Hope Edelman a women who longs for a co-parenting relationship with her husband residing in a big happy family who spends heaps of time together; but is wrongfully mistaken when she realizes that she has to pick up all the responsibly for her husband by being both mommy and daddy. Then there is Eric Bartels in a battle of doing things the only way he knows how, misunderstanding the way his wife wants things to be done. These two show both sides of the co-parenting debate and tell how co-parenting is more of a blame game rather than actually co-parenting.
In the article written by Hope Edelman, “The Myth of Co-parenting: How It Was Supposed to be. How It Was” she explains that not having her significant other around as much as she would like puts a damper on things she herself has to do around the house. She starts the article off by demonstrating her daily home life, including her husbands. She spends time giving us a small background of what her husband does. Now, she states that she is extremely supportive of him and his work but she would like more help around the house. Considering they spend about only an hour alone together each day, because that’s all they have time for. The time managing is so awful in her home that she says things have been thrown around like “It’s not like you’re trying to find the cure for cancer.” (Edelman 50). Downing her husband’s profession, as if it is not important. She also mentions that her one year old daughter is being deprived of her father, and more dependent on her for the things she needs for her father’s absence. Edelman spends a lot of time tending to her baby girl’s needs, and always being there when her husband cannot. Almost immediately into the third paragraph her tone turns into a dark, deep anger and it’s not oblivious that she is extremely furious. “How do I feel about this?
I don’t mind saying. I was extremely pissed off.” (Edelman 51). Instead of coming to terms with her husband by sitting down and having a talk with him, she lashes out and snaps more often then she should. She talks of her own parents and how her current relationship and family terms mimic the way her own family was. She expresses her disappointment and says its “My parents all over again.” (Edelman 53). Edelman explains after her mother’s death, she was seventeen officially and at this time her father was forced to take responsibilities and take care of his kids and the things they need. But it was already too late. She was already used to the idea of her mom doing everything, instead of her dad. To Edelman now co-parenting is not an achievable goal, she and her husband were failing miserably. Edelman’s family gradually gets better. But she also says throughout the time her and her husband were working on things it tore their relationship apart. “…it might have torn my husband and me apart: the desire to love and be loved, with reciprocity and conviction, with fairness and respect;…” (Edelman 57). However, her point she makes, and the one she sticks to, is co-parenting cannot exist in a relationship.
In the article “The myth of Co-Parenting: How It Was Supposed to be. How It Was” Hope Edelman, the author, presents the argument that she has to take on more than half the responsibilities since the father is not home or able to help as much as she yearns for. So instead of talking with her husband she lashes out and snaps, unthinkingly, and so her husband misunderstands. Edelman presents a lot of hypocritical points when explaining her evidence. She blames everything on him, has a cold attitude about the situation the whole time, and then comes back with a happy ending story about how she forgave him and things are better now. “He came home from work in time for dinner. He sat at the kitchen table once a month and paid bills. And, on weekend trips he would drive the car.” (Edelman 52). This is an explanation of how she feels toward the beginning of the article and then how she has a quickly changed turn around in the ending parts of the article. “What really matters now… is that John is home before Maya’s bedtime almost every night no…” (Edelman 57). She has well written supporting evidence about how she feels, and very many examples to back her up. Although, her tone about the whole situation is very unclear, and makes you confused at some points in the article making you ask yourself if she’s sure about what she really wants in her relationship.
Rather than hearing from another women stuck on the end of being super mommy, you hear from daddy in Eric Bartels “My problem with her anger.” Bartels makes many inclusive points and makes clear since, but some of his cases can be mostly assumed. Men normally do things differently than women, by far. Rather than asking they just do things the way they see fit, or assume that the wife, or women, is capable of handling all the things needed for the children and the life at home. Bartels claim is that his wife just seems to yell at him when he doesn’t do something or doesn’t do something right. His simple request or suggestion to something that needs to be worked on only ends in a fight because they can’t seem to come to common ground. “My efforts to organize the contents of the armoire one day-a project she had suggested-led to a screaming fight.” (Bartels 58). He carries on to say that he makes dinner for the family, a nice thoughtful dinner in hopes to keep his wife happy, but she only nit-picks at everything he does wrong, rather than thanking him. “I make a nice dinner after a long day at work, broiled pork chops with steamed zucchini, perhaps, and she asks why I made rice instead of pasta.” (Bartels 59). Bartels begins to notice that his wife is also taking anger out on their children, contradicting herself in her tones when she speaks to the children.
Women often scold men for not doing the things the way women normally intend on doing, and so Bartels says he suffers from his wife constantly picking at him about the things he doesn’t do right. When most times the things women want men to do is rocket science. “I wash clothes the wrong way, not separating them by color. I spend too much time rinsing off dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.” 9Bartels 59). He explains that he comes home to her yelling at their two year old son for throwing cheese puffs on the floor and standing on a chair, he says this is only going to make him continue because the son is getting a reaction out of her. “Can’t she see what she’s doing? It’s like hitting someone to curb his or her violent tendencies.’ (Bartels 62). Bartels explains the he does activities that help him get out his anger, but normally people don’t really care. He flaunts himself out hoping to get someone who will just ask him how he’s doing. Which is what his wife does, by yelling and being mean she is trying to get someone to notice her, oddly enough not even he, her husband cares. Bartels makes it known that women aren’t the only ones who need love and support. Men need help too; women can’t be dependent on men all the time when both men and women need a satisfying amount of help.
In the article “My Problem with Her Anger” by Eric Bartels presents us with an argument stating that co-parenting is this huge cycle of blaming. He begins his article with a story of how he was cleaning the dishes and he notices a few dishes that have been left there a few days, and still no one has come to clean them. He explains to us that women find everything men do annoying, and oddly enough how he and other men wonder about the full built out punishment they get for the crime they commit. Bartels often quotes his wife with the things she says to him or their child. For example when she scornfully asks “Why is there still water in the bath tub?” (Bartels 59). In Bartels opinion co-parenting is just a blame game, constantly blaming others misfortune on the other. He explains that all she does it mock him for not doing something more, when he’s already done enough. Bartels makes his reading unclear when he begins talking about co-parenting; he has little evidence but succeeds in making a valid point. Being able to actually have an example of what he’s thinking would paint a picture for understanding, but in this case Bartels does not do a very good job of explaining, he just expects you to catch on.
Both articles talk about how achieving co-parenting within a relationship is an extremely hard task to accomplish. The two authors, Edelman and Bartels, both blame throughout their articles but Edelman doesn’t come out and admit it until the very ending of her article. If it wasn’t for the analogies and truthful comments the arguments within these two articles would not be so easy to understand. Both authors realize that there is a central problem with co-parenting and they start to notice how it’s affecting things in their home life. However, each article had its own way of blaming problems on one another.
With both articles being defined, we now know that co-parenting is a difficult but achievable goal, and blaming things on our significant other only pro-longs the argument. Thanks to these two, it’s obvious that you’re not supposed to just work against each other, but work for each other’s team when it comes to co-parenting and marriage. What’s important here is that finding a common ground where the two people involved in the relationship can feel as though they are benefitting with the schedule including times for each other, work and kids.
Edelman, Hope. “The Myth of Co-Parenting; How It Was Supposed to Be. How It Was.” New York Times (2002): 50-57. Print. Writing & Reading for ACP composition second edition
Bartels, Eric. “My Problem with Her Anger.” (2004): 57-63. Web.
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