“Look, we’re both afraid we’re going to kill the baby, that’s a given, but we made and agreement this week – Monday to Friday I try not to kill him, Saturday and Sunday you try not to kill him, yeah.”
– Miranda to Steve, Sex and the City, Series 5 Ep 3, Luck Be An Old Lady
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for how much Dad 101 contributes to our household. Since Immy started eating solids, he has always made every effort to be home in time for dinner even when that provokes the frowns of colleagues. Since Immy was born, bathtime has been their thing, their time together. Since she stopped breastfeeding, story and bedtime are more often than not daddy-daughter time as well. Swimming lessons have always been scheduled for weekends so that they can develop an interest together. He cooks on weekends, irons his own workshirts, and mops floors and hangs washing (though the latter two only with prompting 😉 ). And yes, he does have a fulltime job. And yes, he does often make different parenting choices and decisions than I would.
When we both worked we shared the home duties. When I was mastering newborn-wrangling in a sleep deprived haze, it continued. Now I work from home and we still share the responsibility for our household and child raising. And although I know that he would sometimes rather be fishing in the evenings (as I would rather be sitting poolside sipping cocktails in an exotic, resort location), we both realise that these days are limited. In the blink of an eye they will pass and our daughter will be a teenager who would rather hide in her room listening to ear splitting music and talking on the phone to her friends than spending time with her parents.
1. If you want Dad to help, you have to just let it go and let them do it their way. It’s the only way it works!
2. Fathers need time to solo parent as it improves both the children’s and Dad’s sense of well being, and Dad’s parenting skills.
3. The more time Dad’s spend alone with their children makes for closer father-child relationships.
An important reminder for all mamas (and papas), I think.
How do you share child rearing and household responsibilities in your home?