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Do you and your SO share the household duties evenly?

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Dividing Childcare Evenly: How My Wife & I Manage It

posted by Bob Meadows

Xavier in bathtubIt’s 3 a.m. My son’s arms are wrapped around my neck. He's sick and I’m covered in a fine mist of everything he’s expelling from his nose and mouth. One word comes to mind: Lucky.

A lot of dads would disagree. They push babies and their care off on mom. But when it comes to rearing our son, my wife and I divide childcare right down the middle. He’s adopted, so I could never use breastfeeding as an excuse to avoid middle-of-the-night meals. In truth, I didn’t want to. I waited my whole life for him. Why miss a minute?

My son joined us when he was 4 days old. In our first few weeks with him, my wife and I jumped up together whenever he made a sound. Since I had changed one diaper in my life, and she hadn’t changed any since her teens, we tag-teamed that too, each of us holding a leg!

But after a month or so, we began alternating the wail watch, and from there evolved our routine. One of us dresses him for bed and puts him down at 7 p.m., and is on call until midnight. The other person takes over from midnight through the 7 a.m. morning ritual. You dress him, hand him his first bottle and make his breakfast an hour later. For the rest of the day, we share diapering, cleaning and feeding.

Not every task is evenly split, and it's probably not surprising that I do more of the playing with while my wife does almost all of the clothes and toy shopping. It works for us.

The overnight shift, naturally, can still be wearying even after he began sleeping through the night at four months. But it’s also a blessing. I sometimes hope our son will awaken just so I can be with him. I feel a connection with him then that is unlike the daylight hours. In the groggy silent night, when he is curled on my lap, another word comes to mind, the one he exclaims whenever I enter the room. Oh yes, Daddy.

Does your childcare division work for you?

by on May. 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Replies (21-28):
by Silver Member on May. 14, 2013 at 12:12 AM
no we don't share them evenly. he works at least 50hrs at his fulltime job and 15hrs at part time job. i work maybe 25-30 hrs a week. I take on most of the responsibilities but he helps a lot. he helps when i need it
by Bronze Member on May. 14, 2013 at 12:47 AM

 Yes, because my DH is in the Army and is gone a lot.  I have to be used to doing most, if not all, of the childcare.  Any help I get at night, or weekends wehn he lets me sleep in, is a blessing.

by Gold Member on May. 14, 2013 at 1:29 AM
No but he is gone 7 days a week and home for 4 and I am a sahm so I do most everything
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by Member on May. 14, 2013 at 1:34 AM
No. He does help some now though. I really appreciate it when he spends time with them.
by on May. 14, 2013 at 7:29 AM

rolling on floor

Does this answer your question?

by on May. 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM

i take on the majority of everything, childcare to cleaning etc etc and also work part time weekends. dh works full time and is in school fulltime but is great w/the kids and will play with them if i need to do something

by Bronze Member on May. 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM

No way my hubby doesn't push anything off on me. He helps and does just as much as me. We have 2 younger kids 20 months apart and an older kid, Our younger kids often don't sleep (sleep problems) and we split taking care of them. 

by on May. 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Yep, ours works for us!

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