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July 13, 2020

19 Comments

There’s a lot of hype around sharing the parenting load (and fair enough – it’s something a lot of families are dealing with right now).

Here’s how to do it.

1. Be on the same page BEFORE you have a kid

Make sure you have the same feelings about parenthood before you enter parenthood. There’s no right way to do it – if one of you wants to be a stay at home parent and the other wants to work – fantastic. Do it. If you both want to work and you both want to share the household chores, great. If one of you wants to sit on the couch and play Xbox all day and not participate at all in the daily running of the household then there might be a bit of a problem. Hint: People who sit on the couch and play Xbox all day and don’t participate are very unlikely to change this behaviour with the addition of a child. Just a heads up.

2. Let your spouse make decisions

If you leave your significant other to take care of your kid, just let them figure it out. If you write a giant list of everything that needs to be done, you’re setting yourself up as the boss. If you leave cooked meals in the fridge, lay out pyjamas and clothes and basically pre-parent you’re taking on the brunt of the load.

Who cares if they put them in a onesie that’s too short or they give them dinner for lunch or vice versa? Let them do their thing. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up to be the person in charge in which case you’ll always be the person in charge. If that works for you, cool but I sure as hell don’t want my partner texting me asking if we have a spare bag of nappies (yes we do – massive stock of Little One’s in the cupboard under the stairs)  whenever I leave the house.

3. Put up a public front of being shared parents

This option isn’t available to everyone, but we make sure my partner takes our kid to daycare the same amount as I do. There are HEAPS of dads that do daycare drop-offs now, and it’s great. If this is available to you, do it. If you’re a part of a family where both parents work full time, there’s no reason why all the daycare drop-offs and communication has to be the mother’s responsibility. We also take it in turns to look after her when she’s sick. My job is just as important as my partners, so there’s no reason why I should have to skip work every time our kid gets sick. We take it in turns.

4. Choose your battles

I (very randomly) hated feeding our daughter when she switched to solid food/purees. I found it to be a weird mix of stressful and boring. I would have rather done anything else, so my partner took it on. Shared parenting doesn’t mean 50/50 split parenting. I do most of the bathing/getting dressed for bed. My partner usually does breakfast. I do most of her clothes shopping, he does furniture/gadget shopping. Find a groove that works for you and an arrangement that’s equitable for YOUR partnership.

5. Don’t let people congratulate your partner for doing really basic stuff

I frequently get told what an excellent father my partner is (and it’s true – he’s great!) but I don’t think anyone has told him what an excellent mother I am. The things that are expected of me are worshipped in him and it’s bollocks. If I patiently walk down the street holding my toddlers hand while she sniffs flowers and picks up rocks no one looks sideways at me. If my partner does it, the whole town stops what they’re doing to praise the Heavenly Dad God. If someone compliments your male partner for doing something they’ve also seen you do and not complimented you on it, call them out. I’ve never heard anyone praise a woman for bathing a baby and putting them to bed but it’s often comparable to the moon landing when a man does it. Call it out.

Happy shared parenting!

Do you have shared parenting in your home? Or is it a less than equal split? We’d love to know how you make it work (or not) in the comments below!

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  • My hubby is amazing and thoughtful and considerate and always took on a shared parenting role… and continues to this day. He also shares household duties too. I won’t say I’m lucky, because we have that discussion about who decided I should do certain roles within the home!! And my hubby is never a babysitter, he’s a great Dad. He actually gets angry at other Dads who don’t take on a big enough role in their kids lives.

    Reply

  • I do most of the parenting, however, my husband works a fulltime job and does loads around the house. We both support our family – just in different ways.

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  • My late husband and I both worked and I would take on the bulk of the housework and cooking during the week and on the weekends he’d take over. It worked for us but I must admit, at times I felt like I was doing everything. When I told him how I felt he admitted he didn’t realise. That’s when he took on more responsibility of a weekend. Also found a great childminder who was a great help.

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  • I’m doing most of the brunt work, full time looking after my 10month old for his whole life. My partner is on a 2/1 roster but he feels he’s done hos contribution by doing the baby’s washing and changing the nappy bin, and coming to say hi to our son. He expects me to ask if I need help to take care of our son so I don’t get a break at all. I feel resentment towards him for being inconsiderate and even more so because he thinks he IS considerate, by doing some of the baby house chores

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  • We do share parenting.But only weekends. My husband works full time.At the end of the day he was always tired.

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  • We share to some extent, but my husband works away so it is mainly me that looks after the kids and the housework, it works for us but i would love it if he vacuumed or cleaned up every now and again!!

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  • My partner leaves home around 6/630am and doesn’t get home until after 730pm some nights (due to Physio 3 nights a week) so some days he doesn’t get to see our kids.

    I do about 90% of things in our household and it doesn’t bother me a bit. When we first had our one year old he was driving interstate and was home less than 24 hours a week so I got used to it real quick. So now I just get things done. I prefer it this way honestly.

    On weekends he does things and spends time with both the kids but more so our one year old because our 3 month old is still a potato!

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  • Communication is so important and being a team. I do most of the cleaning of the home as I care more about it and my husband just doesn’t really notice mess and it’s hard to not feel resentful at times but he’s helpful with the baby and supportive of things I want to do so I need to be grateful for that.

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  • We parent share to a degree. My hubby leaves home at 7:30am and gets home at 5ish. But from when he gets home he helps out and on the weekends we parent share

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  • My husband leaves at 7.30am in the morning and comes home between 6 and 8pm, so he is not able to be involved in the care throughout the week. I remember when I went to the hospital for the birth of our son my husband took care of my daughter who then was 1yr old. He didn’t know what to do and felt totally helpless, so maybe not right but I laid out clothes and had cooked meals in the fridge/freezer for 1 week….

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  • It’s hard, we try to be fair but it’s not always possible

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  • We share it. Some days it’s 50/50 others it’s 70/30 or even 100/0. But we are united in what we do. We both work full on jobs, one of us may work longer hours but the other could of had a more stressful day. We just work together to keep the house running smoothly.


    • It can vary depending on what is going on in lives and spot on – being united is the key. :)

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  • And be prepared to change your agreements – formal or informal – if you find it’s not working for your family. We started with the theory that we’d both work part time and spend the same amount of time at home with our kids. Didn’t work for us, and we changed it.

    Reply

  • I wish….my partner is working 7 days a week…we see him for 2h or less a day…


    • Same at ours, but one thing I have to say my husband is there in the weekend :)

    Reply

  • We have always shared everything and always communicated incredibly well.

    Reply

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