Although not always the case, in most households, the brunt of the brand-new-baby duties tends to fall on mum.
After all, mums have the milky goods that babies need and want (24/7) and are usually the main contenders for those daytime duties, afternoon cluster feeds, early morning cuddles and nightly needs.
It’s a 24/7 job and new dads may find that their wives start to slightly lose the plot, especially if they are blessed with non-sleeping newborns. You may find your wife has trouble putting sentences together, burns breakfast most days and ugly cries about unimportant things. You may have discovered keys in the fridge or found her aimlessly standing in the pantry staring into space.
But, do you ever catch yourself thinking, “Hmm, I wonder WHY she’s acting like a Looney Toon?” More importantly, do you ever wonder if there is some super small, easy way you can help her? Even if it’s so she doesn’t turn even crazier and possibly murder you in your sleep?
Dads, take notes! 16 easy ways to offer mum help
Well, new dads, you’re in luck! Because we’ve come up with 16 super small, easy ways to give mum a bit of a hand without doing much at all. These little things will make a BIG difference. Trust me!
So grab your pen and take some notes gents, because we’re throwing you a bone here. And you’ll want to take it!
What to do
Bring water. And snacks!
Keep the snacks and water coming, especially during breastfeeding sessions! And bring takeaway every once in a while too.
Cut up her meat during dinner
Because trying to cut a steak while balancing a baby is hard work. Better still, spoon-feed her (without getting it up her nose or in her ear).
Or, hold the baby while she eats
There’s nothing more annoying than watching everyone else in your home eat a lovely meal while you sit in the corner feeding the baby. So, husbands, grab the baby and let your lady eat first. She’s most likely starving and will be right back in her corner feeding the baby in no time.
Take baby for a walk
Offering to hold the screaming baby is great but it can be just as stressful for mum to listen to her baby screaming in someone else’s arms.
On those extra awful nights when my daughter would scream the house down and I needed a break, hubby would wrap her up and walk her around the block for 20 minutes. She’d still scream the streets down but it was nice not to have to listen to it for 20 minutes.
Load the pram into the car (and take it out)
Those things are heavy AF. And frustrating to fold too. So do it for her and save her from silently cursing the thing every time she leaves the house.
If you see dummies, bottles or a breast pump laying around the house, pick them up and sterilise them in water.
Do an early morning (or late night) shift
Yes, you have to get up for work, but consider getting up just an hour earlier one or two days a week and letting her sleep. Wheel the bassinet to the living room so you can watch bub or let her sleep on your chest for a little bit.
Let her words vomit all over you
And when she needs to complain about everything, let her. Cuddle her when she ugly cries and let her know you get it. Don’t offer advice, or try to fix it or make suggestions about what she could be doing wrong. Just listen.
And tell her she’s pretty.
You don’t have to turn into Captain Clean Freak. Just be aware of any little messes in the main living areas. Straighten blankets and pillows; put the dishes away; fold the clean towels that are draped on the chairs at the dining table. Keeping things semi-tidy can ensure a more peaceful and calming zone for mum and bub—not to mention you.
Ensure visitors don’t overstay their welcome
Be the man who kicks the friends out so your wife doesn’t have to feel rude. And when people are visiting, take on all coffee/tea/snack/hosting duties so she can just chill out and enjoy it.
Insist she leaves the house
Because being indoors all day with a baby can make anyone go a little stir crazy. When you get home from work, send her outside for an hour so she can sit in the backyard, go for a walk or head to the shops/a friend’s house. An hour outside the house, without a baby strapped to her, is pretty much the equivalent of new-mum heaven.
What NOT to do
Don’t complain about being tired
You’re allowed to be tired. Just don’t talk about it near her.
Don’t ignore the beeping machines
The sound of the beeping washing machine WILL send her mad so don’t ignore it and assume she’ll get to it eventually. Tend to it. Same goes with the dishwasher.
Don’t complain that she’s always on her phone
It’s pretty much the only thing (other than watching TV) that she can do one-handed or when breastfeeding. And besides, she is most likely googling healthy recipes, or reading up on the latest studies on infant development. Or scrolling through strangers’ Instagrams. Whatever, she’s allowed.
Don’t suggest sex
Even if it’s past the ‘six-week’ mark, it doesn’t mean sex is automatically back on the table. Let her decide. She’s the one with broken lady bits.
Because when the baby FINALLY goes down for the night (or a couple of hours), the last thing we want to hear is you snoring beside us. Unless you’re cool with a pillow accidentally being thrown at your head.
So there you go, new dads! We told you it was easy to give the new mum in your life a little bit of help. Looking for more new dad goodness? Check out To the Father of My Children: THIS is What I Want You to Know