I think that we can all agree (at least the mommies) that the division of labour in child rearing is not equal between the sexes. In fact to even have those words in the same sentence irks me.
And I think that it is a typical defense strategy of the male partners to portray and sometimes (taking their very lives into the path of danger) verbalise that they believe that they do most of the work.
An evening not long ago my partner in parenting thought that he ought to lament to fact that I had requested that he bath & story one child at bedtime (the other was asleep). I reminded said spouse that he had played hockey twice in the proceeding week and did not come home until well after bath time (although did hit end of story time one night). So I deserved a lay back with a bag of peanut butter M&Ms and Location, Location, Location.
Now I know that these discussions usually broil up into arguments which include pie charts, calendars and foot stomping. But what drives me mad isn't the actual division of labour (as I am well aware that I do more as I do the daycare drop off and pick up, most lunch packing, setting doctors appointments, organising birthday parties, doing laundry, etc) it is the sheer denial of level of work that I do with the added insult that I actually think that he believes that he does more!
There is a show here in Canada - in fact based in the Lower Mainland of BC- called Crash Test Mommy. It involves a typical mom challenging her husband, childless friends or family members who has critized her in the past - to live her life parenting for a weekend. The Mommy goes away for the weekend to the Spa and checks in and gives direction to the bug caught in the web. You get to watch the baby spiders close in on the prey. Great entertainment value.
Most times the show ends with Mommy coming home and the husband / friend/ family member crying that they never realised how hard it was the parent and get things done.
Colin does pitch in (he cooks dinner most night, we share bath & story duty, occasionally he makes a lunch) I just don't think that he recognises what I do on a regular basis. It is the denial and selling of the idea that he does more than I which makes me want to go on strike.
Maybe they are casting for Crash Test Mommy.....