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Micro-balancing parenting style

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Micro-balancing parenting style

Old 12-06-21, 10:20 AM
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Micro-balancing parenting style

Last night I had my mind blown by my brother-in-law. He came up to MA from NY for his mother's birthday party. He has a child that's just over a year old and it appears that his wife and he try to micro-balance their efforts with their kid. Both of them work from home but she goes to daycare daily. If their kid needs a diaper change when they are home it's apparently closely monitored who does what and when. He felt he was going deep in the hole coming up to MA for an overnight trip and would owe his wife, and not in the sense that 'hey, I owe you one, thanks for letting me do that,' but the balance sheet was deeply out of balance.

They were both here for Thanksgiving and were clearly keeping tabs on one another then too. Can you think of anything more exhausting than raising a child AND keeping tabs on a micro-level of who fed the baby today or changed the last diaper? I can't help but think this is a parenting style that will lead to doom or divorce.
Old 12-06-21, 10:30 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

I agree with your assessment. It's a recipe for disaster.
Old 12-06-21, 10:33 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

What is the purpose of that? The baby doesn't care (or if we're talking bonding it goes far beyond feeding and diaper changes). It sounds like something you do when you don't trust the other person to pull their weight, especially in a situation where, as far as I remember, both people are exhausted and the last thing you need is an excel sheet to fill out.


The other thought I had was that when he hits 18, the kid is going to get an itemized bill for all the caring they did for him since it'll be tracked down to the penny.
Old 12-06-21, 10:40 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

The only thing I could see in defense of that is if one parent has a reputation of not carrying their weight around the house, like in a mentally ill kinda way where they simply couldn't do it on their own without a structured process. An itemized list may be the only way they can keep themselves on track.

When ours was born, he had issues putting on weight so he was on a strict feeding schedule, like he had to be woken up and force fed every couple of hours. We went through so many legal yellow pads with the times and amounts tracked so that we could be sure he was eating enough.
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Old 12-06-21, 10:53 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

I'm not a parent, so what do I know ... but this is their first kid, right?
Old 12-06-21, 11:09 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Scorekeeping kills relationships.

If there's more to the story like milo bloom points out, there is a time and place for what would otherwise seem like over-organization.

The truth is in most hetero couples, even with intentional organization the mother almost always ends up as the default or "primary" parent. It's another another of gendered inequalities in even the best-intended homes. I know it's not easy to admit because lots of guys like to think "I'm not that guy," yet it happens more than we know.
Old 12-06-21, 11:19 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

No the child is pretty healthy and seems to be at or around average for developmental milestones. This is their first child and while my sister-in-law is very schedule driven and likes to have an agenda to follow, there is really no need for it with the child. The whole thing strikes me as quite odd. I know they are very liberal and are going to great lengths to avoid gender-based typing for their kid - I was baffled to hear the phase micro-balancing used. They've been married for around 4 years now and they are both good people but it's just bizarre to me how they treat the baby and responsibilities around it.
Old 12-06-21, 11:33 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

They're intentionally using the term "micro-balancing" to describe how they're doing it? I'm starting to lean more in the "this won't go well" camp, too.

Is it possible they've seen enough horror stories of imbalance with their couples friends that they're swinging way over the other way in response? That happens, too.
Old 12-06-21, 11:46 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

As is usually the case, this odd situation is merely a symptom of personal issues of one or both parties in the marriage. In the end it's those issues, not specifically this micro-balancing thing, that will destroy the marriage if left unaddressed.
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Old 12-06-21, 11:50 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

It almost has to be their first child because by the time the second comes around, nobody has time for that stuff...
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Old 12-06-21, 01:00 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
It almost has to be their first child because by the time the second comes around, nobody has time for that stuff...
This is true.

The only thing I think my wife and I balanced was who got up in the middle of the night to sit with a crying baby. Everything else was whoever was available, did it.

