A new baby is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. But while your wife may have dreamed about being a mother since she was a child herself and has taken to her new role naturally, maybe you’re still feeling a little unsure about your own role as a new father. It is very easy to be a bit intimidated to be a new parent because the baby is so tiny and fragile. But don’t worry – these tips will help you adjust to your new job in a snap.
You’re Not Perfect
The first thing to remember is that you’re never going to be the perfect father. That might not sound pleasant, but somewhere along the lines you are going to make a few mistakes. Many men feel the pressure to do everything perfectly, which is just going to lead to failure and feelings of inadequacy. Know from the start that you’re going to make mistakes and be prepared to learn from them and do better the next time.
Trial and Error
People talk about how parents learn to interpret their secret language of their baby’s cries. While it is true that you will learn to read signs from your baby, there will be sometimes you won’t have a clue what they are crying about. Don’t give up after you have tried everything and feel like your ears are going to burst from the screaming. Try everything again – sometimes the second or third time is the charm. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply to let them cry it out. It might not feel like it at the moment, but eventually the baby will stop crying.
Ask for Help
Most men consider it humiliating to ask someone for help, but you are dealing with a lot of things you never have dealt with before. If your wife is primarily caring for the baby, don’t feel bad asking her how to do something – she will be happy you are making an effort. Your parents are also a great source of information and wisdom. After all, they raised you. If your friends already have kids, they will help shed light on the ways of fatherhood. Parenting books usually have good advice too. While you can buy them new, you probably will have good luck finding them secondhand in like new condition – check Ebay, junk shops, and the library. And when all else fails, Google is always available to answer questions.
Be a Man – Change the Baby’s Diaper
Sure, you don’t really want to change the baby’s diaper. You probably think it’s disgusting and are eager to dismiss it and other undesirable tasks as “woman’s work”. But let’s face it – do you really think your wife fantasizes about changing diapers? She hates it just as much as you do. Be a man and step up to help your wife with these less than fun tasks. She will really appreciate the help and will brag to her friends about it.
Don’t Forget Your Woman
Everyone focused on your wife throughout her pregnancy, but now that the baby is here she is now second fiddle. She has been through a lot this past year – her changing body, hormones, giving birth, and now meeting the demands of a newborn. There are so many things you can do to help her feel great. Tell her that she’s beautiful, even if she’s not perfectly back in shape yet. Take her out to a nice dinner. Talk to her about things other than the baby. Watch the baby while she gets a much needed nap. Clean the house so she does not have to.
Having a new baby may be scary and intimidating, but with a little bit of practice and experience you will be an old pro before you know it. Fatherhood is a journey – enjoy every moment of it!