Hi there. I’m Megan Radford, aka Meg Rad. I’m a marketing exec in OKC. I’ve worked my ass off to have the career I have, and it’s an integral part of who I am. I’m also wife to my engineer husband, Chandler, and mom to our 1-year-old, Brecken (and our 9-year-old puggle, Roma).
In my house, raising our son is a 50-50 affair. Actually, scratch that — it’s more of a 60-40 affair. Most days, my husband puts in the 60% and I put in 40. Yes, you read that right.
We agreed to these terms before we even decided to start trying to have kids. I was convinced I didn’t need to be a mom, while my husband had been dreaming of fatherhood since he was a kid himself. If we were going to go down this path, he was to carry an equal load AT A MINIMUM. And he happily obliged. So far, Chandler and I have both held up our ends of this bargain. But we still fell short.
What we didn’t account for in our agreement was that society would continually push us toward gender norms assigned to our new titles of “mom” and “dad.” Sure, in our house, under our roof, our plan worked well. But there were so many ways it failed, too, which was totally unexpected. Here are a few, although future blogs will talk much more in depth about these topics:
- Men’s bathrooms often times don’t have changing stations in them– just the women’s do.
- Our pediatrician defaults to me to answer questions about our son, even though Chandler is obviously just as involved/interested.
- Chandler gets praised incessantly if we’re out in public and he does basic parent responsibilities like changing a diaper. Where’s my parade? I didn’t even get that much fanfare for birthing him!
- Daycare calls me first when something goes wrong, even though Chandler was intentionally listed first on the application.
The more I noticed these types of things, the more I wanted to define them– and then attempt to change them– but I wasn’t sure how. No one in these scenarios had bad intentions; they were just doing what had always been done. But that doesn’t mean it’s good enough.
These types of situations started happening more frequently, and my patience for them grew thinner. It was over dinner with our good couple friends (and our two babes), that I began to define things. We were at a Halloween event for families. Chandler and Elizabeth (the wife/mom of our couple friends) had been helping the kids do all the kid things. Craig (the husband/dad) and I had been drinking. When Chandler and Elizabeth finally sat down, Craig and I were served a new round of drinks. Chandler and Elizabeth stared at their empty glasses and subsequently rolled their eyes at us. They’d been taking care of the kids, and we hadn’t even thought to request refills for them. It was in that moment I dubbed Craig and myself the “B parents,” which later became the “back-up parents.”
But it’s not unusual for a dad to be the back-up parent, now is it? In fact, that role solely explains the reason why all four situations listed above happened they way they did. Bingo. I found the problem. Women aren’t allowed to be back-up parents. (And vice versa, men aren’t allowed to be the “default” parent either.)
But what was I supposed to do about this discovery? At that time, I was working 10+ hour days at a high stress corporate job, trying to figure out what the hell I was doing as a mom, freelancing for two companies on top of my day job, breastfeeding… the list goes on. So, these thoughts just bounced around in my head. Some days they were louder than others, but they were never silent.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself unemployed. During the 3 weeks I had off between gigs, I was constantly writing down little snippets of something. Facebook posts, maybe? I really had no idea, I just knew I needed to share them somehow.
Then, suddenly, it all hit me. A blog.
So… here I am. Adding noise to the already busy “working mom blog” club. But here’s how I intend to be different, and why you should subscribe:
- I am an open book. No topic is off limits — and I will never sugar coat things. You can always expect realness from me.
- I am in no way claiming to know everything. I am very open to conversations with people who may not agree, so long as they are respectful. I’m here to learn, too.
- I am NOT the working mom who’s devastatingly torn between wanting to further her career and also be the most amazing, Pinterest-worthy mom out there. I am a career woman who happens to also be a mom. And I ain’t about that Pinterest life.
- I am here to break down gender norms and I firmly believe that can start with redefining parenting. And yes, that means holding men accountable to 50/50 parenting.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey.