Without these marvellous people there would be no babies!
Times have changed. About fifty years ago, even more recently in some cultures and dare I say, there are still some dads who believe that babies are strictly the concern and the ‘duty’ of the mother! This belief and culture has been fanned by, unfortunately, the females within the household.
In the past, after the birth of the baby, the mother became protective, possessive and in many instances the dad was excluded. Later when she was tired and looked to him for assistance and support he felt helpless and unable to supply the effective support she desired.
Thank goodness times have changed and the modern father wants to be included in all aspects of caring for that baby from the very beginning.
Some mothers are still reluctant to ‘give up’ some of their ‘strictly female’ duties.
I know that daddy cannot breastfeed, but there is plenty he can do to help her.
He may be able to take over some shopping and cooking duties to free up mom so that she can rest or be more available for baby.
Father can also do the burping and settle baby down so that mom can get to bed and get the much needed rest she craves.
Grandparents, family, and friends can, along with dad, also take the older siblings off mom’s hands by entertaining them so that she can have the odd hour or two to have a nap during the day.
I know that most dads have to go back to work (someone has to pay for the added expenses). Where dads do get ‘maternity leave’ it is unfortunately far too brief to be of any marked value, parents need to think creatively so that the limited available time can be used constructively.
When mothers bottle feed baby, it is most beneficial if dad can take over a night feed over the weekend so that mom can get the odd unbroken night of sleep!
Fathers remember you are her source of adult conversation and the link to the ‘outside world’. Most new mothers get so involved with the new baby that they value that stimulation which the father can supply. Always try to make time for each other.
I have tried to give a few ideas, but each household is unique, so new parents have to explore their own contribution which they can bring to their changed circumstances.
© Teresa Denton