Tag Team Parenting: Strategies that Work

by Nicole Hempeck on April 3, 2021

If you are working this parenting thing as a team, then it makes sense to have some strategies in place to ensure success and quite frankly, to salvage sanity, especially in those early years.

When it comes to the day-in, day-out household duty and parenting grind, it can become a lot when it weighs on the shoulders of one, but if you don’t have to go it alone, then you should work as a team.

Divvy Up the Chores

It’s ok for the work to be divvied up, even if there is a stay-at-home parent in the mix. Evening dinner dishes can be tackled by an older child. A load of laundry can be thrown into the wash by a spouse on the way out the door in the morning or a quick sweeping of the kitchen floor can be done while someone else picks up the toys at the end of the evening. By tackling the chores together, the potential for more quality time is greater.

Take Turns with Bed Time Routines

Bed time routines include bathing, dressing, teeth brushing and reading to multiple children - if you don’t take turns at a minimum, it can be a daunting task. The better method would be to divide and conquer, and then cross over and say goodnight to the children you didn’t help ready for sleep. By tackling this process together, not only are you getting to your own time quicker, you’re also allowing for regular quality time with all of your kids. When one person is tackling regular kid duty all the time, the other isn’t allowing for genuine kid-focused time and believe it or not, some of the best moments with our kids are those minutes before bed when we chat and cuddle.

Rotate Weekend Sleeping In

Oh to have a completely quiet home on a Saturday morning without the dull roar of cartoons and cereal boxes opening or baby cries demanding their morning milk and soiled diapers be removed. While we wouldn’t change our little families for anything most days, it would be so nice to have a reprieve from duty on occasion. So why not build that into your weekends? Maybe not every weekend, but perhaps once a month so each parent is allotted an uninterrupted morning of glorious, uninterrupted sleep. Perhaps, to ensure the sleep is in fact uninterrupted, the parent on duty takes the brood out for pancakes at McD’s. You’ll be amazed at what an extra hour or two of indulgent sleep can do for morale.

Allow for Individual Time Away

Commit to allowing each other time to participate and pursue personal interests. When we become parents, it’s easy to become consumed and lose sight of who we once were as individuals. By committing to supporting the individual interests of our significant others, we are allowing a sense of balance to remain. A weekly card game with friends, a monthly golf outing with the guys or scrapbooking night with the girls can lift the spirits and reconnect us with our peers. A blogging conference once a year that inspires, or a retreat that reconnects friends are all examples of things that can allow for a brief reminder of who we are in addition to being parents. It’s important and it should be a priority, if only for a day, once a month.

This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but the tips above can help ease the stress levels and lighten the load for both parents. At a minimum, when you have a couple of extra hours of sleep to look forward to on a Saturday morning, you have the resolve to make it through just one more day when you’re enduring the terrible twos or the sleepless newborn nights.

What strategies do you and your spouse use to make it all work?

Photo: Labec Media

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