What is the new ‘microfeminism’ trend and how can it help successful co-parenting?

The term can be used in many areas of life

Smiling dad holding daughter waving goodbye to mum as she drives away
(Image credit: Getty Images)

'Microfeminism' is a term you might not be familiar with - we explain the viral trend and how it can be adapted to make co-parenting easier. 

Staying together for the kids might seem like the best thing to do for them, but can have negative consequences in the long run. If the time does arrive in your relationship that separation is the way forward, you'll want to seek out co-parenting tips to make the process run as smoothly as possible once you've made a plan for how to talk to your kids about divorce.  

Microfeminism is a term currently doing the rounds online, having currently racked up millions of views on TikTok alone. In a nutshell, microfeminism is the act of taking small, deliberate actions taken to combat the everyday sexism and microaggressions women deal with on a daily basis. Although women are sharing how they use it in many aspects of life, microfeminism can be used to make co-parenting run smoothly. 

How to use microfeminism for successful co-parenting

  • Assess how much you are still doing for your children, and if it aligns with the co-parenting arrangement you have. You might be so used to doing everything for everyone, you don't notice your former partner is still happy for you to do them all. If things feel unfair, it's time to engage the microfeminist in you.
  • If you do find you're the one attending school assemblies, scheduling doctor and dentist appointments, and taking on the majority of the mental load, compile a list of suggestions for splitting tasks more easily.
  • Ask your ex-partner to make their own list of how they'll contribute to keeping your partnership equal.
  • When you have a conversation about total equality, be aware of your ex talking over or interrupting you - microfeminism suggests women calmly state they haven't finished speaking and continue what they have to say - this signals that you feel passionate about being listened to and holds their attention.
  • Does your ex prioritise his job over yours? If you find the kids' appointments and activities are scheduled around his work commitments, this can be another conversation you need to have - men usually always default to women and it's often simply a habit that needs to be broken. Whether you don't work as many hours as does or not, your job still needs to be valued and your working hours and free time protected - convey this to the other person respectfully but firmly.
  • If you create these boundaries with your ex and are both on board with the expectations required from both sides, it'll make co-parenting much easier than harbouring resentment and taking more than your perceived fair share.  
  • It's not just men that default to women, but also a lot of the areas you receive admin from - school being the main culprit. If you're getting all the calls and emails to speak to teachers or transfer money for trips and lunches, start suggesting some of the communication goes to your ex instead.
  • Kids seeing their mum being the default 'person' will learn and perpetuate the same behaviour. Using microfeminism can help break the cycle and make sure negative behaviour patterns are broken.

We understand that coparenting is hard and nuanced. Microfeminism involves a degree of 'pushing back' from women, and this needs to be done in small, positive ways to make sure communication doesn't become confrontational. However, if done gently but with purpose, it can make the experience easier for both sides and ease the burden co-parenting places on separated couples.

For more on separation, these four signs of divorce are said to predict it with surprising accuracy. Adult children of divorce share what they wish they could tell their parents now, and increasing number of women regret it when they get divorced. 

Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.