How to ask for help and share the load
Parenting is no walk in the park. And it’s safe to say that, as mothers, we often take on the lionesses’ share of the job, particularly in the early days. But this is the twenty-first century and it’s ok to ask for support (and take it when it’s offered). Here are five ways to divide and conquer.
Time moves at a whole new pace when you have a baby. And priorities change beyond belief. But it’s important to continue talking to your partner and sharing your feelings, joys and frustrations. Having an open dialogue will allow you to support one another through the highs and lows of parenthood, strengthening your relationship and allowing you to adapt to one another’s needs.
Make a schedule
Figure out who does what ahead of time, so neither of you is stuck doing one thing all day (or night) long. If you’re pumping or formula feeding, this can help to break up the night shift or, if one of you is home all day with the baby, it can ease the strain to know that an off-duty hour is on the cards.
Take it in turns
From feeds to nappy changes and bedtime routines, not to mention school runs or lunchbox prep, taking it in turns with the everyday tasks can offer respite and reduce the number of grudges held. Alternating walks out of the house with the baby can help too, giving one person some feel-good fresh air while the other takes an hour to do other things.
Call on friends and family
Not everyone has a partner to call on when times get hard. Asking other types of significant other to lend a hand can also be a life-saver. Grandparents often love to be asked to step in when they can and, with a little notice, friends are usually happy to babysit if you need time for a nap or space to take a proper shower.
Share the feeding
This can feel like a tricky one, particularly if you’re exclusively breastfeeding. But this is where breast pumps come into their own. By filling a few bottles ahead of time, you can switch things up and alternate who feeds so that your partner can have some bonding time, too. If you’re formula feeding, the same applies. Prepping and offering a bottle doesn’t have to be one person’s job.