Once your baby arrives, you are bound to have additional responsibilities. You and your partner will be spending sleepless nights together taking care of your infant. Doctor’s appointments, feeding schedules, diaper duties, and sleeping schedules will become part and parcel of your life. Your duties and responsibilities at home increase too. You will have to find time to cook, clean, and run to the store to stock up on baby essentials. You also have to make time to bathe your baby, massage them and sterilize their clothes and other items. In such a situation, it’s natural for couples to think that splitting all the work will work best for both of you. But we are here to tell you why that isn’t the best idea! Confused? Well, keep reading as we tell you why you should avoid splitting parental responsibilities 50/50:
Conflict Is Inevitable
When you’re fulfilling your parenting duties, it’s natural to have a conflict with your partner. No matter how happy it made you when your baby was born (it might even be the happiest moment of your life), when you realize that there’s tons of work, you are bound to get snappy with each other. Sleep deprivation is another thing that’s common among new parents. It can make you both horrible human beings because you are constantly exhausted and irritable. Therefore, when you divide your duties equally, one of you is bound to keep an account which can only lead to further conflict. “Did you do this?”, “Did you do that?”, “You were supposed to do this”, are all statements that could irritate and annoy each other!
You Both Feel Like You’re Doing Too Much
When you’re dividing your work 50/50, you end up feeling like you’re doing way too much. You will feel like you’re doing too much work and have no time to rest — your partner will feel the same! But the reality is that there’s just so much to do! From the time your baby wakes up in the morning to when they sleep (or even after that), your duty as a new parent doesn’t end. Plus, if you’re a working parent and have to go back to work after your maternal/paternal leave, you have to find a way to balance work and family life.
Collaboration Beats Competition
Imagine if you and your partner are highly competitive by nature. These parenting duties will become a means for you and your partner to outdo the other, which doesn’t bode well for either of you. If you choose to collaborate instead of making it a competition, you can help each other through the tough days. Share in your exhaustion together and be there for each other. However, when couples start competing with each other over everything, it can lead to resentment and loneliness.
Remember that you’re both in this together. It’s your tiny human — you made them together! That’s a miracle in itself, and you should be celebrating the joy together. Share your stresses and help each other through collaboration and mutual support.
Discuss, Divide, And Conquer
When you have a baby, your life changes drastically. The relationship you share with your partner changes too. You are no longer just “two”, you now have a baby among you who is entirely dependent on you. So, remember that no matter what, you have to stay united in love so your baby can have the best of you and your partner.
Divide Based On Ability
Once your baby arrives, make a list of the possible duties you may have as parents. It’s more important to know what your duties are — what you have to do, rather than how much you have to do. When you divide and set clear responsibilities for each other, you are bound to achieve more. So, sometimes, the splitting of responsibilities isn’t always 50/50 because that’s not the fairest.
Try to think of ways to divide it based on convenience, time, effort, and tiredness. Say, for example, you have one hundred and fifty tasks to do in a day (yes, on some days, it can be that strenuous), it’s not always the best idea to divide it as seventy-five and seventy-five. The father cannot do tasks like breastfeeding. But if the mother expresses milk, the father can feed the baby while the mother gets some rest. After all, she needs it as she is recovering from the trauma of childbirth.
Keep Room For Flexibility
Having decided who will handle which part of the chore is okay, but you can’t be rigid on that. Couples should at times switch their responsibilities if they feel like it. This will also help dealing with the monotony of doing the same thing again and again day after day. Keep a lookout of the activities that you’ve grown too used to and just ask your partner to step in, offering to do something in exchange.
Make Sure To Get Ample Rest
New parents often end up overworking themselves. They feel the need to be responsible and put in hard work and totally ignore the need for rest. But our bodies do need rest and not giving it some rest would only make you lose focus in whatever you’re doing. It’s true that during this time it won’t be possible for you and your partner to rest together. But what you can do is cover the other when he/she decides to take a little time out. This way both of you will be able to take turns at rest and stay rejuvenated for the rest of the days.
Communication is key. So, don’t forget to discuss it with your partner and make it happen. The more precise you are with your partner on what to expect, the better it will be for your relationship. Set clear responsibilities and share your new life together. New parents, come on! You got this! How did you and your partner share your parental responsibilities? Let us know in the comments below if the 50/50 method worked for you!