“Having a staring contest with a newborn is one of the weirdest things you will ever do. And, it is highly recommended.” – Ross McCammon
Having a baby is a huge deal. More focus is placed on the mother; her changing body, what she has to do and how she has to do it. But there doesn’t seem to be much focus on how I, as a father, can prepare myself for fatherhood. For a man, it can be puzzling and confusing having to deal with all the changes that is happening to his wife and at the same time, imagine that he will soon be a father. The moment usually strikes him on the day of labor, but there are ways you can prepare yourself and we are here to help you.
- You can be enforcer and encourager of your wife.
- Learn to be flexible and patient.
- Support your partner.
Join your Partner for her Ante-natal classes
Before the baby comes, labour comes. You need to know what to do when your partner is grunting and cussing at you. What is your role? How do I ease her pain? And what can I do to make this time less difficult. The answer is: Go to her ante-natal classes. If you think it is weird, it isn’t.
This is where you learn what your wife ought to do and you can take on the role of enforcer and encourager. This means that you remind your wife what she needs to do and encourage her to do better. Ask questions on what you need to do during labour, what you need to bring to the hospital, not only does this ease the burden off your wife but it shows that you care for her.
Learn to be flexible
When a baby comes along, you can say goodbye to any form of scheduling or strict guidelines. The baby is bound to disrupt your life; from your sex life to your sleep times. You have to prepare your mind for all the changes that are going to come and decide in yourself to go with the waves.
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The baby will be very demanding, and your entire schedule will revolve around him/her. You may not have any free time to lounge on the sofa or play games, but remember that it’s going to get better as the baby grows and gains self-dependence. These early years are the best for bonding.
This is probably going to be one of the most trying times of your life. It is difficult to manage emotions if your baby is constantly crying and your wife is constantly fatigued. You need to learn to be patient with your wife, who may vent out on you.
You need to learn to be patient with your baby who may decide that her sole purpose in life is to prevent you from sleeping. And you need to be patient with yourself, because you probably won’t get the hang of changing a baby’s diaper the very first day. Every task of caring for the baby needs time to learn, and you need to allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
Support your Wife
In all the craziness that is your life once the baby arrives, you cannot forget your wife. She gave you this bundle of joy, turned herself inside out for your child. This is when you pour out love and affection on her.
Learn to care for the baby by yourself, without her having to ask you. If you can, take a break from work, to help her with the household chores. She’s been through a lot and you can help ease her transition from pregnant woman to new mom, or you can worsen it and by extension, doom your marriage.