Moms for Shared Parenting is an activist organization, lead by women. Our mission is to promote equally shared parenting, with a focus on what is best for children, while simultaneously closing the gender pay gap. This effort includes:
- Pass shared-parenting laws in each of the 50 states in the United States (and the world!)
- Educate the public about shared parenting research and best practices.
- Torpedo the patriarchy by changing minds and attitudes about parenting.
Related Moms for Shared Parenting posts:
Shared parenting research: Science to arm your argument, and quell your fears
Moms for Shared Parenting’s history
MFSP was started in 2019 by Emma Johnson, a journalist, and founder of Wealthysinglemommy.com, the largest platform for single moms in the world. Her books, podcast, media and speaking appearances focus on the power that women in nontraditional families have to achieve career/finance/family/relationships success in their own lives, while affecting gender equality globally.
Emma on KTLA, debating with the anchor about shared parenting, alimony and feminism. She won.
I have interacted with millions of single moms since starting Wealthysinglemommy.com in 2012, and see how deeply women have been affected by sexist messages that hold us back in how we approach family, relationships and work. I have also become acutely aware of the absentee father issue in this country, and how deeply that affects children, women — and society as a whole.
These issues are connected.
Despite the overwhelming research that finds that equally shared parenting time in the event of separation or divorce is what is best for kids, the majority of unpartnered moms are tasked with being sole caregiver and sole financial provider for our children.
This makes it infinitely harder to not only to raise children, but build a career, take care of ourselves, and ultimately, collectively, close the gender wage gap.
This hurts women, children, men, the economy, innovation, and our culture in countless ways.
I hear every day from women desperate for more equality in their parenting arrangements, but are often shamed and discouraged by messages from loved ones, lawyers, and quite suggestions from the culture all around them that says:
- Good moms are the primary caregiver of children
- Moms are selfish / lazy / bad moms if we expect dads to share equally in child care
- Mothers are greedy and selfish if we prioritize career and earning (or anything but sacrifice for children)
- There is something wrong with a woman if she does not want her children with her all the time
While my media work helps women break through these gender stereotypes, and embrace their passion and need to work and earn, I there are systematic problems that need fixing.
Mainly: Family courts, and the laws that inform them are stuck in the 1960s and 1970s. Courts overwhelmingly reinforce gender stereotypes by perpetuating the generations’-old standard:
Kids stay with mom, dads see kids ever-other-weekend and Wednesday evenings. Dad pays mom child support (and maybe alimony).
This model is not only laughably gender-stereotypical, it is also bad for children as it destroys their relationship with their father, and infantilizes women by institutionalizing financial dependence on men.
It is 2019 and to this I say: FUCK THAT.
In recent years, a whole body of work about shared parenting and how it affects child development has emerged. The consensus is clear: When parents live separately, children fare best when they spend approximately equal time in both parents’ homes.
I am among those who are surprised by this science. I, too, bought into the assumption that babies and children need to be primarily with their mom, that the back-and-forth between homes is too stressful for kids, that as the mom, I had an inherent upper hand in how my children would be raised.
I was wrong. You may be too.
The research on shared parenting is vast, and finds that a 50-50 time share is nearly always what is best for kids.
This is true even in cases of high conflict. This is true even when neither parent wants to equally share parenting time, but are forced to by courts. This is true even when relations between the parents remain chilly. This is true even for very young children under age 4.
The more I learned about shared parenting, the more alarmed I became that 50-50 time shares are not the norm — nor the law.
This is a gender issue, a feminist issue, and a child welfare issue. The only way this war will be won, is with women at the helm. Feminist women who understand the connection between gender equality at home, and gender equality in work, government and the world.
I’m glad you’re here. You get it. Please join. Here is how you can help change laws, family courts, and our culture’s attitudes about parenting, responsibility and equality.
Have ideas on how to promote shared parenting? Contact me. I’m all ears.