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Parenting: Sharing responsibilities when baby arrives

Starting a family is a big adjustment. You and your partner need to work together to be sure there is a balance of work and responsibilities in your home.

Here are ways to make sure neither one of you feels overwhelmed:

  • Be up front about what you need from each other. It's best to make statements such as "I need you to do such-and-such" rather than accusing your partner by saying, "You never do such-and-such." Don't expect your partner to read your mind.

  • Try to come up with a schedule that gives each of you some time for yourself. Try to make sure there is someone else, like a trusted friend or relative, who can give both of you a break by taking care of your child. This is particularly important if you are a single parent - you don't have to do everything all by yourself.

  • Take turns looking after your child.

  • Allow each other to parent differently. As long as your baby is safe and you agree on the important things, don't criticize each other.

  • Make time for each other. Plan a date. Check out how each other is feeling about the total change in lifestyle. Housework and yard work aren't the highest priorities. Spending enough time with your child and with each other is.

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