Why holding the baby is not enough to give your wife/partner a break at home.

This is not an easy conversation for me to have with my husband. I know he and I need to improve communication on difficult subjects a little bit more but I feel like talking about how to effectively give time off for your partner or wife or primary parent is an important topic.

Picture this afternoon which is about when I had an epiphany. I needed to do a vlog I am so behind on. I asked my husband if he could hold the fort while I did this, he of course agreed but somehow I found myself washing the dishes instead of vlogging while he was in the playroom with the kids. This boils down to a very simple thing: multitasking. See, my husband and I are different people and we do things very differently. I am currently a stay at home mom, the primary parent and I have to deal with looking after the house, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and home education, not withstanding the whole breastfeeding malarkey with our youngest. I am never not doing several things simultaneously. I am always multitasking and on high alert. When my husband is home he usually tries to help but what I have been struggling to communicate with him is this, when he is doing one thing to help me, I am only passing to him one of the four or five balls I usually juggle and so I still am not really getting a break, I just get to multitask at a slightly slower pace while he gets to yes help a bit which is good but not only does this not give me a break, it also means he often is not doing things he wants to do and will still need to do. It is very stressful because while I do really appreciate his help and don’t want to minimise how meaningful it is to me that he loves playing with the kids or cook them a meal or put a batch of laundry, I really struggle to communicate that in order for me to get a break I need him to catch all the balls at once. I feel like a terrible ungrateful wife often.

So here goes, if you ever notice that your loved one whom you are trying to give a break to is not taking the break here is something you might want to try: observe what they are doing that you are trying to do for them, not just the one thing but ALL the little things they are doing at once, there is more than meet the eye, and next time you offer to take the baby, make sure the laundry is also running, the next meal on its way and dishes ready to be made straight after the meal (this means you will need to have something to distract baby in the high chair a little extra longer than just meal time), floors brushed and any other thing your sweetheart squeeze in that half an hour. Seriously it is no holiday but if you want to help a multitasking mama/or daddy, make sure you are catching ALL the juggling balls, not just one so they really do get a break and you will see the difference in their appreciation of your help (about the same level as when you were a kid your mom went from a nod and a smile after you put your plate by the sink and told her about it to actual tears of joy the day you proposed to wash the whole dishes after dinner without expecting anything in return).

Anyway, that’s all folks, I hope you have a magical day and this little getting it all out of my chest moment (still need to talk to the hubby though) can help someone out there.


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