Ok, so next up in the reader questions, Natalie asks: I’m interested in how you and your husband share parenting duties, especially with his weekend commitments.
The short answer: very carefully and with lots of teamwork.
The real answer is much longer of course. B and I both work, and both of our offices are in the suburbs. I go into the office twice a week, B goes into the office most days but has plenty of days that start or end in a courthouse, deposition or other meeting not in his office. Daycare is South of our house, our offices are North. B sails pretty regularly in the summer and my girlfriends are pretty good at regular “lets get together for dinner/a glass of wine”. So between it all…..
B has morning duty 95% of the time. On the days I go into the office it is all him, on the days I work from home it is mostly him. I set outfits and daycare “necessities” (back up outfits, a new nap blanket, a signed form, etc) every evening, and B is mostly the one responsible for getting up with her and getting her out the door. On the days I work from home I chip in where I can, and I try to set up as much of her breakfast as I can before I hit the road or start working. On the odd day that B has to leave the house really early (typically for court in a county far, far away) he tries to give me as much advance notice as possible so I can shift my work schedule around to accommodate doing the drop off.
I have afternoon duty 95% of the time. I pick up from daycare, get her home and bathed (first thing first, immediately, goodby germs), get her dinner made and get her fed. On a “usual” night, B comes home shortly after she has finished eating (she eats at 6, he gets home between 6:30 and 6:45). We all play, read stories, I try to prep as much of the adult dinner as I can, and after Gracie goes down at 7:30, we make and eat our dinner.
On nights that one of us has a “thing” (work, social or otherwise) we put it on the shared Google calendar, make sure the other person can leave work in enough time to pick her up/get home with enough time for the other person to get out the door. On the weekends we share duties as much as we can- one of us gets up with her while the other makes breakfast. One of us stays home with her while the other runs to the grocery. We take turns bathing her, we eat meals as a family (so we both feed her) and we trade off as much as we can. When B sails, Gracie and I do our thing solo. I try to make the days fun- a trip to the zoo, splash park, playground, farmers market, brunch with friends, you name it.
There are weeks that I tackle a lot more of the parenting duties, there are weeks that B does. We try really hard to be respectful of each other’s work calendars- for instance, I have to go into the office on Thursdays barring natural disaster or the flu. I try not to ask B to leave the office “early” (they don’t have set office hours, but you know what I mean) more than once a week, which means sometimes I say no to an event if I had something else earlier in the week. It isn’t always even. Sometimes after 7 or 8 nights of bath duty I get snippy “come on, you can handle the bath tonight” and sometimes B asks for a little more help in the morning so he can get out the door. With communication and a shared calendar though, we seem to make it work!