A big part of babyproofing your relationship includes the division of labor. In case you’re still hesitant, a baby means a ton of new responsibilities and chores. It’s nice to think we can do it all, but the truth is that, more often than not, we need a little help. Every single chore matters. There’s a growing amount of research that stipulates that the resentment many couples begin to feel when their babies finally arrive is more common than not. When a simple thing such as who’ll take out the trash has the potential to derail your relationship or create a conflict, you get the importance of establishing roles and responsibilities in your household.
Resentment can go both ways, you can either feel like you have the world on your shoulders and your partner is not doing anything or your partner can feel sidelined and left out. To help lessen the probability of either scenario you can start by making two lists of chores (baby-related and household related). Be as specific as you can, maybe even establish the day when a certain chore needs to be done (bathe the dog on Saturday, for example) and together work out who will take care of what.
“Thank you!” and “Great job!” go a long way. Those small acts and words of gratitude or appreciation will make your partner feel more confident in what he is doing and he’ll want to get more involved and help out in any way he can. You can also plan ahead and schedule a job-switch, one day where the baby’s the other person’s complete responsibility. Except for feeding, your partner will get to spend the whole day bonding with your little one. Finally, you can schedule “meetings” once a month where you and your partner discuss how you’re feeling, if there’s something you would like to change about how things are being handled, and possibly make changes to the list of chores as your baby grows up and his needs change.
Having a baby takes two people, and no one knows and understands your relationship better than you, so work out with your partner possible scenarios along with their solution, and keep strengthening your relationship for when your little one finally arrives.