Challenges in equally shared parenting with a newborn

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Challenges in equally shared parenting with a newborn

What does Equally Shared Parenting look like when you've got a newborn? Here, you're starting out figuring out all the logistics out together as a couple and you've got a few pitfalls that you need to get past. The first one is maternity leave. Women in our society are expected to take at least some time off, hopefully more time than less, to care for their newborn and to recover from childbirth. Fathers in our society are discouraged from taking more than a couple of days, unfortunately, and that's a huge set up for inequality. But if you've made a commitment to Equally Shared Parenting, you're going to have to get past that stage with some creativity. For example, dad can take vacation days he may have saved up and try to equalize his time with his child early on as soon as possible. There's lots of different ways around this but try to minimize the amount of time you remain unequal in caring for your child when he or she is first born. The next big hurdle is breastfeeding which of course only women can do but I'm here to tell you breastfeeding is .not a reason why you should be unequal in the overall care of your child when he's born. There's so many other things that children need and dads can take part, maybe more so, in those other tasks such as diaper changes or bathing or rocking or taking out in the stroller for a walk. So try to equalize as much as possible even when you're dealing with the breastfeeding and perhaps dad can feed the expressed breast milk if you're pumping as well. So those early phases of Equally Shared Parenting are full of all the little logistics but remember the overall philosophy is that you want to share in the joy, you want to in the time, you want to share in the task of caring for your brand new family member. And so, getting over all those logistics is just something that comes with the territory.

See Amy Vachon's video on Challenges in equally shared parenting with a newborn...


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Amy Vachon


Marc and Amy Vachon are the authors of Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents, and founders of 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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