Being born in 1970's North America, I was taught that a little girl could do and be anything a little boy could do or be.
By and large, that's been the case throughout my life, thanks to the feminist movements that made that possible. I went to the university of my choice, became a journalist and aside from some relatively mild sexual harassment, I have lived life as free as any man.
I was, therefore, more than a little shocked when I gave birth to my son Adlai six years ago and felt like I had somehow woken up in 1956.
Because my boy had come from my body and I was nursing him, I found myself thrust into the position, as most of us do, of primary parent. That made sense and seemed right in those early days. But soon it became apparent to me that I was expected to be the 'default parent,' the one the baby came back to once he was done 'visiting' with his father. While my husband today does easily his fair share inside the home and with his child, it took us years of arguing to hammer out a fair system where we both felt we weren't ending up with an unfair amount of the least enjoyable parenting tasks. Meanwhile, all around me I see women who haven't succeeded in leveling the playing field in this way. Many I've talked to say it's just been easier to do it themselves than fight a man and a culture that would rather see mom do it.
The truth is most moms do most of the household and childcare work, even when they work full-time and even when their male partner is unemployed. This isn't fair. And growing numbers of moms are rising up to bring awareness to this issue and to close the equality gap that remains.
As long as women are spending an unequal amount of time up to their elbows in poopy diapers and buckets of suds, we're not fully free to do and be all we can. Mothering my son is the greatest job I've ever had, but that doesn't mean I have to be the only person who does the dishes.
What’s in second place?
10 hours ago