The ratio of late-night feedings was far from equal for this couple, and that’s okay.
In a perfect world, a parenting couple would divide responsibilities equally. But, in reality? That’s just not how it works. The statistics show that while most modern dads want to do half of the childcare, they admit that’s not what’s happening in their homes.
Celebrity dads are not immune to this—including Ashton Kutcher. Speaking to fellow celebrity father Dax Shepard on his podcast, Armchair Expert, Kutcher got honest about the unequal division of late-night labor in his household. He also rightfully gave credit to wife Mila Kunis for shouldering more of the burden with those sleepless nights they experienced with 3-year-old Wyatt and 1-year-old Dimitri during the infant days.
“Because she was breastfeeding the kids, she did way more than her share,” Kutcher says. “I would say probably 80/20 because she could go and breastfeed them and put them back down when they were little. I mean, now they don't wake up at night, which is good.”
The situation Kutcher describes isn’t unusual, and it doesn’t make him a bad co-parent. (Other than the fact that, as someone with a 2-year-old who wakes up most nights, I am in awe at the idea of little Dimitri not waking up at night at just 1 year old.)
As Registered Midwife CJ Blennerhasset previously explained to Motherly, couples often want to divide late-night feedings 50/50, but more often than not one parent ends up doing most of it—especially when that parent is breastfeeding.
According to Blennerhasset, it can be hard for a co-parent to realize that they’re only doing 20% of late-night feedings, but accepting that that’s what works and helping with other forms of childcare can help. Just because he didn’t get up with the babies as much at night doesn’t make Kutcher a lesser parent or spouse.
“Partners and [family] members can find other ways to support that workload,” Blennerhasset said. “That’s okay.”
For Kutcher and Kunis, the parenting workload has already changed as the time of late-night feedings has come and gone—for good. Kunis recently revealed the couple has completed their family. “I will only have two,” Kunis said. “Right now, we’re fine. One hand, one hand. One eye, one eye. Two people, two kids.”
That sounds pretty close to 50/50 to me.