If it feels as if you are doing everything when it comes to the kids, you are not alone. Child care duties sometimes fall on one parent, which can cause frustration and anger among the pair. That's why figuring out how to get a passive parenting partner more active is a real issue in many families.
According to a study by University of Wisconsin’s National Survey of Families and Households cited in The New York Times, mothers take on most of the child care duties. "The most striking part is that none of this is all that different ... from 90 years ago,” sociologist Sampson Lee Blair told The New York Times in regards to the study. If this long-experienced male passivity makes you angry, don't let it. There is sage advice on how to make things feels more balanced.
It's really all about communication and recognizing your dynamic. In an article for HuffPost, clinical psychologist Samantha Rodman wrote that many women find they constantly have to tell their partner what to do when it comes to the kids. This becomes frustrating, causing anger to build. Rodman suggested you be direct when addressing this issue and tell your partner of your frustration, letting them know you want to change that dynamic. You can suggest that you want to be less controlling, have them to take the lead more, and work on all things parenting together. This approach to communication avoids hurtful finger-pointing.
It's also important to talk about the issues sooner rather than later. Do not wait until you've reached the tipping point and explode in a tirade of anger. Oftentimes, when you delay discussion of an issue that's bothering you, it leads to yelling, fighting, and more issues. In an article for Psychology Today, clinical social worker Robert Taibbi wrote that "unsettled problems are a major source of stress" for couples and can hurt your relationship. It's key to be open about what isn't working for you in your relationship, and speak to each other before anger builds.
Additionally, you have to watch for your tone. From personal experience, I've learned it's not what you say, it's how you say it that could be the difference in being truly heard. When you speak with a kind heart, your message will be better received. Every couple experiences issues, but you must get through those issues with cooperation and respect, psychologists and husband and wife team Philip Cowan and Carolyn Pape Cowan said in an interview in Parents magazine.
Parenting really is all about love, and not just for your child. It's important to tap into that when the need for more equality in parenting responsibilities comes up. When discussing better ways to share the parenting duties with your partner, you can talk about the best parts of your parenting and where you think you need to grow, the Center For Parenting Education suggested. It's key to have this open communication, with positive aspects thrown in.