Will all the new dads please stand up? Welcome to the club guys. You’re probably utterly besotted and yet totally baffled by your new addition.
But so is your other half. Plus she’s knee deep in nappies and night feeds, bottles and burp-rags – and probably so sleep deprived even matchsticks can’t cut it. Maybe you’re back out earning a crust while Mum is home on the front line. So can we throw you a few ‘need-to-knows’? Trust us, you’ll thank us later.
However hard your day was…
Just remember her day probably was bloody hard too. You might have had a hectic morning, a heaving inbox, and a crappy meeting with the boss from hell. But having a tiny baby refuse to snooze; scream like a banshee on every waking hour and time a poo-explosion during nappy off time certainly ain’t no party either. You got to talk to another adult. And eat lunch. And no one chucked up in your hair.
Usual service may take time to resume
Life, as you knew it, is pretty much shelved for a while. Your lady love is adjusting (to the 24/7 responsibility of looking after a kid), recovering (child-birth IS a bitch), and surviving (thanks to a sleep-thief in cute clothing).
She’s never felt less sexy in her whole life
So even if she looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards, go out of your way to tell her she’s the fricken’ hottest mama on the block.
Sometimes she doesn’t know either…
Is the baby crying because he’s a) hungry b) tired c) windy d) hates the new blue polka-dot onesie? Who the heck knows – remember she’s just as new to this whole parenting lark as you are. So hide your surprise and work with mum to translate what the bawling baby’s after. You’re not the only rookie in the house.
Occasionally you just might not cut it
There just might be times when she wants her mum, her best friend, a seriously long soak in the tub, a family-size bar of Fruit & Nut – just not you, right at that exact moment. However bloody brilliant you are, once in a while, it’s won’t be Daddy’s day.
Get stuck in and hands-on
Go forth and master the fine art of the nappy change. Suss out a sleepsuit – and which way round it goes on. Discover the whiffy delights of winding. And if you can work out the best rocking/rolling/swaying/shushing combo to send your little one to sleep, you are most definitely winning.
If there’s no sign of dinner…
Don’t ask where it is. If she’s spent three hours pacing the hallway with an exhausted colicky baby, it won’t go down well. So do your best Masterchef impression; put your local pizza joint on speed dial; heck, knock at the neighbour’s and offer cold hard cash for last night’s leftovers. Anything but ask ‘Where’s dinner, love?’ Do so and you take your life in your hands, my friend.
Decision-making alone sucks
It can get pretty crowded inside a new mum’s head. A load of new information to digest, and it’s constantly fighting for space with a weary little voice that’s just begging for a cat-nap. So decision-making calls for some mum-and-dad teamwork. Tackle the toughies together. High five.
Don’t forget she just endured child-birth
And she made you a Daddy, a father, someone’s hero. Her body created a little person, a mini me, your heir apparent, the love of both your lives. So, frankly, she’s your hero, right? So crank up the love, go OTT with the help and support, stock up on the Fruit & Nut, and make sure she knows she’s totally rocking motherhood.