When I was pregnant I was determined that we would share parenting equally. I really had no idea what parenting meant, what equality meant. Breastfeeding was a shock, initially, the time, the non-sharability. He did lots of other stuff of course. He’s a great father. It was fine. The real shock was that I was happy to be the primary parent. I’ve had a wonderful two years.

But not anymore. Now I want something else.

But now, as I start to try to find that balance again, refocus on that goal of equal parenting, I find we are stuck. Stuck in unequal patterns, internalised parenting responsibilities, weighted heavily towards me.

Notice that I said “I start…”, “I find…” – it is up to me to get equality.

So far this is taking the form of pestering, nagging, frustrated explaining: parenting is more than just taking him along to the shop, the football. Parenting is a lot of thinking, planning: When/what will he eat? When will he sleep? What does he need? How will this affect him?

And then I feel quilty because he has a full time job and is tired and he’s trying his best and my hassling is not really getting us anywhere.

And I feel guilty because I know Wren is picking up on my absence of mind, my longing for something else.

So we are stuck. The way we began is the way we go on. I think lots of people are stuck. It’s a struggle to change when we’re just trying to get through the day to day. Too busy just doing to think about what we’re doing, how we’re doing, who’s doing.

But I don’t want this anymore. I need time for me, other things for me. Me.

So the struggle for equal parenting goes on.

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