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August 23, 2018
Parenting is a balance of responsibilities and, if you’re doing this with a partner, one of you may have more skills or patience for some of those parenting tasks.
My spouse is wonderful at taking the reigns with our toddler. He can make a three-course dinner with grace. He could hold and change the baby deftly during the day when she was young. But, at night, especially once he went back to work after we had our firstborn, asking him to fully participate on an equal basis was like asking a slumbering bear to rouse himself from his cave in the middle of winter.
The choices I felt I had at the beginning? Yell at my partner (over and over) to please wake up OR do it all myself. Both made me resentful, to be honest. Instead, I settled on a more strengths-based plan: If he could just get our infant out of the bassinet and change her the first few times she woke (plus obviously stay up and problem-solve with me when we had a rough night), I would handle the rest of the night shift. In the day, he could do a little more baby holding while I rested and nursed (for more free tips on taking care of a newborn, click here for our free mini-course). Don’t worry, I made sure he did his part!
Why did it take me until my second child arrived to realize this was a more workable and, in the end, satisfying plan? Because the first time around, I was way too focused on precise equality and task-sharing, not considering that he would happily take the lead during the day if I would just let the man sleep a little more at night.
Second-time parenting brings its own challenges but at least you have the basics down. When you’re new at parenting, your first partner challenge is to divide and conquer, letting individual strengths drive responsibilities and contributions.
Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.
Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).
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