Posts Tagged ‘caretaking’

The Millennial Menage A Trois at the Doctor’s: Menace or Progress?

October 7th, 2015 : No Comments »


Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of young couples going to the doctor together these days?

Every time I go to see my ob/byn lately, or take my kids to the pediatrician, there will usually be several young couples in the waiting room, either with a visibly pregnant mom-to-be, or a newborn baby in a carseat or stroller beside them. As a generation X-er, I’m fascinated. When did it become de rigueur for couples to show up a deux for medical appointments, requiring at least one if not both parties presumably to take time off work? And just how did this shift in cultural behavior happen? Does today’s equivalent of What to Expect When you are Expecting lecture both parents on the importance of being there for your baby’s every check-up? And what’s next? Grandparents in the delivery room? A family reunion for every flu shot?

If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I am. I’m frankly envious at the sight of these sweet young couples, waiting patiently to see the doctor like they have nothing better to do with their time, as I wish it had actually occurred to me to drag my own husband to at least one of those routine appointments when I was pregnant, or when my girls were young. Having him there would have been a lot less stressful, and way more fun.

I’m also thrilled to see evidence of a palpable shift towards a more equal emphasis on both parents taking responsibility for looking after their children. If having both parents present for medical appointments helps women advance their careers, and men find cultural acceptance for taking time off to care for their kids, that’s GREAT. We’re finally making progress in terms of achieving greater equality in terms of sharing domestic, as well as work roles.

But part of me feels like having two parents present to discuss your newborn’s every bowel movement also seems like overkill, at best, and at worst evidence that as a society we have really let raising children become an all-consuming activity in itself, to the point where I am often left wondering who exactly is left at the office to earn the money needed to raise all these precious children. Are these parents all trust fund babies themselves, or just successful enough in their own dual-income careers to be able to take time out to attend to their little ones?

I’d dearly love to know, only I fear that I have actually aged out of the demographic to know how this arrangement works, or indeed to know any parents with children young enough to ask. If you, dear reader, happen to know the answer to this question, please do advise.


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Posted in Family Values, Parenting