Are you a new parent? If so, you may be over your head in things to do, responsibilities to fulfill and nappies to change. Chances are, both you and your partner are new to the parenting game, are as equally as clueless as each other when it comes to figuring out how to split the parental responsibilities. After all, neither of you have done this before! Fret not, for in this article, we aim to help you figure out how you can go about splitting the load in a healthy, happy and efficient manner that will make life easier for all...baby included! Read on to find out more.
1. First Off, Work Together
I know, this may seem like advice that is counterproductive when it comes to figuring out how you can split the load with your partner. Well, in order to figure out who does what, you first need to find out what needs to be or can be done together. Everybody in the family, especially the child, benefits when parents are able to work together to maintain home and hearth. Find out what chores and jobs you can both do together and cooperate on. Only after that will you be able to designate certain other tasks to each other.
2. List Out The Responsibilities
A great idea is for both parties to keep a journal or log of all the things they get up to or have to get done during the week. At the end of the week, sit down and debrief. Who does what? Who seems to be doing more than the other? Whilst it’s in no way a competition, journaling what you do can assist in creating a more healthy balance in the household. With your lists in hand, you can try shuffling around responsibilities and finding compromises where neither of you think you are doing too much, and the other too little. You can even agree to take turns doing the especially difficult tasks!
3. What Does Baby Need?
Now that baby has joined the family, you have a new boss. You know what they say...once you’re a parent, you’re working on your baby’s schedule, not yours. It’s good to talk about the division of labour before your baby arrives, but if you haven’t done so, don’t fret. Come up with a list of your baby’s needs. What time does baby get up at night? When do you need to feed baby? If you are having trouble coming up with this list, don’t hesitate to consult friends and family who have raised children of their own. Figure out a way as to how both of you can attend to the needs of your baby, in a fair and equal manner.
3. Learn Open Communication
With a new baby around, round the clock responsibilities and other of life’s issues to juggle, it can be easy to start losing your temper at your partner for the smallest of things. This is why open communication is absolutely vital. It is crucial that you tell your partner what you want and need in a specific and clear manner, without blame. Do you feel like your partner is not pulling their weight around the house? Instead of snapping or attacking them, learn to communicate your frustrations in a healthy and positive way. Not only will you feel better after, but you are also setting a good example for your child/children on how they can resolve conflict in their lives in the future.
4. Make A Schedule and Stick To It
It is important to make a schedule and stick to it. This avoids any confusion, and helps get you into the swing of your new responsibilities. With a new baby in the house and so much to do, a little planning and communication can help you tackle new responsibilities together.
5. Let Go Of Perfection
Your home may not look as pristine as it once did before you became a parent. After all, who has the time to iron the curtain and polish floors when there is a newborn who needs constant attention, love and care 24/7? This is why letting go of perfection is so vital.
For many parents, stress levels are reduced incredibly when they give up trying to keep their house immaculate and spot free. Create a cleaning schedule, and alternate between who does what each week. This way, both parties feel like they’re playing a part in not just taking care of the baby, but also in maintaining the overall household.
6. Reward Yourselves
Last but not least, reward yourselves. Being a parent to a newborn is no small feat, and if you agree to work together, you should also agree to play together. Go to dinner on a Sunday whilst a babysitter or trusted friend/family member takes care of the baby for the night. You deserve it.
We hope that this guide has assisted you by giving you some insight into how you can go about sharing parental responsibilities with a newborn.