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Is this fair division of responsibilities?

(33 Posts)
NaiceTornHamstring Tue 19-Jun-18 16:56:09

Parent A drops DCs (aged 8 and 6) at breakfast club before school in the morning, at 8am.

Parent B picks DCs up from after-school club in the afternoon, at 5.30pm.

School is 7 or 8 minutes walk away from home.

Both parents work full-time, around an hour away from home.

Parent A has to:
- Make sure teeth are brushed, hair combed, PE kit, homework in bags etc before setting off.
- Encourage DCs to put on their shoes which is apparently the most difficult thing in the world.
- Get them to school by 8am in order to get on the train to work on time by 9am (c.55 minutes away so minimal leeway).

Parent B has to:
- Leave work early (by 4.30pm) to get to school by 5.30pm, via tube and 10 min walk.
- Encourage DCs to leave after-school club as they're invariably engrossed in a very important game that can't be interrupted.
- Make kids' dinner, coax them into doing homework, start bathtime etc, before Parent A gets in from work at 7pm (if not going out for drinks etc after work).

To me that seems like fairly equal sharing of responsibilities. Or is one inherently more difficult than the other? And which would you rather do?

BoxsetsAndPopcorn Tue 19-Jun-18 17:00:52

I'd rather do B as it's less time at work (7pm is a late night) and I like seeing what they have been doing at school, cook etc.

Quartz2208 Tue 19-Jun-18 17:02:56

Yes seems fair one does lates one does earlies

Nicknacky Tue 19-Jun-18 17:03:03

I would rather be parent B. Parent A has the pressure of getting everyone out in time and getting to work.

lostfrequencies Tue 19-Jun-18 17:04:43

Seems like a fair system. I'd rather be parent B - I hate the pressure in the morning, especially when the journey is that tight on time.

Racecardriver Tue 19-Jun-18 17:05:46

Seems fair. I would rather be parent A-parent B will be taking a huge hit to their career development by openly prioritising childcare duties over work (this isnt allowed in Britain don't you know)

Tangled59 Tue 19-Jun-18 17:07:18

I would prefer to be B

CourtneyLovely Tue 19-Jun-18 17:07:35

I think that seems a fair division. When can we find out which you are?

Caribbeanyesplease Tue 19-Jun-18 17:09:29

Without hesitation parent b

But seems fair to me

Caribbeanyesplease Tue 19-Jun-18 17:10:15

*a huge hit to their career development by openly prioritising childcare duties over work (this isnt allowed in Britain don't you know)*

Maybe in some cases

honeylulu Tue 19-Jun-18 17:52:06

We have a similar-ish set up. Husband is Parent A. I get up at 5.30, shower, dress and catch the 6.17 train. Easy peasy.
I find it so stressful just getting kids dressed and out of the house on Saturdays to go to 10am activities! So i think A is more stressful (but shorter - literally half an hour of childcare, no meals to be made or consumed).

As parent B there is more labour over a longer period. I pick up from nursery, get home. Make a light supper for kids and supervise. Sort out nursery bag and any nursery/school forms, partially prep the adult dinner (if it's my turn), unload dishwasher, run bath and bath little one. (Whoever is not cooking then puts her to bed at 8.) My son is now secondary age so usually no homework to assist with but once daughter starts school that's another Parent B job. I think Parent B role is more work but less stressful (except when my train is late!)

I confess we have a nanny two afternoon/ evenings so that massively benefits Parent B (and has prevented the career hit a PP has mentioned).

Which parent are you OP? Does your partner think it's unfair and if so, why?

ReanimatedSGB Tue 19-Jun-18 17:56:12

Is it arranged this way because the job of one or other parent can only be adapted so that parent does morning/evening? Or did parents initially choose and now one or both thinks the other has the better deal?
Because, if it's not impossible, you could swap round for a week and see how that goes.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 19-Jun-18 18:00:48

Not really it’s harder for parent A .

Whatshallidonowpeople Tue 19-Jun-18 18:04:35

Parent a and parent b are hard work judging by the number of posts on here about them

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Tue 19-Jun-18 18:04:46

Why is parent A going out for drinks after work, and how often?

RedSkyAtNight Tue 19-Jun-18 18:05:06

I'd much rather be B too. A is a long day at work and only the stressful bits of childcare and none of the good bits.

although on paper I agree it seems fair.

Can you organise a "mix and match" approach so one of you does 2 earlies and 3 lates and vice versa?

NaiceTornHamstring Tue 19-Jun-18 18:05:11

Thanks for the opinions, all. I thought that might be the case.

Yes, I'm Parent B at the moment.

However I was both Parent A and Parent B for a term and a half, until I had a near nervous breakdown, so I don't feel too guilty about it. I was being a nincompoop and didn't realise that there was another option.

Luckily (or not) my work allows me to catch up on evenings and weekends, so I was putting the boys to bed then getting my laptop out for several hours in the evening, and then being stressed about 'catching up' over the weekend as well.

So now we share.

But the problem now is that DP is incredibly bad at managing the morning routine, and is late to work pretty much every day - it's a running joke among his colleagues now, with bets running over what time he'll come in!

This really isn't ideal, but the only answer as far as I can see, is for him to get up earlier, sort himself out and get out of the door on time, at ten to eight. As it is, I have to wake him up, then help with brushing DC's teeth and general cajoling, so it makes me later than I'd like as well.

I've offered to swap on a few mornings so that I do drop-offs and he does pick-ups, but he's still trying to muddle through. I think we'll get through this term and then have a think about what a more manageable routine might be, post-summer.

NaiceTornHamstring Tue 19-Jun-18 18:07:44

RedSky I think that would be ideal - but when I suggested that DP was reluctant to have fixed days when he had to be back to do pick-ups, as he enjoys his current flexibility. He has lots of friends who he does post-work drinks in town with, whereas I don't mind as much.

NaiceTornHamstring Tue 19-Jun-18 18:13:49

Honeylulu I agree - the evening routine takes far more time out of the day, whereas mornings are short and sharp.

DP prefers being Parent A because of the flexibility he has at the end of the day. Actually, he would rather we went back to having a full-time nanny as we did previously, but also appreciates that this saves us a huge amount of money every month!

Quartz2208 Tue 19-Jun-18 18:17:22

A more manageable routine OP is your DP getting his act together; your further posts make it unfair because unsurprisingly he does not hold up his end of the bargain and I suspect probably does the post work drinks fairly often because its his payback for having to parent

And the fact that his solution rather than parent is to outsource to a Nanny is frankly ridiculous

Lethaldrizzle Tue 19-Jun-18 18:18:34

This is not helpful but it all sounds a bit hellish to me. Its not something I would want to do in the long term

NaiceTornHamstring Tue 19-Jun-18 18:22:27

That's interesting lethal. What's the other option - one of us not working full stop? I'm always curious to hear how other working parents manage things. I've looked into getting an after-school nanny just for a couple of hours on 2-3 days, but have really struggled to find anyone in our area who wants to do those hours.

unintentionalthreadkiller Tue 19-Jun-18 18:27:02

Can guy not get a childminder?

Chilver Tue 19-Jun-18 18:28:16

Thats us and i'm parent B too. However, i'm up and gone before DH and DC are even awake so he had to learn to get the routine right and on time!

I do find the end of the day tough though - i'm tired, DC are tired and sometimes i am too tired to savour the special moments at home and its just get through the slog until bedtime!

ReanimatedSGB Tue 19-Jun-18 18:47:18

When do you get to go for an after work drink, though? Do you get any social time without DC? It sounds like yet another example of a man simply not pulling his weight.

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