Put Dad In Charge Sometimes

We know you and your partner are busy juggling careers, as well as your new baby. So it only makes sense to split up the responsibilities now that you're both full-time parents, in addition to full-time career-people.

Dad on night duty with baby

Discuss roles before Baby arrives

It's easy to assume you'll each just pitch in equally once Baby arrives, but many of the early parenting roles (such as breastfeeding) naturally fall on the mom. As a result, it's important to create a logical balance for the benefit of Baby — as well as for yourselves. Have a conversation about taking turns on "night duty" or alternating times when each of you will get up in the night with Baby so you can also balance your own sleep for the full day's work ahead. While Mom is on maternity leave, perhaps she can spare Dad from getting up in the night since he'll have to go into the office during the day, but when Mom goes back to work full-time, you can split this up. Discuss other details like alternating picking Baby up and dropping him off from day care as well.

Know that these duties may change

Even if you've made a plan for your roles before Baby arrives, be flexible with them because things are bound to change. Perhaps Dad has a knack for getting Baby down to sleep so during that time, Mom can hand-wash bottles or do a load of freshly soiled baby clothes. If you need to switch things up if one parent has a meeting and can't pick Baby up from day care that day, be clear about the change of plans and work together.

Make bonding time — and relaxation time — for each of you

Parenting duties are never ending and trying to balance them with a full-time career is a unique feat. Instead of focusing solely on what needs to be done (such as those aforementioned bottles and baby onesies), carve out some special time for each of you to have one-on-one time with Baby — rocking him, singing to him, reading to him or taking a walk with him in a carrier. During that one-on-one time, the other parent should indulge in some relaxation time — a massage, a trip to the spa, a round of golf or simply a nap. It's important to recharge your batteries so you can give your best to your new roles as Mom and Dad.

More on working parents

Breastfeeding tips for working moms
Mother's guilt: When you want to return to work
New working mom's guide to juggling it all

Photo credit: Andersen Ross/Stockbyte/Getty Images


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