My mother was an active parent as well; and she definitely did her share of chores like laundry and cleaning of the bathroom. But the division of labor was much more equitable than in many of my friends' houses. In the average household, the ratio of division of labor is 2 to 1, no matter what the working situation is. In an average household with a stay-at-home mother, child-rearing takes up 15 hours a week of her time and 2 of his. In the average household with two wage-earners, her hours go down to 11; his go up to 3. And according to the New York Times, that ratio has not changed in the past 90 years. Women going into the work force has radically changed the face of American corporations, but it has done little to influence the views of what should be happening inside the home. Which is why this new conscious decision on the part of some parents to go for equal parenting, or shared care as it is also called, the New York Times is reporting is a giant step forward. It is not enough to know intellectually the way things ought to be; actually being a part of the process, being raised in that environment, having shared parenting and shared chores be the normative standard of behavior from the time a child is born, is the process that will make this change be a natural part of life and not a conscious effort to enact progress.
Children who are raised not only being told that women are equal to men but actually see their fathers make dinner and clean boo-boos and scrub floors, see their mothers taking out the trash and doing the yard work; and then seeing mothers make dinner and clean boo-boos and scrub floors while their fathers take out the trash and do the yard work will help erase the idea of gender-divided labor before it is even written upon the child's psyche. And that will make for a far more equitable society.