Raising a child is not an easy job, and that is for sure. After all, you are responsible for preparing a soon-to-be adult for facing all the challenges this world has to bring. This is why, when rising a child, you can easily forget about your own set of needs and wishes, and it all turns out to be completely overwhelming.
Most of the time, these tasks fall on the mothers, who end up thinking they are all alone in this. In fact, a survey conducted on millennial parents reveals that 95% of mothers claim they are doing more diaper changing than their partner. However, when asked, 75% of dads insist they are the ones changing diapers more. This leads to the conclusion that, in fact, it’s all just a matter of subjective perspective.
What parents need to understand is that, when it comes to raising a child, it’s not a matter of who does more, but rather of having a clear understanding of who does what. So, with this being said, what can parents do to effectively share parental duties at home and maintain an organized life in the hecticness of parenthood?
It all Begins with Good Communication
It goes without saying that, no matter what you do, there will sometimes be misunderstandings and conflicts when sharing parental duties. Be it because one of you woke up to feed the baby four nights in a row, or because he forgot to bring home formula from the store.
In order to prevent these situations from happening, you need to learn how to communicate loud and clear when either of you feels they are starting to become overwhelmed by the situation. Mothers often feel that they can’t balance taking care of a child, and ensuring the house is clean and dinner is on the table every day, so frustration can come around pretty easy. On the other hand, men feel the pressure of having to bring more money in, protect the family and also help the mother, and such pressure can’t bring anything good. This is why you need to talk to each other and be honest about how you feel.
Put Away Traditional Expectations
A big part of the problems parents face is deeply rooted in the expectations they feel society has when it comes to raising a child. The mother needs to stay home, take care of the kids, and clean around the house, while the father needs to go to work and provide for the family, or at least that is what society tells us.
When deciding how to split parental duties, you may need to tone down traditional expectations and find whatever method works for you and your family, regardless of what society has to say. If one parent works more than the other, then it is only natural they will have less time to take on other tasks, whether it’s the mother or the father we are talking about here. And when one partner resents the other for their lack of involvement, or sometimes because they get too involved, both the parents and the children will have to suffer.
Think of Your Child’s Needs First
When you decide to take on the extraordinary duty of being a parent, you also have to make peace with the fact that, from now on, the child comes first. So, when you start arguing around the house about who did what and who didn’t, consider if this argument brings any benefits to your family.
You need to understand that your kid’s schedule may come before yours on many occasions, and the only way to succeed in parenting is to fully be aware of that. List your child’s needs and start deciding who does what. Splitting up the work can be challenging, but once you realize you are doing this for the sake of your child, it will become much easier to accept some things that don’t exactly spark joy.
Don’t Divide Tasks, Divide Responsibilities
One mistake parents make when dividing their work around the house is that they split them up by tasks instead of responsibilities. So, stop trying to decide who takes out the trash and who does the grocery shopping, and start splitting things up in a different manner.
Maybe one of you is really good at organizing things, which means they can take on the responsibility of cleaning up and making sure things stay in their place. In return, their partner, who has more experience with taking care of the finances, can take on this duty from now on. It’s not about splitting every little task between the two of you, but rather making sure you each have an entire category of responsibilities to take care of. This way, you both know who has to do what, plus you get to develop expertise in your area of responsibility.
Accept that You are Both Experts in Your Own Way
Moms and dads will always have different parenting styles, and that can be easily proven if you think of the way your mother and father used to do things around the house when you were a child. These differences are extremely important in the healthy development of your kid, so you need to be prepared to accept that you are both experts in your own way,
Instead of criticizing the way your partner dresses the kid when they go out to play, why not be glad about the fact that they are involved in this and try their best to do things right? If you constantly criticize the way your partner does things around the house, they will be much more reluctant to continue doing them in the future. After all, who likes being scorned because they wanted to play dress-up with the kid? This may even be their way of bonding with each other.
Raising a child is certainly not easy, and in the spur of the moment, arguments can heat up pretty fast, especially with sharing parental responsibilities. Communication, acceptance, and respect are essential if you want to learn how to work as a team.