Many couples believe in equally shared parenting instead of making women a victim of house labor. They do not consider women as a primary caregiver for children. They avoid gender based jobs which affects the gender based labor at home.
In some families, fathers involved in children day-to-day care and helping their wives and takes equal responsibility as a parent. Many couples do alternate shifts to take care of their children as they do not want any stranger to raise their kids. These couples are working hard to manage balance between work and family. Study shows that equally shared parenting work better than traditional parenting. Women believe to be the first preference for child care and sacrifice careers.
On the other hand, many conventional images of motherhood, fatherhood, gender based jobs and social interactions pushes parents to unequal parenting. No Doubt, in many families, women still doing a disproportionate of work even when they work full time. It’s a huge stress and burden for women who are sharing unequal parenting. When partners become parents, things automatically change in this type of families, where women share 90% of parenting than men, which is a more gender based division of a labor at home.
Cultural Image of Mother and Father
Cultural image of mother in a society is scary. To become a totally nurturing mother is impossible and many women feel guilty about it. The primary care giver is only mother and father is considered as a secondary care taker for children. On the basis of this ideology many women gave up their career or switch to part time. Women who work full time at work and as a parent usually juggles between work and family life.
These conventional images of fatherhood, believes that the child is having a natural bond with mothers and only the mother can nurture the child whereas, a man cannot take care of infants. The myths become self-fulfilling so that mother’s will be more available to children and the fathers should be involved often coexist with the conviction.
Stress from Social Interactions
Social interactions can give more heat to unequal parenting when people around chides a father for long working hours and take care of the children. In-laws questions the mother decision to go back to work by saying that children need mother more than father. Every time, people ask mothers for their future plans while pregnancy instead of a plan of father.
Onlookers also reinforce inequality when they praise father for long working hours and taking care of the children that women do routinely without praise.
This double standard behavior of society plays a vital role in nurturing unequal gender based parenting styles.
Studies shows that little change in parenting behavior affects their children and they turn around towards mother or father anytime, depends from where their request addressed first. Children find a unique bond with both mother and father and understand that their father is capable of meeting their needs as mothers. In working families, where parents cannot afford day care, father’s act as a primary care giver and provide an extra ordinary child care including soothing, feeding, changing diapers, kisse, bathing and putting babies to sleep.
Gender Biased Jobs
Professional careers demand long working hours and it is a belief that father is a primary bread winner so women put his career as a least priority when she unable to manage her work and family life. At corporate offices, there is a huge demand of gender biasing jobs. As sometimes, women unable to meet their demands of long or extended working hours because she has to pick her kids from day care. After spending long hours at work, she wanted to spend some quality time with her children but the managerial careers won’t stand this and creates a gender based job opportunities.
According to our society conventional image, father is not a primary responsible for children primary needs so he can work long hours and can extend his working hours to meet the company demands. Women trying hard to manage and can take advantage of flexibility, even if doing so hurts the career. It starts a spiral in which only men end up with their careers and women end up with their roles at home.
We especially need more research that includes families across the globe as the different societies have different beliefs about gender-based parenting. All we can say at this time is equally sharing parents are transforming gender-based parenting into human roles and provide the most balanced model of adulthood. Both men and women can nurture children and achieve.