Your Partner Isn’t Helping You | How To Balance Responsibilities In Relationships
By Trisha Goodall
So many moms feel like their partner isn't helping. You're not alone and you don't have to be stuck. Learn how to balance responsibilities!
That’s right — your partner isn’t helping you.
So many heterosexual couples use language like: “He helps out a lot, but I’m still stressed…”
But, something about this verbiage has never felt right to me. It sounds totally imbalanced. Consider this; if a business has two 50/50 co-founders, how strange would it be to say that one co-founder “helps out a lot”. Shouldn’t that be a given?
The world we live in today is more aware than ever before of safety, mental wellbeing, environmental impact, and social justice. These are all wonderful things! But who is bearing the brunt of that? Mothers!
Mental load of holidays remains mine alone
Fathers today are more involved with their kids’ day-to-day lives than any generation before them. Mothers today are more multifaceted than any generation before them. But they’re also more involved in the minutia of all-the-things than ever before.
As a result, everyone feels like it’s not enough. And the truth is, it’s not! A quick Google search will tell you how many other moms are researching “partner isn’t helping” on a daily basis. You are not alone.
Society has forced us to create this expectation that a mother, along with the “help” of a father, is able to fill the roles of an entire village. That is unrealistic.
Balancing the Load When a Partner Isn’t Helping
So, if you find yourself unable to keep it together and do all-the-things, then you aren’t crazy. You just have too many things.To drive this point home, There’s a saying I’ve heard, and I think it’s very relevant here.
Essentially, we’re all juggling balls. Some are plastic, and some are glass. Through self-discovery, you can discern which balls are which, and make intentional choices to let the plastic balls drop.
Yes, that means maybe you don’t bring snacks to soccer. Maybe you don’t even do soccer! Maybe it means you hire a house cleaner or a nanny. In short, whatever your empowered life looks like – it’s not going to work if you try to do all the things your mom did, and all the things that are important to you, and all the things that are important to Jane down the street.
Stop asking your partner for “help”. Regardless of work schedules, you are both 50/50 partners! There’s no room in this busy and fulfilling life to feel that your partner isn’t helping. It’s time to take matters into your own hands.
Your Game Plan
Sit down with one another and make lists of all the things that need to happen for the home to run smoothly. There might be layers of the list that encompass work, school, chores, extracurricular activities, etc. Here’s an example.
Side income responsibilities
School drop off
School pick up
Tidying (room 1, 2, 3, etc.)
There’s so much more that goes into a full day/week/month of responsibilities as a parent — so the list will get long. But it’s important to see everything laid out in front of you to then make decisions on what stays, and what goes.
That’s not to say everything can go. But each of you should take what you enjoy, then with the rest, determine what can be let go and what you can outsource. Leaning on your partner is essential, and so is utilizing your resources! Maybe your husband’s mom is willing to step in and help make lunches and wash dishes. Maybe you need to hire someone to help. If it’s valuable to you, then it’s either worth your time or your money.
Ultimately, there’s no need for you to run everything and just tell your partner when to step in; because that still puts all the mental load onto you. Use this empowerment to balance the load and put an end to “my husband doesn’t help!”