In this modern age, it’s often hard to know whose parenting role is whose. Many mums feel they have an unfair burden caring for children and managing everything at home. While many dads feel they do not spend enough time with their children.
This uncertainty of roles for pressured new parents can cause tension in relationships. To help reduce this tension and resolve these uncertainties, parenting expert and father of two, Duncan Fisher has the following tips-
• Don’t end up with one parent doing all the caring and the other doing all the earning unless you really cannot avoid it.
• Both spend time alone with your baby. Both become competent and confident with him/her, learn and appreciate your different parenting styles - your child will.
• Mothers: put yourself first sometimes (and fathers – let them do this). Mothers who make the children such a big part of their lives that everything else is forgotten often become depressed.
• Fathers: move mountains to get flexible work, even if it gives you only a few extra hours with your baby every week.
• Talk and listen. Don't just barge into the role you think is yours – find out if your partner is happy with what your choice means for them. Do they feel put-upon or pushed out by you? Things will then feel fairer, you will be more loving and less stressed – which will also be good for your sex life.
• Make time for each other and do things you used to do before you had children. A happy couple relationship means happier children.
• Don’t feel guilty about working – nearly all mothers and fathers for all of human history have had to work. Try to organize work so that one of you is looking after the baby as much as possible; babies have always been looked after by several people.
• If moving house could mean a smaller mortgage or more involved grandparents, think hard about it.
•Each agree to do the one task around the house that the other likes least. If you can afford it, pay for some of the tasks to be done for you.
For more tips and advice about parenting roles, check out Duncan Fisher’s Baby’s Here Who Does What?, a guide on how to divide the work a new baby brings and have a happy relationship along the way.