My Husband Does Fifty Percent of the Parenting


My husband does 50% of the parenting- and sometimes more. We have equal parenting responsibilities. When I read articles and memes galore about the heavier weight of parenting on moms, I can’t relate. It has been like this for us since our first child, and I can’t imagine it any other way now. When one of our children is sick and cannot attend daycare, we discuss work schedules and split the day. For daycare pick up and drop off, we evenly split. Nighttime routines, morning routines, doctor’s appointments, swim lessons, soccer lessons, playtime, you got it, we split evenly or do together. We spend about the same amount of time at our jobs, and both occasionally travel overnight for work. He has no issues or concerns when I need to travel. In fact, I am more likely to call in my mom to help when he travels than he does when I travel. Our son does prefer him, so many times, parenting for our son is more heavily on him. We both feel it when “the balance in the force” is off. We like our sharing of parenting responsibilities.

I believe this expectation and comfortability were set from early on due to my husband’s company’s paternity leave policy. He is offered twelve weeks of full-pay paternity leave. He took paternity leave for each of our children and watched them full-time during this time frame. Paternity leave helped him get to know our children, and our children get to know him. I hear many moms talk about how their husbands don’t know the children’s routine or the children aren’t as comfortable with their dads. It comes down to quality time spent. How will they get to know each other if mom is always there to fall back on? We are so grateful for his paternity leave policy, and we know it positively impacted our family.

Even though an equal parenting style works for us, I do experience mom guilt about it. Seeing said articles and memes make me think, “Am I not doing enough?” “Am I a good mom?” The comparison game is difficult, and I don’t escape it either. I am insecure about if my husband thinks he is pulling more weight than I am when he compares the work he does to other families. I wonder if he wishes he had to do less, and I took on more than him. I then wonder how other people see us, especially those of an older generation with a “traditional” family style. I wonder if our parents think I’m a lazy mom since we both grew up in this more traditional style family. We both have wonderful fathers that were involved in their children’s lives. However, our moms did not have jobs outside of the home in our early years, and dads that worked long hours and traveled. Also, I have more hobbies outside of the home than my husband, and I do many of the errands. Therefore, I leave the house in the evenings more than he does. This leads to more guilt causing me to cut back on outside of the home evening activities. He and I know these activities and hobbies are important for our family and for my identity.

No matter your family structure, if it works for you and your partner, it is the right one. I am not saying a structure of parenting that is more heavily with one parent than the other is wrong if that is what you and your partner want. We see many burned-out moms craving more independence and personal identity. If this is you, I encourage you to talk to your partner or who you share parenting responsibilities with. You can start with small, short activities. Move at a comfortable pace but also slowly push your comfort zone. You can consider talking with a therapist to help you navigate these conversations and anxieties. Also, help to normalize males inquiring and caring about paternity leave policies at their jobs or when looking for a new job. It’s important companies believe in equal parenting. Above all, always remember you are a good mom, and it doesn’t matter how anyone else sees your life if you are happy.


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