Divide and conquer to create more time
If there is one nearly universal truth about young children, it’s that they take up virtually every second of your free time. When my wife and I had our son, we were quickly overwhelmed. Then, just as we were getting the hang of things, our daughter arrived. Naturally, we were thrilled. However, we soon noticed that we had very little time to do anything aside from taking care of the kids and managing the house.
In the early days or parenthood, we did everything together. We would both pitch in to give the kids baths. We would both take part in brushing teeth, getting them dressed, and reading them bedtime stories. While this might sound nice, it’s also terribly inefficient. At the end of the day, when we had finished our household duties, it was usually time for us to go to bed as well. One day we decided to try an experiment. Instead of doing everything together, we split things up.
Regardless of whether one parent does the bath or both pitch in, baths take about the same amount of time. So, now when one parent gives the kids a bath, the other does the dishes and laundry. We take turns, so both of us get plenty of bath time bonding with the little ones.
While one parents reads to the kids, the other one makes lunches for the next day and does any other minor household chores that need doing. Usually, once the kids are in their bed or crib, the parent that had been doing chores pops in to say goodnight or tell a short bedtime story.
Just a little free time
While it might sound great to do everything together, there are only so many hours in the day. By doing things like bath time and bedtime together, we were basically making the choice to spend our free time on these things. While that might be fine once in a while, it’s not a great way to spend the day every day.
After deciding to split up these responsibilities (and many more), my wife and I now find that we have just a little free time together each night. Maybe it’s just a half an hour to talk or take in a quick show on Netflix. But, it’s a whole lot better than nothing.
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.