Dear New Daddy,
Congratulations! You’ve just added a whole new person to the world! By now, you’re probably well acquainted with daddy duty. You’ve probably become a master diaper changer, a seasoned water fetcher and an accomplished peek-a-boo puller. And while it may seem like your newfound role, although oh-so-fulfilling, has rocked your world just a tad, we’re here to tell you that this is just a phase. And to prove it, we’ve put together five things we thought you should know. Hang on to them through this crazy, happy wild ride!
Your Baby Needs You
While it may seem like your baby’s heartbeat is perfectly intertwined with her momma’s at the moment, you should know that she is just as dependent on you. Like in a marriage, where both partners add equal value in varying capacities, parenthood is a joint effort. Speak to your wife about how you would like to raise your child, the values you would like to impart and the ecosystem you would like to build.
Here’s something you may not know. As a new dad, you’re more intuitive and instinctive than you know. Fathers are inherently programmed to protect their young, their reflexes becoming acute at the slightest sign of danger. Although your wife may be more hands-on with the bathing and the diapering and the powdering, trust yourself to take on the mantle once in a while. A well-rested wife and a happy baby are a winning combination.
It’s Okay to Take Time
Fatherhood isn’t a mode you can activate at the press of a button. For some fathers, holding their baby for the first time is a love-at-first-sight experience, while for others, this new life phase is marred with uncertainty and apprehension. It’s okay to swing either way. Take your time and if you don’t bond with your baby immediately, give it a few weeks. Those little fingers and toes are magic.
Your Sex Life Will Improve
Oh yes it will. Your wife is a champion for having endured so many physical changes in her body, and the effects of pregnancy coupled with the exhaustion of motherhood may have had an effect on your intimacy. Help her regain her strength by taking responsibility for the baby on weekends or on your days off. Another worry that your wife may harbour is her weight gain from pregnancy. Reassure her that the extra kilos are mementoes of the best gift she could have given you and that you love her regardless. In time, your intimacy will slide back to normal.
You Can Still Have a Social Life
Although it may seem like your conversations nowadays are largely composed of baby babble, if anybody holds the key to your social life, it’s you. As a besotted daddy, you may decide to scale down your social circuit on your own, but you can still keep up with your circle if you want to. Set designated days to catch up with your crew. In exchange, ask your wife to pick evenings that she’d like to rest on. Switching roles is the best way to go.
Everything pales in comparison to this beautiful journey called fatherhood. As you continue on this great new adventure, know that you’re doing one of the best jobs in the world. Count your stars, for you’re a lucky, lucky soul.
The Team on Cloudnine