It’s a common point of dispute between new parents: who has it tougher, the partner who stays home with the baby or the partner who goes out to work?

It’s hard to imagine the exhaustion looking after a new baby can bring, or the frustrations of wrangling a toddler. But going out to work all day and then home to a house of kiddy mayhem; or missing out completely on time with the kids because of long hours can also be hard.

In the second episode of the Equilibrium Challenge, construction manager Adrian Cory and his wife Nicola get a unique perspective of each other’s challenges.

adrian_nicolaAdrian is leaving at 3pm three days a week to collect his daughter Jasmine from childcare. Meanwhile Nicola has started a new job.

Adrian discovers that the hard deadline of childcare pick-up moves for no work emergency – if you’ve got to pick up your kid, you’ve got to pick them up.

And most surprisingly, the vision he had of afternoons playing at the park with Jasmine isn’t quite what he thought.

“I don’t think I fully appreciated how much work Nicola did with Jasmine. I think I took it with a grain of salt, I felt like I’d be able to grab Jassy and take her for a lot more walks and to the parks – but I don’t have the time to do that! By the time I pick her up from daycare and put her to sleep, it’s full on.

“The role reversal is quite dramatic actually! I appreciate what Nicola has done a lot more; dealing with a crying baby while trying to do 10 things is quite difficult.”

Meanwhile Nicola is also coming to terms with her new circumstances, which sometimes mean long hours at work and getting home after Jasmine is in bed.

“I can now see how it feels to be the one coming home and not being able to have any interaction with our daughter, so there is certainly that newfound appreciation for each other – and sympathy I guess.”

Watch Adrian’s latest episode here and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Who has it tougher: the parent at home or the parent at work?

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