This is a guest post by Cameryn Vonbargen from Multitasking Motherhood. Here she shares her top tips for new dads after baby is born.
Having a baby is one of the most magical experiences a couple will encounter in their lifetime. There is a long list of things new parents must do to prepare for baby before delivery. They can become so busy that they forget to prepare for what life will be like after baby!
It is no surprise that new mothers will shoulder much of the responsibility in caring for baby after they arrive. What does that leave dad to do?
New dads can become jealous of the bond mom and baby develop quickly. Mom has already had months and months to bond with baby by growing him or her during pregnancy! Dad doesn’t have that opportunity to truly connect with baby before delivery.
Dads can also become lost in their new role and the unknown of where they belong in the family now.
It had always been just the two of you.
Now, mom only has time for baby.
Many people think of the postpartum time as being the hardest on mom. While it is no lie that it can be an isolating time for mom, it can be just as much so for dad!
We spend so much time focusing on new moms that we forget we also need to give postpartum tips for new dads!
When new parents don’t realize this, it can take a toll on their marriage! The needs of both mom and dad are pushed to the side because all efforts are placed on caring for the needs of baby.
It can be difficult to remain friends with your spouse in this time and enjoy your journey through parenthood together. Nothing will completely prepare a new parent for life with a newborn. However, there are things both parents can do to not only get through the first year with baby, but to thrive during it!
So, here are 10 tips to help new dads transition into parenthood and keep their marriage strong after baby!
Bottle Feed Baby
Whether you have decided to provide baby with breast milk or formula, dad can still have an active role in feeding baby! If mom finds that she is burnt out or exhausted from caring for baby, prepare a bottle with formula or pumped breast milk and give her a break.
Allowing mom a break will be huge for her! Learning how to be a mom is tiring. She is most likely living her life in 2-3 hour increments before having to feed baby again! This doesn’t even account for the numerous other activities she finds herself doing a day to care for this little one.
Any and all needs that mom has, are out the window.
By helping mom out, you both will enjoy parenting more. Plus, you will get quality time with baby!
By doing this for mom, you are showing her that you care about her and recognize how hard she is working to be the best mom she can be.
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Participate In Bath Time
Like above, participating in bath time with baby helps mom out tremendously! It allows her a little bit of time to take a much-deserved break.
My husband typically gets home from work and goes straight to the bathroom to give our son his bath. This gives me enough time to sit down, relax, and eat some dinner before putting baby to bed!
It is one of the only meals that I get to eat by myself. While I love my son dearly, I enjoy every moment of it and I’m highly appreciative that my husband takes this time to help.
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Adjust Any Expectations
You simply can’t have any expectations about how things will be when baby arrives.
Every parent dreams of the day that they will have their baby and what it will be like. I promise you that it will be everything and nothing like you imagined at the same time.
Whether it is the expectation of baby sleeping through the night or returning to your normal sex life as soon as mom is cleared, the expectation most likely won’t be met.
Baby’s needs must be met first. Let me tell you, they have their own schedule.
And their schedule means no schedule.
At least in the first few weeks of life, the demands of baby will outweigh any plans that you and mom have. You have to allow some flexibility in the beginning of your journey through parenthood. Expectations of baby or your partner are only going to get in the way of fostering a positive experience!
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Communicate With Each Other
This is one of the most important tips for new dads and moms! There are numerous ways that you can communicate with your partner during this time that are crucial to maintaining the strength of your marriage.
First, make sure to check in with each other constantly. Things can change in the drop of a hat with a newborn. This is even more true when you add postpartum hormones on top of it all.
Both mom and dad are going to have needs and challenges that the other can help with. Staying connected and continuously checking in with one another will ensure that these needs and challenges are addressed!
Second, express your gratitude with any chance you get.
Simply saying thank you to your partner, even for the smallest things, will go a long way in communicating how important they are to you.
With both parents being tired from the continuous care and adjustments that come with baby, allowing time to express how important each of you are to the other is one of the most important ways to strengthen your marriage after baby!
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Remember Who Came First
Finally, the most important thing that you can do for your partner is to consistently remember who came first. That is, your spouse.
Your spouse was the first love of your life. You loved them long before the introduction of this little being into your lives.
While there is no love quite like the love of a parent, the love in a marriage is just as important.
Even though much of your time is now spent caring for baby, don’t forget that it is still important to make time for one another.
Don’t forget your first love.
Ultimately, there are great changes that come with being a parent. Both motherhood and fatherhood are unlike any other role you will have in life.
The first year of baby’s life can be overwhelming and new parents will often find themselves at a loss not only when it comes to baby’s care, but also their marriage. This is why there are so many tips for new dads and moms for after baby!
Before you know it, it will all be over. That is why it is as important as ever to work on strengthening your marriage so it is still standing in the end.
At one time, it was just the two of you. There will be another time when it is just the two of you.
Make your marriage a priority during this time. By doing so, you will be making your family a priority too.
Cameryn Vonbargen is a full-time student and stay-at-home mother who runs her blog Multitasking Motherhood. She has her degree in psychology and will soon have a second degree in nursing. She has a passion for writing about mental health, pregnancy, parenting, and marriage to help other moms with experiences similar to her own.
She hopes to add a real take on issues that aren’t talked about openly or deeply enough concerning the roles women assume in the journey to motherhood and marriage.
Visit her at http://www.multitaskingmotherhood.com