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Gender Equality Parenting: What is it and WHY is it important?

Gender equality parenting - what is it and why is it important - Titty City Design - A baby changes everything 

Estimated read time: 15 minutes

When you have a baby, your whole world changes.

Your home suddenly becomes a much busier place. Cleaning, washing, caring for your children, preparing meals…the list is endless.

A lot of the time it feels like it’s down to the mom to do “the house stuff,” as well as being the main caregiver. This is something that has been going on for millennia, and, in a lot of ways, it can feel like not much has changed.

But sharing the invisible work of caring for and nurturing your child, as well as the general parenting and household responsibilities needs to be a joint effort. Just because you had the baby, you’re feeding the baby, and you spend more time at home with the baby, doesn’t mean that all the responsibility should be down to you. 

Parenting is a partnership. And we’re going to look a little closer at gender equality parenting and why it matters.

What is gender equality parenting?

Parenting comes with responsibilities, challenges, and joys. But, in our society, it isn’t shared equally. Just look at the differences between maternity and paternity leave. Women can often be held back in the workplace as she focuses on their child and home, and men are denied the opportunity to care for their little ones and spend time with them, as well as help out more around the home. 

Gender equality parenting begins in your home when moms and dads share both parenting and domestic work equally.  

Parenting and the gender gap

Even with all the strides made in gender equality, there is still a pretty big gap in how parents contribute to the household. Research shows that in households where both parents work:

  • 62% of moms take less than an hour for themselves
  • 55% of mamas take time off to care for their kids when they’re sick
  • 54% of moms manage all the schedules and activities
  • 61% of mamas handle most of the chores themselves

Yep. Welcome to the world of invisible labor of motherhood.

When a woman doesn’t feel tied down to doing everything herself, her life can be transformed. She can have time to concentrate on other things that matter to her, whether it’s working and bringing home the bacon, or spending time working on her physical and mental wellbeing. This can improve self-confidence and the feeling of self-worth, which in turn can lead to better mental health and a stronger interaction and bond with both her children and her partner. Creating a positive impact on the family dynamic and the child’s neurodevelopment.

But, hey. It’s not just good news for the mama. Studies have shown that a positive home environment can positively affect a child’s overall development, and seeing both parents sharing the workload can help their relationships way into adulthood. It benefits dads too. By sharing domestic work and being engaged, it can lead to stronger and more equitable partner relations. Creating a more harmonious and happy home. 

While every situation is different, and every home is unique, there are some ways you can involve your partner in certain areas, starting from when you’re pregnant. Let’s have a look at a few of these now mama, and start making some amazing changes today.

Mom quote, breastfeeding quote: you're worth is not defined by your role as a mother

How to involve your partner in pregnancy

It can be super easy to think of pregnancy as a woman’s domain, and for partners to feel kinda sidelined during the pregnancy. It’s also common for a lot of dads-to-be to take time before the whole thing feels real to them. Taking time to adjust to the idea of parenthood is normal for partners. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening and they shouldn’t be involved in the pregnancy every step of the way.  

Emotional support during pregnancy is so important and there are lots of ways you can get your partner to take an active role so you get the support you need. 

#1 Ask him to come to all your appointments.

Scans, midwife appointments, doctor visits, there are a lot of appointments to go to during pregnancy. Write all your appointments down in the calendar and speak to your partner about getting time off work to attend them with you. By going with you, your partner will have the opportunity to ask any questions and feel more involved with everything that’s going on.

#2 Sign him up for pregnancy tracker apps.

These apps are so much fun as you can get weekly updates on your baby’s development. He’ll be able to see how your little bun is getting on and start to get excited as he pictures your baby growing.

#3 Decorate the nursery together.

Block out some time to look at paint and wallpaper samples and create a list of everything you need for the baby. Get him to research cribs and strollers and envision what you think the nursery should look like together. This is such a fun project to do as a team as you envision your little one in their very own bedroom.

#4 Bump bonding.

You’re the one who gets to feel every kick and wriggle, which can leave partners feeling disconnected from your bump. Encourage your partner to bond with your bump by talking to it, feeling it every time the baby kicks or moves, and snuggling up with it. Your baby will start to get familiar with your partner’s voice and might even respond when they hear it!

#5 Go to prenatal classes together.

Not only will your partner (and you) learn about pregnancy, birth, and beyond, but he’ll have the opportunity to meet other dads-to-be and form new friendships.

