My cousin Jason just became a Dad earlier this year. I pondered as a parent coach what advice would I give him if he asked. He did not ask and I am grateful because I really had no idea. Now, that I do I thought I would share with all of you new Dads. The first thing I would say is your wife has spent a lot of time pregnant and caring for your child. Sometimes after the baby is born she can get a little selfish and try and push you away from her and the baby. This is just a phase, be sure to push back and remind her it is not her and your child against the world. It is you and she against the world on behalf of your child. Be patient it will pass, but insist on your being a part of both of their lives. Keep in mind she is not rejecting you she is focusing on attaching to your child. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with that responsibility and cannot see clearly. We need you to help us maintain an equilibrium. Do not abandon us to the overwhelming responsibility remind us you share it.
- Hire a postpartum doula if you think your wife needs support she is not getting. They work with women for three months after the baby comes. Or if she is pregnant now a doula helps with pregnancy and childbirth. Here is an interview I did with 2 douas.
- Hold and talk to your infant daily.
- Be a part of daily care: feed, bathe, change diapers
- Give your wife time to bathe and shower
- Insist on caring for the baby while she goes out, plan for her sisters and friends to take her out for an evening while you stay home, then plan for the two of you to go out and have someone else care for the baby. She will push back do it anyway.
- Remind her and yourself that she is a wife first. Sometimes we get bogged down in our role as mother. Remind her in 18 years this child will be leaving buy you both will still be together. You are building a life together. Be gentle do it with cards, flowers, cooking a meal, and being her partner by talking with her.
- Speak her love language on a consistent basis. If you have not read Dr. Gary Chapman's book on the Five Love Languages do so now and find out your wife's love language and speak it often!
- Meet with other Dad's who have kids your age and talk about being a husband and a dad. Find out how other guys are handling the issues you face and share. Support each other. Your wife is not a man and contrary to popular opinion you are not the same. Talk with other men.
- Read the books the books the Gift of Honor and The Gift of Blessing
Believe in Parenting
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