Do you believe work in a marriage should be split 50/50? I don’t. I also don’t believe childcare should be split 50/50. I believe that both parents should be bringing their 100% best effort in both situations. Sure, your 100% might sometimes feel like 50%, but you’re bringing everything you have to the table. That’s important! We’re people not superhumans. I know it’s hard during those middle of the night wake-ups to not want to say it’s your turn, because I did it last time. It’s not what happened in my house. I’ll tell you why.
My husband and I support each other 100%. We know that helping each other is part of being married and being parents. It’s part of living! Every day we work hard to ensure that we are providing for each other in our love languages, spending quality time together, and communicating. These are essential parts to any marriage and parenting attempt. These are not things that can be split 50/50 without someone feeling as if they’re doing the most the work. Household chores can’t even be split 50/50 without someone being a little bit resentful in the end. Do you really want to live with someone who resents the fact that they do more every single day than your partner? You don’t. You don’t want that, because you know that eventually it will become too much stress and the other person might give up on you.
The same is true about parenting. You don’t want one parent to feel like they’re doing the majority of the work. Most importantly I didn’t want to be a full-time martyr to motherhood. It’s a tough job for sure. Parenting isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be good at it, and you wouldn’t see so many neglected children. Notice though I said parenting isn’t easy not motherhood isn’t easy. Sure, I know that during our breastfeeding journey I am the one providing the majority of Sweet Baby J’s nourishment, but that doesn’t mean my husband is irrelevant. In giving more than 50/50, we were able to find a system that worked for us. We both got up for middle of the night feedings. My husband would change the diaper, and I would feed the baby. My husband or I would put the baby back down and try to get a little more sleep together. We both wear the baby. We both push the stroller. My husband is a bit stronger than me so he usually puts the baby into the car and gets the baby out if we’re home, but I run around prepping the diaper bag and get everything ready for the journey. We don’t worry about who changed the last diaper. We don’t worry about who wore him to the grocery store last. We don’t worry about who is going to get up with him. We know that my husband is a parent and not just the fun guy who comes home at night to play games, and I think that’s an important part of not celebrating the 50/50 split.
You can see more of my opinion on dads and parenting, here.
I’ll be honest with you, I love this way more than a 50/50 split. I don’t feel like my husband has to do everything, and he doesn’t feel like I have to do everything either. We are able to celebrate our strengths and get support on our weaknesses. We both lose sleep instead of one of us feeling constantly tired versus the other always being well rested. We don’t grumble and resent the other for not doing enough. We get to enjoy Sweet Baby J to the fullest. We also get to be in the trenches together when things are a little rough. I think it’s beautiful when both parents bring their 100%. I believe it’s important for our children to always get our best, and I think it’s important for them to always see that modeled. I’m not saying that we’ll always be perfect or that your 100% won’t sometimes not be your top game. I’m simply saying that we should bring the best of what we can on any given day, and we should both do it.
How do you split the duties with your husband or partner?