There's an idea in the 21st century that sharing parental responsibilities equally is a worthy goal. After all, we're way beyond the woman-belongs-in-the-home idea of the 1950s, right?
But putting that egalitarian idea into practice often hits a hard wall of reality with parents' long hours at work, kids' own structured and demanding lives and school vacations tied to an agrarian lifestyle of the past.
The latest annual Save the Children report puts the United States at 25th, between Belarus and the Czech Republic, for policies that support families in working and raising healthy children.
"While the U.S. has moved up in the rankings, ahead of last year's 31st place, we still fall below most wealthy nations," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children.
So, parents like Takoma Park father Steve Majors tough it out, trying to make it work by sharing parenting duties equally.
“Look at this; my parents never did this,” he told The Washington Post, pointing to his daughter's homework, which he was overseeing after a long day at work and laundry duties. “We were told to ‘go outside.’ I never saw my parents."
It's a topic that is rooted in a changing American culture, the evolution of gender roles and economic realities and goals, experts say.
For more on the new challenges of parents in our area and across the country, check out the full story on The Washington Post Magazine's parenting edition.
Do you share parenting duties equally? Is a stay-at-home parent a solution? Tell us in comments.