New dads: Here are 8 ways to support your partner
Now that you've got a baby in your life, your partner needs your support now more than ever. Here are some tips on how new dads can support mums
Hello, new dad. You’ve got a long and exhausting journey ahead of you, but we promise that it’s worth it. There’s nothing quite as exciting and rewarding as fatherhood, and if you put in the effort, you’ll definitely agree.
Plenty of dads relegate parenting duties to their partner, which is not only unfair to the mother of your child, it also robs you of the joys of being an involved father. Your partner is probably tired from giving birth and emotionally drained from the hormonal fluctuations. She might not be acting her usual angelic self as well, but trust us, she needs your support.
Here’s how you can make these first years as new parents as fruitful and fulfilling as possible.
1. Take a paternity break
Though a lot of companies now offer paternity breaks, not all dads take them. In fact, some dads even take pride in not taking a break after welcoming a new child. This mindset needs to be corrected, and stat.
It’s vital that you’re home during this time because it’s when you, your baby, and your partner are getting used to your new family dynamic. Take time off work, and take it easy at home. Limit visitors in the early days to let your partner recover.
2. Give her a break
When you get home from work, don’t nag her about the bills, or ask her why she hasn’t changed from her PJs, or complain about the mess. Your partner will have her bad days, and it’s important that you don’t get on her case for that. Instead, help her out around the house, make her some food, give her a kiss, and show her how much you care.
3. Let her sleep
Both of you will be plenty tired, but giving birth has taken a huge physical toll on your partner. Plus, now she’s making milk for your baby. Let her rest and recover. Feed your baby in the early morning and let your partner sleep. This will help her be in better spirits, helping her become a better mother and partner.
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4. Affirm her
Tell her how much you love her. Tell her that she’s a great mother. Tell her she’s beautiful. Appreciate her for the little things. If she becomes short with you, try your best to be patient and remember that she’s emotional and vulnerable right now.
5. Carry your baby
Take a load off your partner’s hands—literally—by carrying your baby whenever you can. You can wear your baby. Who doesn’t love seeing a baby-wearing man?
6. Remember: you’re not “babysitting”
You are a parent. It is your job to parent. You’ll be getting a lot of praise from family, friends, and strangers for the most basic things, and that’s fine. But while you’ll be getting a lot of positive affirmation, mothers tend to be more taken for granted, and are even criticised for the smallest things. Subtly remind them about how great of a mother your partner is.
7. Suck it up.
If you’re nervous about the idea of dressing your baby or changing his diaper because you’re worried you might do it wrong, just do it. You have so many resources at your fingertips, and how-to articles and videos are your best friend. Remember: you won’t get better at it unless you try.
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