walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

finally reading the Vachons' book

_Equally Shared Parenting_ starts out with a little tale of the authors and how they wanted to share everything equally and how they looked for other people who were or had done this and failed miserably. Their research strategy pre-first-birth and between births made me chuckle: yeah, _duh_, you go to a mommy's group and you are going to see stay-at-home mothers. You go to a daddy's group and you are going to see dads who are not very involved. I'm not sure what they expected, but I avoided these groups because I'd heard from all my friends who were coparenting (intentionally or otherwise) what a disaster most of those groups were. The only exception I heard about were the PEPs groups in Seattle, and I stayed away from those because of my age-peer-allergy.

I'm still hazy on precisely when the Vachons had their first kid, but I'm fairly certain there were books out there about how to do this before their first was born. Looking through their website, I found this list of books:


They did (eventually) find some of the books I immediately thought of when I started reading their book. But it was eventually -- after the book and the blog existed, and only because people told them these books needed to be in the resources.

Welcome to re-inventing the wheel. In their efforts to maintain their position that they were first and/or early on this, they are focusing on fine distinctions such as whether the emphasis is on gender neutrality, or "I would simply alter Mahony's grand plan to focus on true equality that stems from respect, love and each parent's desire for a balanced life.", a statement that I'm inclined to think misrepresents Mahony by conflating Mahony's ideals with Mahony's strategy for achieving those ideals.

I suspect that this is going to rankle throughout the book -- the reinventing, the our-idealism-is-better-than-your-idealism. But that's okay. I don't mind complaining. ;-)

ETA: I cannot help but feel that promising that everyone will get enough sleep and get to keep up on their hobbies is, um, somewhat delusional.

ETAYA: A brazen spin on heteronormative language:

"Throughout the book, we generally refer to parents as "husband and wife" or "he and she."... This is not meant to exclude unmarried parents, same-sex parents, other nontraditional families, or specific men and women who don't hold classic gendered attitudes. We hope you will be able to translate our standard language to fit your family type." Wanted to appeal to the audience that holds "classic gendered attitudes", figuring that earlier books had the gender-neutral crowd covered? Or perhaps it was just too difficult to work through their language issues -- so the reader gets to do the work instead? Oh, just, yay. Not.

ETA still more: "Does a student who dreams of becoming a doctor begrudge having to study anatomy?" Is that a trick question? Because I've definitely heard complaints from people going into medicine about exactly that.
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