When it comes to parenting it takes a village. While co-parenting is usually when two parents are splitting their roles after they separate – these days, the definition means sharing the role 50/50 as parents. But when you factor in work, travel, etc – when would it ever be able to be a complete even split?
That’s why I’m excited to hear the innerworkings of this next installment of Real Talk, Real Mom series. Becoming a parent is the most challenging and rewarding role I have ever been given. I get asked by friends all the time – “how do you do it all?” Well friends, I don’t. I wish I could be that supermom that could have a successful career, spend time with my little guy, cook dinner, run errands, accomplish everything that goes into our life but I couldn’t do it without Eric’s help and encouragement when he’s working long hours (read more about work/life balance here).
In the very beginning, it’s all about the mama. Eric did household things – cooking, cleaning, etc. We did however come up with a nightly routine that helped through those sleepless nights. We took turns getting up each night. Since Jackson was bottle fed from a early age (read more here) it made it easier for us to each take turns. Fast forward, and if Jackson wakes up in the middle of the night we still have this established routine. Believe me, it was the saving grace to no bickering in the middle of the night. No one needs that.
I believe that parenting is about creating a balance that works for both of you – it may not be 50/50 but if it works or your family then that’s what really truly matters. I’ll be sharing our routines and a few tips I’ve realized do wonders for us.
Morning: Both Eric and I are lucky to have jobs where we don’t have to be into the office early. Jackson wakes up at 6:10am on the dot – every single morning. We bring him into bed for his bottle and then we take turns with of who gets their extra 30 mins in bed. Those 30 minutes are glorious – especially if one of us is really exhausted. Then we play, Eric takes Jackson for a run while I get ready or work, make lunches and then take over when they walk in the door. Our nanny arrives at 8:30.
Daytime: Four days a week we have a nanny that comes to watch Jackson. I don’t know what we would do without her. I’m in and out of the house (since it’s my office) all day. I’m lucky enough to see them if we are at the house at the same time. At 4:30pm our nanny leaves and Jackson and I set out on our daily walk or trip to the park. My favorite time of the day.
Evening: Since our schedule revolves around the Giants home games it depends if Eric will be home at night. There are 81 home games a year and let me tell you, the baseball season feels SO much longer with a kiddo. Not having him home at night is rough when there is a 2 week home stand, but I’m lucky that I a) have my mom that comes over to join us for dinner and b) a kid that runs to his bed because he’s so excited to go to sleep – it makes for an easy nighttime routine. When Eric is home it’s a breeze. We’ve had our routine set in stone from the very beginning. One of us feeds and baths Jackson, while the other one starts to cook dinner. Once the bath is over, we both go to his room to spend time as a family. We play for about 20 minutes. Probably our favorite time of day. Then we read, and he runs straight to his room for bed. Goes down like a champ.
Now, you might be saying – that’s not all that goes into parenting – what about the shopping, meals (we do Blue Apron 3 nights a week), activities, etc. I’m lucky to have a super flexible schedule that allows me to do all of those things during the day. If I’m at Target shopping for a client, I pick up the necessities that are on our list.
One thing I’ve realized is that if you set your other half up for success, it gives you more freedom to do the things you love – like going on vacation, workout, girls nights. Since Eric is so incredibly involved he has no problem with putting Jackson to bed, going out for a day of activities, or even me leaving for a 10 day trip to Europe (yes, he was a rock star dad when that happened!). In the end, it’s all about finding that rhythm and routine that works best for the two of you. I’d love to hear about how all of you divide and conquer!
Read about how these other amazing mamas have to say about co-parenting!
And be sure to check out past posts from this series.