New Parents Are Signing ‘Baby-Nups’ to Cement Duties & Stop Fights Before They Start

iStock/StefaNikolic

Two parents stand over their newborn, lovingly showing it equal affection.
iStock/StefaNikolic

We've all heard of pre-nups (and probably have a strong opinion on them, too). But have you ever heard of a baby-nup? Yeah, me neither -- until now. Apparently, baby-nups are pre-written agreements between a couple as to what their newborn duties will be -- and let's just say, the Internet has some things to say about it.

  • The contracts are intended to divvy up responsibilities, but also set up expectations before those crazy newborn months are upon you.

    According to ABC News, it can also cover everything from disciplining approaches to future schooling plans -- even custody arrangements, in case the marriage heads toward divorce. 

    (For all my Real Housewives of Atlanta fans out there, you may remember that cast member Porsha Williams drafted one up before the birth of her baby in 2017.)

    While they don't have to be legally binding, the contracts can honestly be whatever the parents-to-be want to make of them -- even if they come in the form of an informal agreement you jot down on a piece of paper and post to the bulletin board. 

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  • Naturally, Twitter has been having a field day with the whole thing since it started making headlines earlier this month. 

    Many have found the whole thing pretty eye-rolly, and say it really approaches parenthood in the wrong way.

    "This is your child, not a chore," wrote one Twitter user.

    "It’s called being a parent," added another. "Either embrace every good, bad, wonderful, and annoying thing that comes with it, or don’t have kids."

    "Pretty sad state of parenthood when you start adding contracts," wrote one person. "Why breed in the first place?"

    Others stated that even if it's meant to be supportive of one another, at the end of the day it's not realistic.

    "Nice in theory, but 99% of the time, the mom does it all," wrote one user.

    "Exactly!!" another chimed in. "This is what is wrong with society. Nothing is truly 50/50. We have commitments that arrive, health issues, career choices etc that impede even the best laid plans. Life is like a box of unmarked chocolates most days."

  • Others pointed out how ridiculous it is to think you can really set a foolproof parenting plan before you've even become a parent.

    And they have a real point, there. Because much like a birth plan, which any parent will tell you goes right out the window as soon you go into labor, you just don't know what the future holds -- for you, your partner, or your child.

    "Until you’ve lived it, it’s really hard to know who will need extra support with what and when," wrote one mother. "IE -- It’s hard to plan for postpartum. Sometimes one partner will need to carry the other. Just commit to loving each other and getting through the highs and lows. It’s worth it."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Still, no matter where you stand on the issue, it's worth noting that it aims to solve an issue that creates friction among most new parents.

    There's a reason why dads are happier than moms (on average), according to science. As much as we've come a long way in sharing the load, moms still own the majority of the parenting responsibilities, studies have found, and the invisible work they do leads to added stress and often, depression.

    So what if a little "contract" between the two of you aims to put you both on the same page and lighten some of that load?

  • At least one mom on Twitter had a creative solution to it all: Just have twins -- then you've got no choice but to divvy things up.

    "When you have twins there is no baby-nup," she quipped on Twitter. "You are both in equally if you want to survive. And in some ways that’s a good thing, because the husband doesn’t get an opportunity to stick more of the load on mom. I made sure he took paternity leave so the load wasn’t all on me."

    Hmm ... guess that's one way to do it!