Perhaps you and your husband are expecting for the first time. Or are you a father already, or soon to be father? If you are, maybe you are like me when we were expecting for the first time, and honestly the second time round too, and you are fearing this whole fatherhood thing. Putting my thoughts to pen and paper or at least fingers to keyboard with my daddy tips on discovering this world of parenthood.
- Don’t worry about being perfect. To be a great dad is all about being present, and learning as you go. I guarantee you won’t know everything out of the gate, but it sure is fun having to deal with your first poopy diaper when it comes. Most likely you will be on diaper duty as soon as your child arrives. I believe fatherhood is not all about holding the baby just right, or burping baby a certain way, but instead being there for your family as a loving, and stable foundation.
- Give mommy a break. The best thing you can do to help your wife is to let her have a break from the kids once in a while. Let her feel human again by letting her get out of the house to see friends, or to have a bubble bath in peace.Husbands, let’s make sure our wives never get burned out being a mommy 24 hours a day. Plus, it is a great opportunity to bond with your children one on one. Let’s be honest, the role of being a father is not nearly as important as the role of the mother for caring for an infant and instinctively knowing what a newborn needs. This is where women have the advantage and ultimately, the most challenging and rewarding jobs. Women feel like a mother as soon as they know they are pregnant. We feel like a father more so when our child arrives and we see them for the first time, and get to hold our child.
- Be there and be awake for feedings. Even at the 3am feedings when baby thinks it’s time to party it’s important as a good father and a good husband to get up with your wife. Change the diaper while mom gets ready and keep her company as the baby feeds. And when she is done, take your child and burp them and be part of the process. It might not feel like an enjoyable experience in the moment but those late night feedings, fighting to stay awake teamwork, brought us closer together.
- Be affectionate. I can hear all the men grunting already. I know we all put on the rugged macho man act in public, but your kids need to see, and feel your love. They only understand what love is when they are a newborn, or infant by your acts of affection through a loving touch, a hug, a snuggle, or a kiss. A child needs to feel loved, always. Don’t be afraid to shower your children with loving affection anywhere, and everywhere, and as much as you can!
- Enjoy every moment. Time flies when you are having fun is the saying, and that is doubly true when you have kids. I feel like the last 3 years has gone by in a matter of months. When did I become a father to two amazing daughters? All I can say is make sure you spend as much time as you can with your kids. Take time off from work, put down your phones, turn off that TV and be present and attentive with the here and now. They are only going to be that age at that one moment in time, don’t miss it!