Helping one another

Helping one another - Partners to ParentsYour daily routines will change following childbirth. Helping one another becomes extra important. Arrange for both of you to be at home for at least the first week or two after the birth.

It can be helpful to plan the division of household labour and agree on who does what before your baby is born. Try to share the household chores. Talk about who will be employed in paid work. Be willing to re-negotiate the division of labour as needed. Remember to acknowledge one another’s practical support.

CONVERSATION STARTER: Who does what?

How many hours per day do you each spend caring for your infant (e.g., feeding, soothing, bathing)?

How many hours per day do you each spend in paid work?

How many hours per day do you each spend doing household chores (e.g. packing the dishwasher)?

How satisfied are you with how the tasks are distributed?

Is there anything you’d like to change about how paid and family work is distributed?

If you are not the primary caregiver

Try to support [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] so that [p2p token=”partner:gender:he/she” d=”they”] can focus on resting and feeding your baby for the first six weeks, or until [p2p token=”partner:gender:he/she” d=”they”] [p2p word=”feels” default=”feel”] able to take on more duties. Try to help out rather than get angry if [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] is finding it hard to cope with everyday chores. Take the baby if [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] is getting upset or flustered.

Provide [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] with breaks that [p2p token=”partner:gender:he/she” d=”they”] can count on, by doing things such as taking the baby out for a walk. Help [p2p t=”partner:gender:him/her” d=”them”] have time away from the baby doing something pleasurable (e.g., a massage or a warm bath). Try to arrange things so that [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] has some leisure time at least once a week. Discuss how [p2p token=”partner:gender:he/she” d=”they”] will be supported with childcare and home duties if you are unable to assist (e.g., hire a cleaner).

Copy of It was such a relief when my husband would get up throughout the night so I could rest. (4)If you are the primary caregiver

Communicate that you need help by specifically stating what you need:

Instead of saying, “I feel overwhelmed and need help around here” ask, “Would you please do the laundry for me this week? I’m feeling so overwhelmed”.

Encourage [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”] to be involved with the baby and give [p2p t=”partner:gender:him/her” d=”them”] space to do this without watching over [p2p t=”partner:gender:him/her” d=”them”], as this will build [p2p t=”partner:gender:his/her” d=”their”] confidence and help [p2p t=”partner:gender:him/her” d=”them”] build a strong relationship with your child. Your attitude towards [p2p t=”partner:name” d=”your partner”]’s parenting affects how confident [p2p token=”partner:gender:he/she” d=”they”] [p2p word=”feels” default=”feel”] in caring for your baby. Accept that you may do things differently, and that these different experiences can be good for your baby. Discuss any differences in parenting to ensure that you are both happy with how your baby is being parented.

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Last reviewed 24 April 2016