Mum reveals the one question working parents need to ask stay-at-home partners when they get home - and ‘it helps so much’ with the mental load

 A mum carrying a young girl pictured from behind while staring out the window.
A mum carrying a young girl pictured from behind while staring out the window.

A mum-of-three has shared one question her working partner asks that helps them manage the mental load together.

Being a stay-at-home parent is hard work. Getting the kids washed, dressed and fed every day, doing the school run and then keeping them entertained when they're at home is a full-time job in itself, so it's no wonder that so many struggle with explaining the mental load (sometimes known as kinkeeping). After all, a recent poll found that parents say staying at home with the kids is harder than a 9 to 5.

And for the parents who do stay at home with the kids, it can be difficult when their working partner comes home and jumps into family life - while they might be trying to help, the first thing they decide to do might not be what you need right now. Former elementary principal and mum-of-three Beth Ann Tieche (aka @lowliftfun) on Instagram has shared how she and her partner resolved the issue.

In a video posted on Instagram, Beth explained, "When I was a stay at home mom of 3 under 3 a few years ago, I discovered ONE question that I needed my husband to ask me every day when he got home from work.

"I asked him to check in by asking me, ‘What would be most helpful right now?’ What I needed most totally depended on the day. We still do this years later, because it helps SO MUCH."

A post shared by Beth Ann Tieche

A photo posted by lowliftfun on

Stay at home parents will know that what they need from their partner can change from day to day, which is why this question works so well. In the caption, Beth says, "Sometimes it was most helpful for him to take my oldest to the park, so I could breastfeed the twins in quiet. Sometimes it was most helpful if he covered all the kids, so I could go for a walk or make dinner alone.

"There are so many moving pieces with parenting young kids - over communicating around what’s happening and who’s doing what is a cornerstone of our happiness as a couple and family."

Beth and her partner still ask each other this question today, even though her kids are older, "because the caregiver who has been on duty knows what’s happening and can share what would be most helpful for them."

Her experience resonated with her followers, with one writing in the comments, "Love that! When my husband checks in I appreciate it so much. The days can feel very long when you’re not talking to an adult".

Another said, "I love this. Such a simple question but yet such a big help. I need to implement this with my husband!"

In related news, if you hate playing with your kid then know that you are not alone - a parenting psychologist has revealed three reasons why playing with your kid feels like a chore.