There are many life transitions, most of which are difficult to ease into, even when they’re obviously for the best. One of such life transitions is becoming a dad.
Life can be pretty exciting and carefree when dating and even as a newly wedded couple. You and your partner had all the time in the world for each other’s needs. You could choose to eat out on a date night with your spouse, travel out on a week-long vacation, and your only significant responsibility would be to your wife.
But the moment she delivers a baby, everything changes. Amid the happiness and pride you feel, it helps to brace yourself for the new life role you just walked into.
So without further ado, here are helpful tips and things to expect as a first-time dad.
Your responsibility just went up a notch
The moment your baby arrives, you automatically become much more responsible than you’ve ever been. You now have two people to cater to besides yourself. But this isn’t much of a hassle because men are inherently inclined to desire to provide for their families.
But responsibility isn’t all about material things. As a father, it falls on you to instill discipline and morals into your child through both actions and words. They watch you with their tiny eyes even before they can walk and often emulate some of your habits.
If you’re unsure about what virtues to instill in your developing child, it’s worth investing your time reading Men’s Bible Study books that help build you as a responsible father. Find out those virtues that are required of you in this new phase of your life.
Remember your relationship with your mate
It’s easy to get lost in your new roles as dad and mom that you forgot what you were as a couple. Do your best to avoid this, as it has led to several separations.
Remember, you were lovers before becoming parents. Create time for intimacy, spend time together at least once a week enjoying a cup of coffee or a movie, or just taking a walk to the grocery store.
The knowledge that you’re still bonded in love will further strengthen both parties in caring for the baby with mutual support.
Your “me” time becomes limited
The joy of becoming a father can be mixed with worries about losing your personal space. You’ve always had fun hanging out with your male friends, drinking, and watching sport. Such activities would now be limited. Becoming a dad requires you to support your partner in caring for the child while also caring for her, as you’ve always done.
Get involved with domestic chores when needed
If you don’t know how to cook or do laundry, it’s not too late to learn. Your wife would need as much help as she can get with changing diapers, cleaning the house, putting stuff away, and cooking, among others. Even though you’re the only one who has a day job, be available to help out when you return from work.
And most importantly, don’t keep tabs on whose turn it is to change diapers or do laundry—chip in whenever you can.
Agree with your partner to give each other some “me” time
Although your “me” time becomes limited than before the baby’s arrival, you both still need it. Parents, especially new moms, require some time for self-care to get revitalized for the tasks ahead. It could be reading a book, hitting the spa, or just having a walk. Both dads and moms benefit greatly from having some time alone weekly.
You’ll get new-dad advice from all angles; listen, but you don’t have to accept all
Once you become a father, everyone will come with new-dad tips. But the first person to listen to during this time is your partner. Encourage them to tell you how they’re feeling and when they need help, and you can never go wrong. Assuming you know what your partner needs because of what your sister or friend told you might not always end so well.
As you encourage your partner to talk to you more, they’d also want to hear about your needs and desires. This sense of teamwork is vital to building your new home.
Share baby-feeding duties
Although you can’t breastfeed, you can choose to feed your baby with bottles of formula or milk. This allows your partner to rest and refresh their energy or handle some other chore. Bottle feeding your baby also allows you the opportunity to bond with them. For even more intimacy, remove your shirt to create a skin to skin contact with your child.
There’ll be countless visitors; know when to say no
In the first week after delivery, your wife might not be strong enough to receive visitors. They’re being nice for wanting to express their good wishes, but know when to ask them to return at a later date to allow your partner enough time to recuperate. Just ensure you ask nicely.
You’ll wake up at nights… A lot
When your baby cries at night, don’t always leave it for your partner to handle alone. Once in a while, tell her to go to sleep so that you can handle it. Share duties; attach no obligation to any role. Anyone can perform any task, and that will further strengthen the unity in your home.
Take on some traditional roles of your wife
Here’s a precious piece of new-dad advice: even when you return from work hungry, never ask your exhausted partner what’s for dinner. Instead, ask what you can fix. You’d not only feel better about yourself but your partner is also bound to adore you even more profoundly for being so thoughtful.
There will be good days… And bad ones
It will help if you do not expect every day to be all rose and pinky. Just as you try to ease into your role as a new day, so is your partner also struggling. There will be moments of frustration when both or either party will flare-up. Don’t let it go on for too long. Once you’re prepared for such bad days, you’d be better able to calm the situation.
Going into fatherhood is a whole new experience on its own. This new life phase requires a considerable level of discipline and responsibility if you desire to be the kind of father you wish you had.
However, now that you know what to expect and how to act, you’re well on your way to becoming an MVP (most valuable parent).