7 Couples Share How They Parent: Who Does What and Why?

Some couples split parenting evenly, while for others it’s one-sided, or a free-for-all.

By: Lorraine Allen

Parenting is a team effort. In our home, although my daughter probably prefers her daddy because he’s more fun and I’m more of a no-nonsense, clean-your-own-messes kind of parent, the reality is I’m the one who gave up my career to raise our child, so my time is much more devoted to her care. I think it’s really interesting to see how each couple splits childcare, because while no two families are alike, most parents strive for the same thing: to provide our kids with the best possible life. Here, seven sets of parents share how they split parenting duties, and why:

1. “My husband makes breakfast, wakes up the kids, eats with them, and takes them to school. That’s his only time with them, so I take care of all the rest: Afterschool, activities, lunches, dinners, homework, bath time, discipline, bedtime, and all the middle-of-the-night duties, too. It works out, in the end. On weekends, when we’re all together, we split all the chores pretty evenly.” -- Alexis, a mom of three in Texas

2. “We both work all day, and we have three kids, so we have a nanny who comes and stays with the baby all day, while we each take one kid to school in the morning. The nanny leaves at 6 p.m., so we take turns racing home to get back for bedtime. On weekends, usually one of us takes one kid somewhere, and the other parent takes the other kid and baby.” -- Sally, a mom of three, New Jersey

3. “My husband does most of the cooking and food prep because I’m awful at that, but otherwise, he’s at work. I’m the one who buys food, cleans up, cheers on kids at sports and ballet, takes them to the doctor, dresses them, and plays with them.” -- Veronica, a mom of two in Connecticut

4. “We have twin toddlers and they are still up a lot at night, one of them is always sick, and we both have jobs, so it feels like a free-for-all, every day. We both just run around like chickens without heads trying to do as much as we can, all the time. I hope soon we can find a routine and some balance again.” -- Eve, mom of twins, New York

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5. “I am a musician and work late nights and weekends, so I watch the kids during the day, dress them, feed them, do some laundry, and take them to the playground after school, etc. My wife works part time, so she deals with evenings, dinner, homework, and bed-time (and more laundry).” -- Scott, dad of two, New York


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6. “One of us needs to be caring for our infant all the time, so the other has to be watching our 6- and 9-year-old, who are always arguing and have busy schedules. It’s kind of chaos. We each do what we can, and it changes every day. I never really do laundry, I’ll admit, but my wife also never takes out the trash. We both change plenty of diapers though, that’s for sure.” -- Noah, dad of three, New York

7. “Our kid has special needs, so I stopped working to take care of him. Basically, I do it all: the therapist and doctor visits, dosing his medication, catering to his special diet, setting up playdates, going to classes with him, reaching out to support systems in the community (for him and us), etc. My husband works long hours to make up for my loss of income, but he’s also really helpful at home. He does dishes and laundry, and vacuums and cleans the yard. On the weekend, he takes over child care to give me a break. Weekends feel like our happy time. It’s just so much easier when there are two of us to deal with it all!” -- Jennifer, mom of one, Pennsylvania

How do you and your spouse divide parenting duties?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/sturti

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