8 Ways to Tackle Tag-Team Parenting With Multiple Kids
Some parts of the celeb life may seem glamorous, but they’re still parents just like us: Case in point, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. Now that they’re parents of a newborn and a toddler, they’re doing more than just sharing home-life duties. “The idea of splitting up is a little different than what we had before,” Legend told Us Weekly. “But it’s good to have two of us there to handle the two of them.” If you’re just like Teigen (meaning that you have two children of different ages and a partner who parents them with you — though we won’t complain if you’re also a fab model who’s married to a hottie musician), check out how to use a tag-team parenting approach to caring for your kiddos.
1. Create a double-duty diapering team. Having a baby and a toddler can easily mean two kids in diapers at the same time. Whoa. Pull double doodie duty by taking diapering assignments for the day. Each of you gets one child and sticks to that child for the entire diapering day — no matter what!
2. Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes you need to concentrate on one child. Take a cue from Teigen and Legend’s family division of labor: Legend noted that he takes daughter Luna to play in the yard while Teigen breastfeeds baby Miles. Whether you’re nursing a newborn, working your toddler through a major meltdown, or snuggling with a sad preschooler, separating the kiddos by a wall, a door, or a car drive allows one parent to give 100 percent of their attention to the little love in need.
3. Have four hands on deck. The tag-team parenting approach doesn’t always mean that the two of you have to divide and conquer. Sometimes it’s easier just to put everyone together, giving you four hands instead of two. Whether it’s a baby-toddler bathtime party or a family dinner, the more help the better.
4. Take a temper tantrum break. Your toddler is in major meltdown mode, and there’s no stopping the tantrum. Maybe they’re cranky. Maybe they’re tired. Or maybe they’re just acting like a typical toddler. Whatever the reason, if you have to spend one more minute with a kicking, screaming kiddo, you might start having a tantrum of your own. Give yourself a parenting break, and switch kids. Your other half can deal with the little Mister or Miss Cranky while you cuddle your blissfully sleeping baby.
5. Schedule break times. So sometimes tag-team parenting doesn’t mean that each of you takes one child. Sometimes this approach means that one of you takes both kiddos while the other takes a break.
6. Play favorites. No, not your “favorite” kid. (How could anyone ever choose?) When you’re splitting up responsibilities, take into account what each of you especially enjoys. You could play Go Fish with your preschooler all day long, but your honey has been hanging with your four-year-old as you rock the baby to sleep. It’s perfectly okay to admit that you enjoy some parts of parenting over the others. While you can’t have all the giggles and rainbows to yourself, you can negotiate a duty split that allows you to take on at least a few of your favorite roles/activities.
7. Tag, you’re it. Raising kids is not a chore — at least, it shouldn’t be. Mix up this whole zone defense parenting approach with some fun. If you see your significant other struggling, adding in a pinch of humor can make their day just a teeny bit better. Tag your partner out and tap yourself in, offering to take on the more stressful situation. If they’re taking on their fair share of the parenting work, they’ll return the favor when you’re the one in need.
8. Bond because of it. It’s easy for the physical separation of switching off parenting duties to turn into a mental or emotional one. To avoid letting this happen, use your tag-team approach as a bonding experience. Watch your S.O. as they play dress-up, cut grapes into quarters, or bathe baby. Even though you’re both busy with separate responsibilities, you’re working as a team. And that’s something to bond over!
Tweet us your strategies for coordinating parenting with your partner @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)