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Parents' Workload

 
   
 

Tasks become harder to do and take much longer when there is a baby to look after. The unpaid workload is obvious only when it is not done. 

All couples have to re-negotiate who does what after the baby arrives.

The first step is to work out who does what now and the next is to talk about whether you want to arrange things differently.

   
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  • Dad's Answers
  • Mum's Answers
In general, how many hours do you spend each day of the week doing the tasks listed here?
  M T W T F S S
  Bathing your baby
  Walking your baby
  Settling your baby to sleep
  Playing with your baby
  Cleaning the house
  Cooking meals
  Washing clothes
  Washing dishes
  Ironing
  Working for pay
  Doing household paperwork (like paying bills)
  Food shopping
  Attending to pets
  Mowing / gardening
  Caring for relatives
  Car maintainence
  Study
  Answering the telephone
  TOTAL HOURS:  

In general, how many hours do you spend each day of the week doing the tasks listed here?
  M T W T F S S
  Bathing your baby
  Walking your baby
  Settling your baby to sleep
  Playing with your baby
  Cleaning the house
  Cooking meals
  Washing clothes
  Washing dishes
  Ironing
  Working for pay
  Doing household paperwork (like paying bills)
  Food shopping
  Attending to pets
  Mowing / gardening
  Caring for relatives
  Car maintainence
  Study
  Answering the telephone
  TOTAL HOURS:  

In general, how many hours do you spend each day of the week doing the tasks listed here?
  M T W T F S S
  Bathing your baby
  Walking your baby
  Settling your baby to sleep
  Playing with your baby
  Cleaning the house
  Cooking meals
  Washing clothes
  Washing dishes
  Ironing
  Working for pay
  Doing household paperwork (like paying bills)
  Food shopping
  Attending to pets
  Mowing / gardening
  Caring for relatives
  Car maintainence
  Study
  Answering the telephone
  TOTAL HOURS:  

   
 

Learning from your answers

Household tasks and infant care are not usually described as work, but are actually a major, but unpaid, workload. All couples need to develop the skills to discuss the division of the paid and unpaid workload. You will need to look at these arrangements regularly. These conversations have often not been necessary prior to the baby's birth. It can feel ridiculous and clumsy discussing household work, but the most common source of tension between mothers and fathers is when this work is unrecognised. It is important to be able to decide who will take responsibility for which task and to reach an agreement that feels fair. It's better to have these discussions when you are not feeling tired and when you can talk calmly!

This webpage last updated 25 March 2014.