Healthy living

How new dads can help around the house

The average Australian man these days does more housework than his father, but not by much. In most households, it is still the woman who takes responsibility for housework actually getting done. (Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2009. Australian Social Trends: Trends in Household Work. Cat. No. 4102.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.)

Most women love it when their man does housework without being asked or reminded.

Of course, there are some who prefer to do it themselves so it’s done in a ‘particular way’, but even these women need help after a baby is born.

Below are some common household chores to help you take initiative without having to ask, ‘What needs to be done?’ at a time when both your minds will be fuzzy from lack of sleep.

  • Cleaning and putting away dishes
  • Making beds
  • Preparing and cooking meals
  • Taking out rubbish
  • Collecting mail
  • Making a shopping list
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Washing
  • Hanging out washing
  • Folding and putting away washing
  • Cleaning bathroom and toilet
  • Dusting and vacuuming
  • Outside sweeping and gardening
  • Home repairs
  • Paying bills

Perhaps you don’t need this list to remind you what needs doing. If that’s the case, maybe you’d like to use the list differently.

Both parents experience changes in their lives and their roles when a baby comes along. Perhaps you and your partner could put your name next to the tasks you will be responsible for? This way, you can redistribute the workload to create better balance with your other commitments, such as baby care and paid work.

Maybe ‘who does what’ is not a problem either – it’s more ‘how do you do anything with a baby!?’ Find out more about how to balance housework and a new baby.


Acknowledgements
Women and Newborns Health Service

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