real life

When it comes to raising babies, there are 'Mum jobs' and 'Dad jobs'.

Being a first-time parent is hard enough, without the mum vs dad power struggle taking hold.

Remember how freaked out you were the first time that tiny little baby was placed in your arms and you eventually were allowed to TAKE THEM HOME? Nothing prepares you for that moment. That feeling.

Becoming a parents is equal parts joyous and terrifying and a new Australian reality TV show captures this dichotomy perfectly. Crash Test Mummies & Daddies follows the lives of five sets of first-time parents for the first four months of their babies lives. And one thing is made very clear:

Everyone finds it difficult.

But the main one is that there’s never a more challenging time in a relationship than in those first few months of being first-time parents.

It’s those first few weeks that sorts the men from the boys, and the women from the girls. Think breast milk, think sleep struggles, think nappy changes, think frustration.

But watching these five couples struggle with, well, everything, brings home an age-old fact that will never change:

When it comes to looking after newborns, there are ‘Mum jobs’ and ‘Dad jobs’ and no matter how equal we think we are, this will always be the case.

Premiering on Wednesday 10 September.

Mum jobs include:


Dad jobs include:

Handing the baby to the mum for a feed;

Burping the baby after a feed;

Helping to store any expressed breast milk;

Changing nappies, as instructed by the mum;

Dressing the baby, in the clothes laid out by the mum;

Ducking for cover.

It's just really really hard in those first few weeks and months because the mum is struggling to recover physically and emotionally from the birth, as well as, trying to deal with inflamed emotions courtesy of never-before-experienced unconditional love for a child and hormones.



So when the dad does do more than most, and is happy to be hands on, it's still not good enough. Because it can leave mums feeling left out.

A couple on the show, Harriet and Marty, split up shortly before becoming first-time parents together and it was a difficult birth, which later impacted Harriet.

"Marty's really been amazing and I know that I shouldn't be feeling a bit left out. I know that's a bit silly but I feel like I missed out a bit because I wasn't able to look after her for the first couple of days because I was recovering. I was too ill. So that by the time I was actually able to get out of bed and do stuff for her it had already been established that that's his job."

This show is incredibly intimate, exploring the relationships of the parents, the different dynamics and the common struggles of being first time parents.

For those expectant parents who tune in, you'll probably watching it and experience a combination of amusement and morbid fascination. You still think you'll find it all easier, don't you?

And for those of us who have older kids, we'll watch it and experience a profound sense of relief. Thank God our baby days are O-V-E-R.

What is the one thing about the newborn baby stage that you are glad is OVER?

Crash Test Mummies & Daddies starts on Wednesday 10 September at 9.30pm on ABC2.

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