Every time I talk to my girlfriend Mary, we marvel over how much more work she’s expected to do for her kids’ education.

Between holding down a full-time job and being a single parent, she receives constant reminders about different events her daughter’s school is holding: crazy-hat day, a spring social, a bake sale, teacher-appreciation week, which requires a different gift every day and culminates in a final day of brunch. The list goes on, and now that we’ve reached the end of the school year, it’s only getting worse…

We’ve turned parenting into a far more time-consuming endeavor than it ever was or should have become. Mothers have become cruise directors, setting kids up with an endless stream of after-school activities. And when everyone is stuck at home together, we’re expected to provide entertainment throughout the day: crafts or, when things become desperate, a screen diversion.