to providing both mothers and fathers with a roadmap to a balanced life of parenting, breadwinning, homemaking and time for self. Their work has been covered by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Guardian (UK), Fitness Magazine, The Today Show, Parenting, and other media. They have written their own personal story of equally shared parenting in One Big Happy Family, an anthology by Rebecca Walker. Amy is a clinical pharmacy director, and Marc is an information technology manager. They live in Watertown, Massachusetts with their two children, ages 11 and 8.

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