Sharing the Load

There were a number of articles written recently about how today's couples share parenting responsibilities and childcare



Simon Kuper in the FT wrote that he puts in about 30 hours of childcare a week - before and after school. Shane Watson in The Sunday Times talked about how she shares out the duties with her husband - for example she's in charge of birthday cakes, he is in charge of parent evenings.

This is how it goes in my house

My role in the morning consists of the following:

  1. Making room in the bed for anyone who wakes up before 7am
  2. Forcing toothbrushes around mouths, as opposed to being used as lollies to be sucked on
  3. Chasing after sons who seem to know instinctively that it is time to get dressed which means to them a time to play hide and seek
  4. Ensuring breakfast is eaten in under an hour and that any debates about who is the best at spitting/firing guns/shouting the loudest are kept to a minimum
  5. Scrabbling around for coats, hats, gloves, water bottles, shoes, book bags, swimming kit, games kit and then man handling the kids into the majority of those items
  6. Throwing everyone out of the door and down the road to school.

My husband's role on the other hand seems to be:

  1. Roll out of bed
  2. Tickle some kids until they cry
  3. Pour himself a coffee
  4. Read the paper
  5. Shout at the kids for being too noisy
  6. Tickle them again to make them even more noisy
  7. Go into his office, close the door and start work.

In the evening, then the above just goes in reverse

But for coffee substitute wine - again for him, not me! So where did I go wrong with my husband? Or is there a boot camp I can send him to so that he comes back a new man prepared to get involved in the front line of bringing up kids?

Answers on a postcard please...

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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