If you’re going to be a new mom, or have recently become a new mom, you know how overwhelming and life changing it can be to have a child. There’s so much to learn and adjust to as a new parent, and moms and dads experience so many different emotions and feelings that can be hard to understand and deal with. It’s important that will all the hustle and bustle of having a new baby that we don’t forget our husbands and their feelings, as well. Just like us moms need certain words of affirmation, comfort, and help during those first few months of your child’s life, your child’s new dad does, too. If you want to better understand your husband when he becomes a new dad and want to know how to help him the best you can through this trying time, here are 7 things you need to know about new dads.
1. He’s Scared, Just Like You
It’s no secret that having a baby and becoming a new parent is one of the scariest things you’ll ever go through. Most of the time we think of our husbands as the ones in the relationship who never get scared and are the ones who’s arms we run to when we’re scared. However, when your husband becomes a new dad it’s important to remember that he’s just as scared as you, if not more. Women grow up playing house, playing with dolls, babysitting, and nurturing and mothering comes much more natural to a woman than it does to a man. That means he’ll be a little more lost when it comes to the whole baby thing, but that’s okay. Just encourage him, love him, and make sure he (and you) know that everything will work out and be okay.
2. He Misses You
As a new mom, your baby gets all of your attention, and I mean all of it. When they baby’s awake you’re either feeding it or going gaga over it, and if it’s sleeping, chances are you’re holding it and getting all the cuddles you can. That leaves you with little time for yourself, let alone time for your spouse. As a result, he will really miss you. He’ll miss having his wife to do things with all the time, he’ll miss the late night conversations you used to have before bed, he’ll miss watching TV and movies with you. I know that it can be hard to make extra time for your spouse, but it’s important if you want your marriage to work and last through raising a child.
3. He May Feel Left Out
There’s no doubt that a mother and baby bond from the moment the baby is born. It’s easy for mothers to bond with their children because they’re the ones feeding them and taking care of them most of the time. Not to mention that all of your attention will be given to the baby. This will cause your husband to feel left out and he may be sad that he’s not bonding as much as you are. Try to include him in taking care of the baby more. Let him rock the baby to sleep. Holding and comforting a baby is a great way to bond with them. Let him hold the baby when it’s awake and not eating. It’s great for your husband to “play” and talk to your child. Those ways will allow him to create a connection and bond so he and your baby can get to know each other better.
4. He May Need A Little Direction
Let’s face it: most new dads have no idea what they are doing. Chances are they’ve never changed a diaper before and have barely even held a baby before yours came along. We all know men don’t like to admit that they’re lost, and the same goes with taking care of a baby. They may not want to admit that they don’t have a clue what they are doing. Help guide him along a little. Give him a little direction. Chances are he’s simply to afraid to ask for it.
5. He Can Do It (Despite What You Might Think)
Even though we tell our spouse what to do with the baby, in the back of our minds us moms are probably thinking, “There’s no way he’s going to be able to do this.” Well, ladies, it’s time to get that out of our heads. Men are more capable when it comes to taking care of a baby than we think. Like I said earlier, he may need a little direction, but there’s no need to micromanage his every move when he’s with the baby. Instead of stressing and worrying about if your husband is doing something right, try to relax and enjoy the few moments you have to yourself that you don’t have to be spending changing a diaper or giving a bath.
6. He Misses His Old Life
It’s only natural for both new moms and new dads to miss their old life once baby comes along. For the first few months of your baby’s life you’ll feel like your attached at the hip to the child, most likely because you are. Remember that your husband misses his old life before baby just as much as you do. It’s important for both of you to find time for yourself and to go out and do things without the baby. Try to give your husband some freedom and encourage him to go have a few drinks with some friends or have a poker night with the guys. He may feel too guilty to ask or tell you that he wants to do that, so encourage him to do it before he even asks. That way he won’t feel guilty when he leaves you at home with the baby. It’ll be a great way for him to destress and relax.
7. He Needs Intimacy
Let’s just be open and honest here – being physical and intimate with your partner after having a baby is probably the last thing on your mind. Between sleepless nights, constant feedings, sore breasts from breastfeeding, spit up and poop all over your clothes and hands, piles of laundry to do, etc., the last thing on your mind is being intimate with your husband. However, men’s minds are very different from ours. They not only WANT to be intimate with you, but they NEED it. I’m not saying you have to have sex with them all the time, but even the smallest gestures like holding hands, cuddling on the couch, or random kisses here and there will communicate to your husband that you still love him and appreciate his physical touch as well.