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View Poll Results: Are you happy with how the parenting is divided in your family?

Voters
111. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, generally I feel that it's fair and that our system is working as is.

    86 77.48%
  • I am somewhat unhappy with how it's divided. I would like things to change.

    13 11.71%
  • Not at all. I'm fed up. I NEED things to change.

    10 9.01%
  • Obligatory other.

    2 1.80%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    472

    Default Are you happy with how the parenting is divided in your family?

    I feel like I hear a lot of unhappiness here and elsewhere about how childcare responsibilities are divided between husbands and wives, but it's unclear to me whether that's just blowing off steam or real unhappiness. This is something I think about a lot, so I'm curious about it. You don't have to comment; you can just vote.
    Carol and Geoff, 3/16/02......Nora, 1/21/04...Owen, 2/08/08

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    461

    Default

    I'll comment anyway. I voted Yes, that I'm happy, even though some days I get frustrated. I guess things CAN'T change in my situation, so I have to deal.

    My DH is great at taking over in the evenings (he does all diaper changes when he's home, along with the bath) but most of the "parenting" falls on me. It's partly my fault, because I nurse my son to sleep (so DH can't put him to bed or nap). I also tend to read up and be informed about things (safety, food, child development) so I feel like I have to "teach" him some of the basics (like don't take the baby outside in 100+ weather for an extended period of time even though you really want to hang out with your buddies). I also tend to play with the baby, where he will watch tv or work on his computer with the baby next to him (which is dangerous with a mobile babe!).

    But I really get frustrated because he still has a life and I don't. He gets to go work out, go to the store, get his haircut, have as many drinks as he wants, etc. without having to worry about childcare or feeding - he has me! I, OTOH have to find someone to take care of the baby or take the baby, can't have more than a drink or two without having EBM ready, etc.
    Wife to Mr. T ~ 12.08.01
    Mom to Elliott ~ 2.24.05
    Another Little T ~ EDD 12.12.07

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,495

    Default

    I voted other. I'm evil like that

    Now, I'm pretty happy with the way things are. It's still a little unbalanced, but it's much better than it was. Before, I was NOT happy. We've had sort of a gradual change. When DS was tiny, up until, I don't know, 6 months? 8?, I was responsible for probably 99% of child care. It was awful. We had it out, and DH got better. But not great. It's only been in the last month or so (we had it out again ) that he's really gotten better about stepping in without being asked. And about looking less irritated when I ask him to help.
    Emily mom to Noah - 4/04 & Daniel - 9/07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,495

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrsT
    where he will watch tv or work on his computer with the baby next to him (which is dangerous with a mobile babe!).
    This is the way it is here too, a lot. I used to fret about it, but I've let it go. If it means that I get some time by myself, then I'm ok with the fact that N's playing in the play yard while DH plays on the computer. It's not like it's all day every day.
    Emily mom to Noah - 4/04 & Daniel - 9/07

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    762

    Default

    Hi Carol. I didn't see a place to vote, but I'll comment. (ETA: I just voted that yes, I am happy overall)

    My DH and I share responsibility fairly equally during the week. He packs her daycare bag every night, gets her ready in the morning, and drops her off at daycare. In the evenings, I pick her up from daycare, get dinner going (usually a seperate one for her depending on what we are eating) get her fed, bathed, play with her for a couple of hours, and do the bedtime ritual. So basically he is the morning parent and I am the evening parent through the week. I should also mention that he does all the laundry, and that includes the cloth diapers. He has a whole system down the the cloth diapers, I don't even have a clue what he does.

    The weekends are basically me doing most of the parenting. This changes somewhat in the winter, but we have a large yard and flower and vegetable gardens so he tends to work outside a lot on the weekends. This does get on my nerves when I am trying to get stuff done, and I always seem to be the one with a toddler in tow.

    I think my biggest complaint though, is that he doesn't provide the kind of quality interaction with her that I would like. Usually I am the one on the floor playing legos or little people, jamming with her with our musical instruments with our music CD's, having tea parties, etc. His idea of spending time with her is plopping in a "finding Nemo" DVD and hanging out on the couch with her eating potato chips together. (I am not kidding.) I get after him about this, but he tells me to mind my own business and this is his time with DD and this is how he wants to spend it. I don't argue about it anymore, just roll my eyes.
    Last edited by RileyMom; 08-31-2005 at 11:16 AM.
    Loving my two sweet girls!!
    Riley Morgan 7/14/03
    Bridget Lynn 12/6/06

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    820

    Default

    I voted yes, happy overall. In general I am , but there are times that he just makes me a little frustrated so I just vent. He sometimes makes comments like "you are better at putting her to sleep" I am because You never try. Things like that, but overall I am happy, because he will watch her while I go grocery shopping, need a haircut, and the occasional days I have to work late at work.

    When I get mad I just chalk it up that he is a Man!

    On a side note, I am a very particulur person and want things done a certain way, so sometimes my DH doesn't do things because I will just go back and re do it. So I think that is part of the reason he does not jump in. However I am working on that and getting better so it seems to help.

    Opps.. Edited to add to say I think My DH and I are older parents. He is 37 I am 35, and I think he got out of his system the hanging out with the guys syndrome. So that seems to help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    401

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    I voted that I am happy with the way things are, but it was not always the case.

    I went back to work when Zoe was one year old; I also weaned DD at that time. Since then, childcare responsibilities have been more evenly divided. DH's job is more demanding than mine, so I still do more childcare, but other than that, it is fairly equal. Both of us are capable of handling her on our own. I still handle more of the doctor's appointments and read more child development literature, but I would consider DH a very involved dad. DH is really great in that he wants to spend all of his non-work time with me and Zoe. He never wants to golf or go to a baseball game or anything that would take away from his precious time with our girl. And when he is with Zoe, he is very active. He doesn't just plop her in front of the TV, but takes her places and plays with her.

    When I was a SAHM and nursing, I did way more of the childcare and DH basically never took care of DD on his own. He also almost never dealt with night-wakings and the like. I think some of that is natural when the mother stays home and is nursing. But it didn't mean I didn't resent it! Luckily, things are really good now.
    Zoe 9/3/03
    Zoe's little brother! Due 2/1/07

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    467

    Default

    I'm a little unhappy about it, but it's not terrible or anything. DH does change her, dress her, feed her and play with her. He'll take care of her when I need a break (although his babysitting usually involves going shopping with her or watching the Wiggles ). He'll go get her when she cries in the middle of the night (and hand her to me!) Overall, he's an involved parent, and I'm sure he'll become moreso as she gets older.

    My biggest complaint is that he's somewhat lazy, and only wants to do "fun stuff" like watching tv, shopping for baby clothes, playing tickle games. He almost never takes her to the park, takes her for walks, bathes her or reads to her (sounds like that happens in a lot of households, though!). And like with some of you, he leaves the parental educating to me, and then ignores or debates with what I recommend.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Just to add that my biggest beef is when he disagrees with me about what ails her and won't listen to what I have to say. Geesh, you're an expert in your field, and right now, I have more expertise in the field of parenting!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,125

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    Overall, I would say yes. The only problem we have is that my DD goes to bed really early (between 5-6, sometimes earlier), so many days DH doesn't get to see her at all, because she's asleep when he leaves and is heading to bed (or already there) when he gets home. Unfortunately, there's nothing to be done about that. There's just no way I can keep her up later, and he's already working the earliest hours he can. On the weekends, though, he's really good about hanging out with her as much as he can. Like others, I am the bedtime/naptime person, since I nurse her down, but there's not much to be done about that at this point. I think it will be even better when she gets a little older and she can really play with him.

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