#6 Write a joint birth plan.

Your partner has a very important role when it comes time for you to give birth, so it’s a good idea to write your birth plan together. This will prepare both of you for the birth and will allow him to advocate for you if he needs to. Encourage him to pack his own hospital bag too, and talk about the kinds of things he’ll need to pack in it. 

Involving your partner in breastfeeding 

Because it’s the mama who breastfeeds, women often become the main carer for the baby. Oh – the baby’s hungry, give him to mom. Oops – the baby is fussy, must need a snuggle from mom. OMG, the baby won’t sleep – maybe he needs a Titty top-up.

Breastfeeding to partners can be a tricky thing to share. After all, your baby is feeding from you, so how can your partner be involved? 

Well. Dads and partners can get involved with breastfeeding too and be amazing support

The easiest way to do this is to pump and express milk so they can feed your baby with a bottle. This way your baby is still getting your magic milk and your partner can enjoy spending time cuddling with the little muffin while nourishing him. If you’re happy to express, then why not set a time in the day when your partner can bottle feed? That way you know when you need to pump, and that you’ll have a little alone time when they can take over. 

Even if you don’t pump, your partner can be at hand to support you. Let them know what you need (a drink, snack, or the remote), and use the nursing time as a chance to enjoy some quality time together. You can both snuggle up together in the evenings and watch Netflix as your milk makers do their thang! And if you want your partner to be even more involved, then as soon as you’re done nursing, hand your baby over and leave the room for a bath or a nap. This will give you time to refresh and your partner precious solo time with your little one. 

How to share parenting responsibilities

Let’s be frank – it’s not fair when one parent does all the parenting – it took both of you to make your baby, right? 

And even if you’re both changing your fair share of diapers, we can bet our bottom dollar that it’s you who’s researching daycares, creating birthday gift lists, mentally writing the grocery list, and sending yourself a reminder to buy a present for his mom’s birthday! And while he probably gets looks of admiration or praise when he takes the baby out for a couple of hours, we’ll bet no one has ever congratulated you on all the things that magically get done without being asked. 

Most dads want to take on a more active role in the home, but it’s still the moms that handle the mental load (or mother’s burden) of parenting. Doctor’s appointments, staying on top of emails from school, remembering to buy smooth peanut butter instead of chunky because your little love doesn’t like bits! 

Sound familiar? OK mama. Let’s put a stop to all that.

Here are a few tips to help share parenting responsibilities:

Work together.

You’re a team. Whether he works and you’re a stay-at-home mom doesn’t matter. The house is yours and your children are yours. Work together (constantly and consistently) around the house. Whether it’s chores, bathing the kids, preparing dinner, paying bills, doing yard work… whatever. By working together daily you’ll have the opportunity to see each other’s lives and respect one another.

Share a routine.

When you’re both so busy, it can help to have a routine that you stick to. Create a weekly schedule and include everything from housework and grocery shopping to childcare and downtime. You can switch it up a bit each week, but when it’s written down, it’s easier to stick to and you’ll appreciate each other’s contributions even more.

Communicate.

Good communication is key when it comes to sharing household and childcare duties. You need to always be open and honest with each other and voice any concerns you might have. 

Go easy on your partner.

They might be totally new to some of the jobs, so going easy on them and trying to give up a little control is needed. 

Support each other.

Always show appreciation and encouragement for each other. You’re both in this together and being each other’s cheerleaders can make a huge difference to your confidence. 

Enjoy each other.

The early months of parenting can be tough, and eat up all your time. But it’s important to find time to spend together too. Try going for regular walks with your baby snoozing in the buggy, date nights on the couch (or out of the house if you can get a sitter), or just an hour a day where you enjoy a meal together. Little things like this can make a huge difference while keeping communication open in a relaxed way.

Boob Socks

Parenting should be an equal role

And we’re so proud of you for doing such an amazing job. But if you ever feel unsupported, or like the burden of parenting is solely on your shoulders, then you need to speak up. Have a conversation with your partner and be open and honest about your feelings. Change can only happen when we make it happen, so be strong mama. You’ve got this. 

At Titty City Design, we believe that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. We are a female-owned and operated, small business here to spread self-love and body positivity with our line of boob apparel, boob accessories, and boob-themed decor and products for the home. A portion of our proceeds goes to help support postpartum people and breast cancer patients.

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