Granted, there was probably a time here or there where one of us changed 4 or 5 poopy diapers in a row and when number 6 rolled around we’d tell the other it it was their turn, etc. I wouldn’t consider that micro balancing though.

And I would consider my wife taking the baby for a weekend as a plus for ME. It gives me a break for a few days and I would owe HER to balance things out.
Old 12-06-21, 01:09 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
I'm not a parent, so what do I know ... but this is their first kid, right?
My thought too.
Old 12-06-21, 01:26 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
This is true.

The only thing I think my wife and I balanced was who got up in the middle of the night to sit with a crying baby. Everything else was whoever was available, did it.

Granted, there was probably a time here or there where one of us changed 4 or 5 poopy diapers in a row and when number 6 rolled around we’d tell the other it it was their turn, etc. I wouldn’t consider that micro balancing though.

And I would consider my wife taking the baby for a weekend as a plus for ME. It gives me a break for a few days and I would owe HER to balance things out.
I think that's what OP is saying, his brother in law came for an overnight without the family and so he's running a deficit on poopy diapers and feeding because she's home with child.
Old 12-06-21, 01:28 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Micro balancing parenting?



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Old 12-06-21, 01:35 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Absolutely nutzo bonkers... We wonder why kids are so screwed up these days?

There is no scorekeeping, no "memory." If they loved each other as a couple, it's self-evident they do it all for the love of their kid anyway. So, keeping score among each other is worse than useless. The only time it *might* make a tiny bit of sense is if an infant is being bottle-fed, and both mom and dad need to get some sleep. Then they can both take turns feeding baby during the wee hours, etc, as that really does need some sort of schedule -- at first, for the first months of life.... Not a 1 year old!
Old 12-06-21, 01:44 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

They gonna be micro balancing the assets when they get divorced.
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Old 12-06-21, 01:53 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I think that's what OP is saying, his brother in law came for an overnight without the family and so he's running a deficit on poopy diapers and feeding because she's home with child.
Gotcha, I read it that he brought the baby with him for the visit.
Old 12-06-21, 01:57 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

It may be an internet parenting fad. Eventually, they'll throw up the spreadsheets with a healthy "Aargh!" and go back to doing things the normal, messed up way.
Old 12-06-21, 02:03 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Eh my husband and I do this but based on hours. I have them from this time to this time and he has them from this time to this time. That way we can make plans, etc. But he left for a week and I was on 24/7 and he doesn't "owe" me that back. He did watch them for me yesterday since I was down and out with the COVID booster and I "owe" him next Sunday after his booster.
Old 12-06-21, 02:53 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Getting ready to have my second in a couple weeks and couldn't imagine having to "keep tabs" that would be exhausting. It just seems like a very bad road to go down.
Old 12-06-21, 05:32 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by bcd View Post
Getting ready to have my second in a couple weeks and couldn't imagine having to "keep tabs" that would be exhausting. It just seems like a very bad road to go down.
If nothing else, it seems like A LOT of wasted energy dealing with it.
Old 12-06-21, 06:22 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Lol, I searched Google for Micro Balancing to see if was some sort of new trendy parenting style, and the first thing that pops up is this DVD Talk thread, again...LOL!!
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Old 12-06-21, 08:01 PM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
Gotcha, I read it that he brought the baby with him for the visit.
Wait a minute ... you didn't take the baby with you? Uh, yeah, no ... of course I knew that honey. I was just ... uh ... joking.

oh shit oh shit oh shit ... there's a frozen pizza in the baby's crib ... oh shit oh shit oh shit ...
Old 12-07-21, 08:47 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

I googled micro balancing and could not find anything in a quick search on my phone before starting the thread. It just strikes me as an exhausting process.
Old 12-07-21, 09:21 AM
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Re: Micro-balancing parenting style

Sounds dumb and exhausting, is probably indicative of an existing problem in their marriage, and will likely expedite their eventual divorce.

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