Making It Work - Two Working Parent Household

A lot of times families are split amongst varying types of groups: Working Moms/Dads, Stay at Home Moms/Dads, Working Moms/Stay at Home Dads, Working Dads/Stay at Home Moms, Single Working Moms/ get my point. In our house, it's always been two working adults and then when we had kids it was two working parents.

The stresses of figuring out what to do after the baby was born was very heavy on us. We were not and are still not in a position for one of us to stay home and raise our kids. We were a household that NEEDED to have two incomes. Could it have been done with one of us staying at home? I'm sure it could have - we'd cut back, live on ramen, have one car, cut out luxuries like cable - but it would have been even more of a struggle. We were face with choosing between having a nanny or putting our infant in daycare. Based on what we could afford - nanny was for sure OUT! We could not afford to employ a nanny which by the way is exactly that - you are an employer and you need to file paperwork and taxes and all that good stuff  - we just could not swing it. So daycare won out. I will do a more in depth post on the pros and cons to look for when you're deciding on childcare.

Fast forward to our second baby which means double the cost of everything! So we're still a two working parent household. There's a certain amount of stress when you have both parents working. You are at a job that demands your time 8-10 hours a day then you come home and dinner needs to be made, bathes need to be had, lunches need to be made, playtime needs to be had and finally BEDTIME! It's very easy to feel utter exhaustion and get agitated with the people around you especially your spouse or partner. You don't feel like the other is pulling their weight, you find yourself becoming resentful because you think to yourself "well I work too the least you could do is make the lunches". It happens!

One of the things couples need to remember is that you're both in this together. You're both parents, you both work and you both lean on each other. I know for us - it was easy to get snappy with each other when one was doing way more than the other - it wasn't until we had a serious conversation of "how can we help each other"? The last thing anyone wants is to have their kids see their parents barking at each other - it doesn't teach them good communication skills and it's a little scary for them. So we identified the areas that were giving us frustration - household chores was a big one for me. I feel like a messy house creates a large amount of anxiety in me so I'm constantly cleaning. So we divided household chores - I take care of laundry, bed making and bathrooms while he's responsible for kitchen, floors and dusting - together we tackle the toys. He handles bath times and I cook dinner - together we get both kids dressed for bed. Some days it goes smoothly and some days not so much but the point is we're communicating with each other and we're there for each other.

For us, it doesn't matter how much money the other one makes - my job is just as important to me as yours is to you and we both need to acknowledge that. There are times when the kids are sick I can stay home with them and others my husband can. If one kid is very sick and requires more than one day of home rest, one parent takes one day and the another takes the other day or if we both have to be at work - I'll work half day and he'll work the other half. Just as you have to work with a team at your job - your spouse/partner is your teammate at home and it's both of your jobs to make sure that at the end of the day - you both were there for each other. 

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