Parenting equity matters. It is imperative to be fair in marriage and ensure that housework and leisure time are split equally. That said, dividing chores put the biggest strain on marriages of new parents who are already struggling to adjust to life with a baby.
Talking about biological differences—moms undoubtedly carry more weight. They have nine months of hormones, morning sickness, weight gain, backaches, and swelling. Oh, and did we mention her giving birth and breastfeeding? The least she can ask her partner is to be the helping hand when she is exhausted.
Hence, the best way to divide chores equally is to strategize a fixed yet flexible schedule—a well-thought-of and dynamic plan. Your first week of parenting should be established with a habit of communicating, sharing responsibility, taking notes, and willing to eliminate any method that doesn’t work. To help you out, we have put together a sample of tasks that are essential in the first week of parenting and how you can split them according to your schedule.
Read on to find more about how you can divide work as parents.
Where it all begins. The happiest day of your lives. The day you are reborn as parents. Take this day to count on your blessings, and hold your little one close to your heart. Feed them, comfort them, and take your time to digest the fact that ‘you are a parent now!’ And prepare yourself for your first-week as parents and the division of responsibilities.
It will help if you begin your morning by taking down notes because sleepless minds have this thing called poor memory retention. Additionally, it will help you organize things better.
While mom breastfeeds—which is a one person’s job, fathers can find ways to support her, comfort her, and offer to take on other tasks. Feeding-time marks a prime bonding opportunity, and even dads can get involved in direct feeding if the baby is fed pumped breast milk or formula milk. Since newborns eat more than ten times a day, both parents will receive ample time to bond with their little one.
When it comes to diapering, a baby goes through upward of 3,000 diapers in the first year. The math here is quite simple—your baby will need a lot of diaper changes throughout the day as they pee pretty much all day, and poop roughly about 6-7 times a day. And you will find that the diapers come and go at a lightning speed, and hence you will need to split on the chore close to 50/50. The aim here is to plan, divide, and conquer. So, parents, make sure that you receive a good diapering/changing training session before your baby arrives.
Now let’s talk about comforting the baby. If your baby conks out on their own, then you should consider yourself very lucky. For those less fortunate parents, who’ve got a baby that cries a lot before sleeping, we suggest you to up your comforting game by becoming a master at rocking, bouncing, and singing (softly). Oh, another advice for parents—sleep when your baby sleeps. The good news is that they sleep for 14 hours a day, but the bad news is that you don’t know if their remaining hours of awake-time will occur during the day or night. So parents, brace yourselves and work out a sleeping routine for yourselves.
Again, start your day with a meeting. You might be tempted to skip it, but sit together over a cup of coffee and map out your day. By now, you would have started to recognize the cues of a hungry baby—sucking on their fingers or opening their mouth. And changing your baby’s diaper would have become an old habit, as you have done this task a dozen times. You might not feel ready to bathe your baby, but you can wipe down their face, neck, and hands with a wet towel. Don’t forget to be gentle on their soft skin, and don’t fight over the task; split it evenly.
Although you might be stir crazy by now, don’t forget to take breaks and have a hot meal. You can also plan on getting out of the house, and luckily, babies tend to like motion. So, go out for a walk and enjoy some quality bonding time with your baby.
If you made it this far without having to do your laundry yet—congratulations and good luck! Because you would probably have more onesies with spit-up stains than clean ones. Use this time to soak all the dirty clothes in a stain remover, and split the task of loading and unloading the laundry among yourselves.
Additionally, take some time to sit together, appreciate each other, do something fun, visit a park, or go for a car ride. And while your baby sleeps, don’t forget to catch up on your favorite streaming series.
What do you think about the concept of division of labor in parenthood? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.