Maybe you weren’t expecting a 50/50 split between you and your partner when it comes to parenting duties in the first place, but you certainly didn’t bargain for 80/20! Frustrating. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Here are ways to inspire your partner to start acting like one.
Negotiate Up Front
If you’re pregnant with your first child, of course neither of you knows what to expect, but it’s safe to say the baby will need to be fed, changed, and get plenty of TLC – the perfect starting point for a discussion with soon-to-be Daddy. “Divide and conquer starting now! It’s never too early to start talking about how you plan on divvying up responsibilities,” says Dr. Kim Davis, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who runs local parenting groups. “Of course you can’t plan for the unexpected, but you can start sharing your hopes, expectations, and come up with a basic game plan.” For example, will Daddy aim to get home from work in time for dinner to start and do the bath? Who will handle middle-of-the-night feedings? “Delineating responsibilities ahead of time helps eliminate a negotiation once you’re both too sleep-deprived and overwhelmed to think straight,” Dr. Davis explains. Remember that nothing is set in stone, but starting out with a game plan is better than jumping in without one.