Battle of the Sexes: 5 Ways to Ease the Brunt of Motherhood
Parenting is a joy which most people are fortunate enough to experience at some point in their lives. Bringing a child into this world is bettered only by the journey you go through as a parent, as you watch your little one grow.
While it is a blessing, motherhood isn’t without its trials and tribulations. New research by Direct Line Life Insurance found that two thirds of mums still take on the majority of childcare duties and 41% of parents don’t think dads are held to the same standards as mums.
Today, let’s run through five ways you can ease the brunt of motherhood and also ensureyou and your partner are on more equal footing.
1. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page
Direct Line found that a significant number of parents (20%) find it distasteful when parentsrefer to looking after their own children as ‘babysitting’.
However, there was a significant difference in the reactions of mums and dads, with 26% of mums angered by this, compared to 14% of dads. In fact, 9% of dads are happy to use theterm ‘babysitting’ when they look after their own children.
Naturally, this could cause disagreements. If you agree with the 26%, it’s worth discussingthis when you plan how to split up childcare responsibilities — your partner will want to make sure your feelings are considered.
2. Try and get your child into a routine at night
Routine and repetition are a guaranteed way to make life with kids simpler. This is especially true of bedtime. While for mum and dad, nothing seems more appealing than a snug, cosy bed, kids are often too full of energy to relax when they should be dozing.
Super Nanny provide expert advice in this regard, highlighting a potential night-time approach which will result in the wee ones resisting less (and falling asleep sooner). The core premise of this is laid out in six simple steps:
Encourage calm time (such as reading) directly before bed
Remind them how close it is to bedtime shortly before (five or ten minutes works)
Give them a warm bath to relax the muscles
Use gentle reminders to tell them what’s coming next in the plan
Keep the lights as low as possible when they’re in bed and you’re reading to them
Give them a kiss and a cuddle, then turn the lights out
Make sure you and your partner both stick to this routine. If you’ve been in charge ofchildcare during the day, your partner could be in charge of the bedtime routine, and vice versa.
Not only does this give you a break, but it also gives them time to bond with the baby.
3. Link your kids to your health policies
Worrying about a child’s health is a primary concern of most mothers. While the NHSprovides a good service, wait times can sometimes be frustrating. As such, it might be worth enrolling in a scheme which provides instant online access to a GP seven days a week.
Most of these schemes will cover your kids, too, giving you the peace of mind to knowthey’re safe should you need to reach out for medical attention.
4. Balance freedom and discipline
It’s easy to forget that kids are little people. While they can’t be given absolute free rein to doanything they want, it’s important to let them play and develop on their own — so long as you keep an eye on them.
Health and safety will always need to be taken into account, but so long as what they’re doing has no potential to harm them, it’s okay to let them discover things all by themselves. This will also give you some free time to unwind.
As for discipline, it’s difficult to know what works when it comes to a fair reward system foryour child. WikiHow provide several means of successfully introducing this method. Some of their top tips include:
- Setting behaviours you’d like to influenceChoosing the level of reward
- Picking a designated time frame
- Explaining the system to your child
Having this system in place will help to encourage good behaviours, which in turn makes your job as a parent more simple.
5. Explore all your options
Although societal attitudes towards childcare have changed over the years, this hasn’t quitetranslated in real life, with 64% of mums still acting as the primary carer for their children.
For some, this is the best option. But if you’d prefer to split childcare duties more evenly, or ifyour partner wants to be the primary carer, it’s vital to look into the schemes your places ofwork have available.
Policies like flexible working hours, working from home, and shared maternity/paternity leave could be a great help to you and your partner, helping you to create a more balanced family life.
Keep this handy advice in mind and you’ll find motherhood a slightly easier process. But, most importantly, remember to enjoy the time you have with your kids. They won’t stay littleforever.