Parenting Roles

It’s funny how when you have a baby you fall into certain kinds of roles without meaning to. John and I were talking the other week about where we fall in regards to this.

It would seem that I have taken on the role of the parent who keeps the baby alive. Now, this is only natural really because I am home with Erin most of the day. John seems to have taken on the role as the ‘fun’ parent. I don’t really like to put those labels on it to be honest but it does seem the easiest way to explain.

It was certainly never our intentions to think of ourselves in this way. I think we both thought everything would be really equal and Erin would see us in the same way. As I am home with Erin all day I tend to do all bottles and most of the meals. It’s rare that John feeds Erin and he really doesn’t like doing it anyway for some reason. Sometimes she can be a bit fussy and John gets a bit frustrated with it all. I make sure Erin gets up in the morning and has enough naps in the day to keep her happy and well-rested.

John, on the other hand, is at work most of the time so he doesn’t do the same kinds of things with Erin as I do. When he gets home from work he tries to play with her as much as he can which sometimes isn’t a lot. Erin can sometimes be tired already depending on when he gets home. Sometimes John has to walk the dog not long after getting home so only gets about half an hour with Erin. John also does bath and bed time most nights so he gets to play in the bath with her and also read her bed time stories.

Sunday is normally Daddy and Erin day. John is supposed to get all day playing with her while I get a break and some time to catch up with anything else I need to do. John gets the majority of nappy changes on a Sunday. He gets up with her when she wakes up so I can get a lay in which also means him sorting out her breakfast on his own… and feeding her!

It is because of the way that our lives that we have fallen into these roles. I don’t want to thought of as the ‘boring’ parent and I don’t want Erin to get too used to only me feeding her. John and I do try to mix things up a bit with me doing bath/ bed twice a week and him feeding Erin dinner now and again. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it is enough though. I feel like we’ve already gotten stuck in our ways and Erin is only 6 months old.

I wish things were more equal. I don’t know if I can see that happening for quite some time though.

Do you have this issue in your family?

Do you have any advice for changing things up a bit and making sure we do things as equally as possible?

12 thoughts on “Parenting Roles”

  1. I never thought that I’d be a stay-at-home mum since I’ve always worked ever since graduating from Uni. My husband is the main breadwinner in our family (I know sounds so 60s). I occasionally get freelance work, or a bit of earnings from my blog, but that’s about it. Sometimes it gets me down a bit, but I’ve sort of just accepted that I’m on that other phase in my life where I take a back seat for now … hopefully. I guess as long as you’re both comfortable with the “roles” whether assigned to or not, then it’s okay. Problems only arises when the other questions it.

  2. I know what you mean, I feel like the boring parent. As I’m at home with them all the time and constantly eat you lunch, put your shoes on etc etc. My husband gets home and is the hero. I’m ok with that, as he works hard for us. X

  3. We found that changing things up with our roles and tag teaming on things really helped. Little ones seem to get a bit too rigid in their ways otherwise. We don’t have a formal schedule but just agree who is going to do what when my partner returns depending on our moods etc!

  4. I feel like the boring and grumpy one! I work from home, get stressed with work, end up shouting because they are being naughty as they can see I’m there but not paying the right attention and then BOOM, Daddy rocks up to be fun. On a weekend I am much less grouchy! H x

  5. It’s definitely easy to fall into those roles and routines. Ours are all teenagers now, heck two of them are legally adults now, and we still find ourselves falling into roles unintentionally. I think if you’re mindful of it (which you clearly are) then it’s a little easier to say “hey, why don’t you do this thing for awhile and I’ll do that thing,” and mix things up.

  6. I read somewhere that children thrive on routine because it gives them a feeling of safety, so maybe its not such a bad idea to each have separate roles in her daily life? Still, sounds as though she has two amazing parents and is a very lucky girl.

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