Parenting in your Lane

My wife and I have a parenting style we refer to as “Staying in your lane.”

It isn’t for all families, but it works for us. Staying in your lane, basically means you do your things, I’ll stay out of the way, and I’ll do mine and you stay out of my way.


I do the laundry in our house. Except for the occasional load every few weeks, laundry is in my lane. I like it this way. I have a system. I know I can’t start a load of clothes that need to be hang dried if I just filled the drying rack with other clothes. I know how many days I can go before the kids’ laundry needs done AGAIN, and which baskets their clothes go into so they can put it away. It’s my lane.

Also in my lane are the quick weeknight meals. I’m in charge of the schedules, I know if there’s drama club from 5-6 and baseball at 6:30 that it means we’re eating a fast, simple early dinner. Or if my wife has a late meeting, I may make something for the kids early and a nicer dinner for us afterwards.

Weekend meals are a different story, that’s my wife’s lane. Her off-work weekends are when she busts out all the cookbooks and spends hours making French pot roast or some other insanely delicious meal. Her lane.

In our house, my wife goes to work. She makes the money. She works a lot of irregular hours. That’s also her lane.

Earlier this spring, she was encouraging me to sign the kids up for summer camps, so I wouldn’t have six gigantic brown eyeballs staring back at me on the fist day of summer vacation wondering how they were going to be entertained this summer. That was an example of her swerving into my lane.

Every family has their own way of dividing up tasks around the house. Ours may not be typical but it’s something that works for our family.

Stay in your lane. The road of parenting is much safer that way.

How about you? Do you have particular lanes you stay in at home?


Brian "Pete"
Brian "Pete"
Indianapolis Stay-at-Home Dad to three kids, ages nine, six and four. Blogger and monthly print columnist for Indy’s Child, Cincinnati Parent and Dayton Parent magazines. Fifth grade class spelling bee runner-up. Gold Award Winner at the Parenting Media Association Editorial and Design Awards for Best Blog/Blogger.

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