How to Ask for Help: Sharing Parenting Responsibilities – Unlocking the Power of Teamwork in Parenting


You knew that motherhood wouldn’t be a walk in the park. There would be sleepless nights, never-ending diaper changes, and temper tantrums. But what you didn’t expect was the sheer emotional weight of it all—of having to be everything to everyone all the time. The constant juggling act of work, home, and parenting tasks can make even the strongest among us feel like we’re falling apart. And let’s be real; there are moments when it doesn’t just feel hard. It feels impossible.

a Stressed mom with baby contemplating a long to-do list, highlighting the need for therapy for moms to manage responsibilities.

As a therapist who specializes in therapy for moms, I’ve seen firsthand the emotional, mental, and even physical toll that trying to “do it all” can take on mothers. And that’s why I’m here to talk about something that’s often ignored: asking for help and sharing parenting responsibilities.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into how to tackle the responsibilities of parenting as a team— because it’s time to shift the burden o your shoulders alone. You don’t have to go through this exhausting journey by yourself; help and support are available. Let’s explore how to make that a reality for you.

The Struggles of Asking for Help

Why Moms Find it Difficult to Ask for Help: Societal Expectations, Guilt, and Fear of Judgment

Despite the overwhelming emotional load, many moms hesitate to ask for help. Why is that? There’s a societal expectation that mothers should be superhuman, always sacrificing, always providing, and never showing a crack in the armor. This unrealistic expectation generates a crippling sense of guilt and fear of judgment if you even think of admitting that you need help.

Thoughtful mom pondering the challenges of asking for help, a common topic in therapy for moms.

It’s as though society has created a taboo around a mother asking for assistance. “What will people think?” “Will they think I’m not good enough?” “Am I failing as a mom?” These are some of the debilitating questions that run through your mind. As a therapist specializing in therapy for moms, I can assure you, you’re not alone in this struggle. And you’re definitely not failing— you’re human.

The High Cost of Parental Burnout: The Emotional, Mental, and Physical Toll on You and Your Family

Ignoring these feelings and continuing to tackle parenting alone has consequences, known in therapy circles as parental burnout. This isn’t just fatigue; it’s a profound depletion a ecting your emotional well-being, mental clarity, and even physical health. Burnout doesn’t just impact you; it ripples through your family. Your stress becomes their stress; your exhaustion becomes a shared atmosphere of tension and discontent.

The cost of not asking for help can lead to an emotional toll that becomes increasingly challenging to bear. It can manifest as anxiety, depression, or extreme irritability, affecting not just your health but also your relationships with your partner and children. So, what’s the solution? In my practice, Managing Motherhood, we explore ways to share responsibilities and relieve that burden, benefiting not just you but your entire family.

The Importance of Shared Responsibility

Why Teamwork Makes the Parenting Dream Work: Emotional Support, Sharing Tasks, and Benefits to Your Child’s Development

Here’s the game-changing truth: You don’t have to do it all alone, and honestly, you shouldn’t. Teamwork in parenting is more than just a catchy phrase; it’s a lifeline. By sharing the responsibilities, you’re opening up space for emotional support, not just from your partner but also from extended family and friends who want to be involved.

Moreover, distributing tasks isn’t just a weight o your shoulders; it’s an asset to your child’s development. Children flourish in environments where the workload and emotional labor are equitably divided. They learn important life skills like teamwork, empathy, and the value of communal e orts. Plus, when you’re not stretched to your limit, the quality of your parenting soars. You’re more present, more engaged, and more emotionally available for your kids. In therapy for moms, I often discuss these ripple effects and how to set up systems to share the workload effectively.

It’s Not Just About You, It’s About the Family: The Positive Impact of Shared Responsibility on the Entire Family Unit

The benefits of sharing responsibilities extend far beyond your well-being; it positively impacts the entire family. A more balanced home life creates a stable environment for your children, reduces tension between you and your partner, and sets the stage for more quality family time. In an equitable partnership, everyone wins.

Techniques for Equitable Division of Tasks

Prioritizing Tasks: What Needs to Be Done – Creating a Comprehensive List of Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks

Knowing you need to share responsibilities is one thing, but how do you actually go about dividing tasks in a fair and manageable way? The first step is prioritization. Create a comprehensive list of tasks that are crucial to your daily, weekly, and monthly family life. This exercise is eye-opening; you may not even realize the extent of what you’ve been managing until you see it laid out on paper.

Breaking down tasks in this way also makes it easier to categorize them based on urgency, importance, and the skill set needed. From laundry and meal planning to school pickups and healthcare appointments, it all matters. In therapy for moms, I often guide clients through this process, helping them to see not just the magnitude of their responsibilities, but also the opportunities for delegation.

Discuss, Delegate, and Document: How to Have an Open Conversation About Dividing Tasks and Keeping Track

Once you have a well-defined list, the next step is to have an open and honest conversation with your partner or support network about how to fairly divide these responsibilities. Discuss what each task entails and who is best suited to handle it. The key here is equitable distribution, not necessarily an equal 50/50 split of tasks.

After delegating tasks, it’s crucial to document who is responsible for what. Whether it’s a shared digital calendar, a family management app, or good old-fashioned pen and paper, keeping track helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. It also serves as a point of reference for any future discussions about adjustments or additional help needed.

If this all sounds overwhelming, that’s okay. It’s why I o er therapy specifically tailored for moms, helping you navigate these kinds of challenges in a supportive, constructive way. With resources like Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and individual therapy sessions, you’ll find a safe space to work through these issues and more. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation today.

Building a Supportive Parenting Partnership

Open Communication is Key: The Importance of Regular CheckIns to Improve the Parenting Partnership

One of the pillars of a supportive parenting partnership is open, honest communication. It’s not enough to just divide tasks and hope for the best. A thriving partnership requires regular check-ins to discuss what’s working and what isn’t. These conversations should be safe spaces where both partners can express their needs, frustrations, and appreciations.

Regular check-ins serve multiple purposes: they help fine-tune the division of tasks, foster emotional connection, and provide a forum for preemptive problem-solving. Think of these as ‘relationship tune-ups’ that keep the engine of your parenting partnership running smoothly. As a therapist focused on moms, I often facilitate these conversations, providing a neutral ground where both partners can be heard and understood.

Note: here’s a guide on the exact how-to’s of a weekly check-in: The Transformative Power of Weekly Check-ins

Co-Parenting Therapy and Parent Coaching: When Extra Support is Necessary and Beneficial

Even with the best of intentions and open lines of communication, sometimes you need additional resources. This is where co-parenting therapy and parent coaching can prove invaluable. These interventions provide structured learning and personalized guidance to help you become better parents and partners.

Whether you’re struggling with specific parenting issues like discipline and boundaries or grappling with shared responsibilities, these additional support systems can o er actionable strategies. In my practice, Managing Motherhood, we delve into specialized methods like Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and o er parent coaching and couples/ individual therapy tailored to individual family needs.

Conclusion: Managing Motherhood Through Shared Responsibilities

You’ve come a long way in recognizing the weight of your responsibilities and the benefits of sharing them. Acknowledging the struggle is the first step, but what comes next? That’s where Managing Motherhood can help. Specializing in therapy for moms, my practice o ers a range of services tailored to your unique needs. From individual therapy sessions tackling issues like postpartum depression, burnout, and “mom rage,” to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy designed to enhance the family unit, there’s a supportive solution for you.

If you’re in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, virtual therapy is readily available. For those outside these areas, parent coaching can provide invaluable guidance and actionable strategies to help you share the parenting load more e ectively. Your mental health is crucial, not just for you but for your family’s overall well-being. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation to learn more.

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