Parenting is hard on a couple. And when both wife and husband have a job, child-rearing becomes harder. Parents don’t have time to spend with their children and focus on their job.
But, celebrities like Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, think that they may have found a great solution. And that is – TAG TEAM PARENTING.
Tag-team parenting is a term coined by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. It describes the practice of taking turns working and caring for children either by choice or necessity. According to Heather Boushey, Center for Economic and Policy Research, this “tag-team parenting” strategy is often used by single-parent, married-couple families with children to navigate the work/family divide.
So parents opt to take turns to take care of their child/ren. To make this strategy work, however, families need to have a solid economic foundation. This includes the ability to provide child care services for both parents as well as an income that can cover basic expenses for both parents. In the case of a single parent with one child, this would mean getting a second job, working overtime, or going back to school. The ideal situation is two earners in a household with each parent taking turns splitting family responsibilities and making childcare arrangements.
This type of parenting arrangement has been labeled the “gold standard” of child-rearing by early childhood academics. Boushey has referred to it as “a progressive alternative” for families struggling with having enough money to support themselves and their children.
The benefits of tag-team parenting are many. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Labor Department, “Spouses who share child care responsibilities spend more time with each other, have lower rates of divorce and stay married longer than other parents. They also have higher incomes and are less likely to be on welfare.”
Kate Clancy, University of California-Santa Cruz, points out that “Research shows that mothers who do less formal housework are more satisfied with their lives although they have less discretionary time than mothers who do more formal housework.
Another bonus is the mental health of the child. The child gets to spend time with both parents equally. Unlike in a traditional setting, where the mother is always the caregiver. “When children spend more time with both parents, they do better in school,” says Clancy.
“They also get into fewer fights and are less likely to be depressed. Children who see that mom does not just do the housework. But also has a job outside the home, are more likely to be independent when they grow up.
Children benefit from both the physical and emotional well-being of two parents living in one home together. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, working couples with children have a better financial situation and more social support than single working parent families. The Center’s research shows that an average of $221,000 in extra income is created when a working couple has a union and rears their child. This figure comes from two working parents who earn well over the minimum wage.
And this extra income helps fulfill the needs of the kid/s. Both working parents will be able to bring money back for their kids’ education, health, and recreational necessities.
Clancy points out that “Families often do not realize all the benefits they reap from tag-team parenting” because many moms can’t see past their families’ needs and make use of this option. The “aha moment” when you see your kids thrive when they are in the company of both parents is enough to make you want to give it a try.
As men take on more responsibility in caring for their children, this gives women the opportunity to pursue their career goals while earning an income for their families. This encourages women to become financially independent from men which in turn is empowering for them as individuals in society.
However, one of the biggest disadvantages is that both parents end up working long hours because of their priority to both works and raise children. Another major drawback for tag-team parenting is that it can be extremely rigorous. When done wrong, couples can find themselves blaming the other for not sharing an equal child-care load. In such cases, both individuals need to sit down have a frank discussion. Setting a routine and dividing time between the couple can help.