When I first came home with our twins, my husband tried to be supportive, but really had no clue how he should be helping out. However, in a short amount of time he learned very quickly to fulfill the unmet needs around our house. He observed that there were days when I did not have the strength or time to tidy up the house, cook, take care of our little babies, and myself too. I am so thankful that he stepped in and took care of the things I wasn’t able to complete. Here are a few ways that new dads can be supportive.
- Help feed. If your wife is not exclusively nursing your child you have help give the baby a bottle from time to time.
- Change diapers. Regardless of poo or pee diapers, Mom needs you to change a few to give her a break.
- Hold, cuddle, and play with the baby. The baby needs to bond with you as well. Get to know and love your child too.
- Assist Mom. Bring her water, or food. Continue to encourage and shower her with compliments. At first, mommy-hood can be stressful and even confusing at times, when we are first learning the ropes we need consistent affirmation.
- Ask her how you can help, she may say prop pillows or that she isn’t sure. Either way use my suggestions as a quick guide to help you be supportive.
- Massage Mom
- Cook or order out for Mom
- Offer to watch the baby/babies for an hour or two while she has some “MOM-me” time.
- Tell her she is pretty.
- Surprise her with something nice she will appreciate. At first, all the focus will seem to be on the baby, but after a week it is important to gain balance and structure so that you or her won’t get depressed.
- Help out around the house. (i.e., wash bottles, dishes, bathrooms, etc.)
- Wash clothes. Separate like colors and follow the instructions on your laundry detergent and you will feel like a “domestic king.” Mom will also love how helpful you are.
- Be patient. There are days when it will seem like she doesn’t care about you the way she did before the baby. This is when you should think about the beauty of parenthood and just be patient, she will learn how to balance her love for you and baby. This juggling act takes some time to learn, but she still adores you. When baby is older, find a sitter that you both approve of and go out and have a good time with each other.
- Be confident. You may not know how to care of baby at first, but you will learn. Spend time with your child to help them become familiar with your voice and touch. Remember the child needs you too.
- Try alternate days when you and Mom gets up with the baby during the night. Yes, you will need your rest for work, but she also will need her rest too to be in a better state of mind to care for baby. On the contrary, if your wife is solely breastfeeding, at first she will need to continue to get up during the night to feed the baby so that her milk supply will be well established.
- Don’t worry, children are resilient. If you don’t do everything by the text book your child will probably be OK. Pray, read books on parenting or find a daddy blog to help you cope and guide you throughout this new experience. It may also be helpful if you find a friend that is a dad to help you along your way if you have any questions or just want to vent and talk about the experience.
- Love. Remember you or loved, share your love with Mom and baby, and let your actions be guided in LOVE. If love is your motivation everything, will be received in a better positive light and you will grow together in peace and happiness.
Moms, if there is anything you think I should add, please comment and let me know.
Falling in love — and then making it ...