Labor of Love Birth Services is excited to be launching a new blog series all about and for Dads! We have been blessed with working with some of the BEST families in Orange County, Ca, and wanted to highlight some of our great clients!
To begin this series, Labor of Love Birth Services has the privilege to share some great advice written by Daniel Hyman. Daniel is one of our Bradley Method(r) Childbirth education graduates and a past Labor of Love Birth Services' doula client. Written with heart, love, and compassion, here are Daniel's Dad Tips.
Somethings I found to be useful in my first year as a father.
Happy wife, happy life!
Effort creates value!
Give your wife a break - Each and every day.
When you get home from work, grab the baby and go in the other room or go on a walk. It is so important to let your wife have some alone time. This will do two things: First, give her a few minutes alone to 'breath.' Second, she can possibly get caught up on all the things she couldn't do because she was attending to a newborn all day.
Giving her a break will also take you out of your comfort zone, and create a stronger bond between you and your baby. The first months are scary, you don’t always know what to do, and babies can’t tell you what they need. They just scream, and scream and daddy can’t fix it. The more effort you put in, the sooner your bond will grow. Effort creates value.
Changing attitude from “I have to help, to I get to help”-
As a reminder, your partner may not say she needs a break, so try to sense it. Raising a kid is the most important thing we will ever do. Saying you “need a break,” may feel like you are saying “I don’t want to be near my baby, they are driving me nuts,” which sounds horrible. This is why she may not tell you she needs a break. So, as her partner, just assume she needs a break! Remember, moms get no shortage of bonding time. And, sometimes if you don't offer, you may not get some alone time with your child!!
Bond with your child everyday -
As a father, the birth-day was magical, and an amazing day, but it will not compare to what my wife felt. A mothers' bond is formed during pregnancy, and during labor they are physically bonded and connected to this baby and experience. Your baby's birthday will be the hardest your partner will ever work, and that process is so powerful and meaningful. It will forever bond them. So us dads may need to force yourselves to spend at least an hour per day during the week with our child (especially if you are gone at work all day). It is so important to learn to change diapers, sooth your baby to sleep, and eventually help feed them with a bottle.
Accept that you are now even lower on the totem pole -
Being a dad is truly a thankless job. Not because society doesn’t care, but just the idea that your needs are now truly last. In the dating period it seems like the man’s needs come first, in the husband/wife period a bit of back and forth, but the skew changes when baby comes. You will now be a definitive third; which is a good thing.
Embrace the privilege of being a Father!
Being a dad is exhausting and sometmes we may dream of times past...so we have to embrace this privilege. We are all so fortunate to have a child, a home, and family. When you are tired, need some quiet time, missing the old life or nights out; remember, this is a privilege.
Help do things that are difficult, even if Mom does them better –
Getting kids in the car is a pain in the a$$. It sucks for mom too; however, she does it more often and is really good at it. That doesn’t mean don’t do it, just do it every time you can so you too are good at it. She will be grateful. Getting out of the house is brutal; just carrying diaper bags and toys isn’t enough.
Stay turned for more great ideas from Labor of Love Birth Services’ seasoned dads!