Dividing Household Responsibilities
One of the recurring themes that came up in my interviews for Here's the Plan was frustration with how home and childcare-related chores are handled, particularly around maternity leave and immediately after. Important note here: this isn't a critique of dads. Most of the women I interviewed have incredibly supportive spouses who were totally hands on.
But: even those moms were frustrated and felt over-burdened, either because they got into family patterns when they were home on maternity leave (and got "better" at soothing a baby because they were with the baby all the time) or because they took on responsibility for all the "executive planning," as one woman put it. Even if dad (or the other mom) was making the pediatrician appointments and doing all the baby laundry, mom was still the one who found the pediatrician in the first place and collected all the hand-me-downs from her friends.
There's a ton more on this in the book (buy it here from Amazon!).
I designed these "Family Division of Labor" worksheets based on the input of the women I interviewed for the book. You'll find three links below: the "Domestic Responsibilities" worksheet includes everything not related to having a baby, like emptying the dishwasher and filing healthcare reimbursement forms. There's a worksheet for the care of babies, and there's also one for older children, since those responsibilities shift so much. (Goodbye diapers, hello homework!)
Try these worksheets as a starting point for a conversation with your significant other about how exactly you're going to manage your family responsibilities. (There are a ton of them, as you'll see from how crowded these pages are!) This is a powerful exercise in awareness of how much work goes into the day-to-day care and feeding of a baby and/or child, and also a powerful reminder of how much could inadvertently slide onto mom's plate if you're not being mindful of dividing responsibilities equally. (And that's the most powerful thing about this sheet... it forces you to focus on responsibilities instead of "tasks," so each parent in your family has true ownership. That means less nagging and reminding -- the lack of which is both good for your marriage and your sanity.)