The 6 Myths of Christmas

Myth #4: Go Team!

Myth #4: My husband will be there to do half the work.

If you have an older child, you may already be chuckling at this one. Dads -- and I'll admit to making a sweeping, sexist generalization here -- have a unique ability to tune out childcare duties when they want to. Last Christmas I watched my cousin's wife, Vicki, put her kids, then 3 and 1, down for naps, supervise potty time with the older, change the diaper of the younger, retrieve snacks, and so on. She'd occasionally poke her head into the living room, trying to add to the conversation going on in there, but mostly she was on mommy duty.

That is, until she insisted her husband take on daddy duty. And that's the only way to eke out adult time: You must take shifts with your significant other. This might mean prying him away from a football game or an "important" political conversation. No doubt you'll both end each day slightly resentful after hours of trading the baby. But fair is fair: Don't let him get out of his half of the work. Just remember that men aren't mind readers and may miss subtle signals we send. I've sighed and mumbled about being exhausted in front of my husband, Byron, but he won't take Grace until I tell him, "I need you to take her for a while!" He's always willing to help -- if I spell out what I need.

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