6 Ways to Divide Parenting Tasks (& Be Happier!)

Parenting is far, far too big a job for one person to do alone. But even some women who are married or who have involved partners find themselves alone when it comes to parenting tasks.

Sometimes this is because their husbands don't want to help (in which case, they deserve to be shaken), but other times it's because someone can't delegate or divide the work between two people. But things like bathing and diaper changing and bedtime are so, so much easier when we do.

Here are 6 ways people divide parenting tasks so everyone works equally:

  • Switch on and off: One night he puts the kids to bed, the next night you do, and then switch. This way each person gets a couple nights where they simply kiss the kids and go off to watch a movie or read a book.
  • Divide and conquer: If you have more than one kid, many times it's easier for one parent to take one child and do all the things for him or her (school drop-off, permission slip signing, lunch packing, etc.) and then the next day you both switch. I think no one would argue that one child is as hard as two, so this helps make things more manageable for each of you. It also works for larger families by combining it with switching on and off (one takes two kids one day and one the next) or dividing in half however many children there are.
  • Stick with strengths: My husband and I have always divided our tasks according to ability, and we have been no different with our children. He does bedtime, I do bath time. He drops kids off, I pack lunches. This way, the kids get the best of both parents and we enjoy parenting more.
  • One parent gets "gross" tasks: In talking to people about their own systems of division, it seems some couples divide by order of "gross." She gets all pee diapers, he gets all poop. She gets sticky face duty while he cleans up the floor. I am not sure how they define "gross," but they know, which is all that matters.
  • Divide by time: One family I know divides by time. She gets morning and he gets afternoon. This means she gets breakfast ready, gets their daughter dressed and fed and on the school bus, and he takes dinner.
  • Working parent does bedtime: For moms and dads who stay home, it can be really nice to get a break when the spouse comes home from work and takes over bedtime. This way, once the routine is done, the parents are both relaxed and can ease into their night together.

How do you and your partner divide tasks?


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