For a while now, I've been struggling with my expectations in terms of divvying up responsibilities once the baby is born. And honestly, I'm still conflicted and need some advice! I don't care if you have kids or are just in a relationship and have confronted the same "how do we share the load" situation, I want your advice so I know I'm not being unreasonable.

First, let me give you some background:
  • At my previous job, we only worked 32 hours/week for the past three or so years. Hubby on the other hand works commission, so he typically works 50-60 hour weeks. Naturally, I stepped up and took care of most of the household duties because of the difference in our work schedules.
  • In late July, I took a new job. It's "full time" but I am on a salary and don't punch a time clock, so some weeks I work less than 40 hours while other weeks I work more.
  • Most every morning, I pack J's lunch and make him breakfast. And 99 percent of the time, I do the cooking and cleaning up for supper.
  • We (now) both bring home about the same amount of money every month. However, we keep our money separate, but have a joint account that pays our bills, such as the mortgage, groceries, utilities, etc. and both transfer an equal amount of money to it every month.
  • I'll be the one to take the to/pick him/her up from daycare unless I am working late. It just makes sense with him driving a work truck.
So where do we draw the line? For instance, I think that if I have been up with a crying baby, he shouldn't expect me to make breakfast, pack lunch and brew coffee. I've hinted at this and it seems that he doesn't agree.

I think that we should share in the household responsibilities - especially everyday things like cooking supper and cleaning up - equally. Hubby's often joked (?) that when he comes home he'll take over baby duty while I do all that, but I just don't think that's entirely fair. I mean, I want some baby fun time too, especially when I'm back at work. And cooking/cleaning is by far harder than playtime.

How do we handle the night time feedings? For the record, I plan to bottle feed breast milk, so it's something both of us can do. And my dear husband actually thinks that by the time I go back to work when Tuff is six weeks old, the baby will be sleeping through the night. People can dream, I suppose.

What's going to happen to our morning routine? Since hubby leaves for work 30-45 minutes before I do, will all the baby care fall on my shoulders? Right now, I get up once he is out of the shower and do his breakfast/lunch then focus on getting myself ready after he leaves. Which means if he oversleeps and is late, I probably will be too.

Most specifically, I'm not sure how to handle maternity leave. I've learned that with J, I need to express my expectations early on, or he thinks that is the status quo. For instance, he still expects me to do more around the house, even though I am now working full-time.

No, my job isn't as physical and yes, I still work fewer hours, (two things he has pointed out) but on the same token, I contribute equally financially around our household (perhaps more if you consider that I could care less whether we had horses that we spend a decent amount of money feeding every month) so I think that should make a bearing.

Life at home with a newborn isn't a walk in the park like I believe most men see it to be. Babies typically need to be fed every three hours, right? So by the time you feed them, burp them, clean them and get them back to sleep, you only have 1-2 hours in there. Mommies need sleep too. Mommies need down time. And it's hard to juggle that with cooking and cleaning!

Due to starting a new job while pregnant, my employer (very graciously!) worked out a plan so I would not have to go on COBRA and will continue to be paid, although I don't have short-term disability. So after I've wiped out my accrued vacation time, I will work part-time from home. I'm not sure how much yet (it could be as little as five hours/week) but that will definitely change things.

*Just a disclaimer, my husband isn't an ass like some of these examples may make him out to be. I just think we have very different ideas on what the expectations should be and since he and I both were fortunate enough to have mothers who stayed at home raising us, it is something we aren't sure how to handle. If I were an SAHM, I would view things very differently.


  1. My comments are way too extensive to leave here, so I'll email you. IMO raising a baby should be 50/50, and the making-breakfast-and-packing-a-lunch BS is totally unrealistic with a is the one about the baby eating every 3 hours.

  2. I'm a planner like you. And I tried the whole "I'll do the feedings when I'm on leave, then when I go back you do the feedings because you're on Summer break" which works for us but won't for you guys because J isn't on summer break. BUT.. you may have to wait and see what it is you need him to do once Tuff gets here and once you go back to work. Your needs may change from what you expect. Instead of him making dinner, you may want him to pack his own lunch or instead of sleeping until he's out of the shower you may want to get a shower first, get ready and then get baby ready after he leaves.

    I'm sure you two will find a great system but until then I know it will make you nervous because we're a lot alike. :) I like to plan, to know things ahead of time and all. And when we don't have a working "system" I freak out a little. Like when the house in in chaos from moving/remodeling or something.


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