We polled moms to find out who does the parenting work at home, and how they settled on who does what.
Having a family and a household is a lot of work, but how do you divide up the parenting duties? You know: changing diapers, shuffling kids to the doctor, cooking dinner, giving baths, putting to bed. And anything and everything between. If you’re expecting to read that moms do all the work and dads loaf off, that generally isn’t the case. Modern dads are more hands-on that dads were even a generation ago, and the moms I asked to weigh in reflect that.
Many parents find that the routine of caring for their babies and other children tends to naturally fall into place, typically after some trial and error. “Initially I did most of the work, but at this point I would say David and I are pretty much equal,” shares Brittany, mom of two. “There are things he does more of and things I do more of. After all these years, we’ve finally gotten a balance we’re both happy with.”
Parenting responsibilities also depend on the schedules of the parents, like Megan has experienced since her 1-year-old was born. “I do most of the parenting,” she explains. “Randy works full time and overtime almost every day.” She also tells me that they decided before their girl was born that whoever was staying at home would have more of the parenting responsibilities, but he also cares for her once a week while she works. “I appreciate that he is more than willing to take her without any hesitation. I wouldn’t change anything.”
Both moms and dads know that parenting as a team really makes the most sense. “Jason is a really involved parent and is present for evenings, park dates, bedtime, etc.,” says Jana, mom of one. “And he’ll take Silas to the park for a few hours every evening when the weather is nicer so that I have some more time to myself. I still do all the behind the scenes stuff — making sure there are new clothes, doctor’s appointments, keeping track of schedules and so on.”
Other moms find that there is give and take, particularly where there are other household duties involved. “We do most of the parenting equally, but I handle night time almost exclusively,” Jenn, mom of one, tells me. “I’d complain, but he handles most of the housework nowadays so I really can’t argue.”
Yes, some partners don’t really pull their weight around the home, but many do. Jenna’s husband works long hours and is gone for 60 to 70 hours a week, but during the time he’s home, she reports that he’s amazing. “He does everything he can to help with them when he’s here and our kids adore him,” she says. “My only gripe? He can snore through the baby crying. I do wish he got up with her once in a while!”
How does your parenting arrangement stack up?
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