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Friday, July 11, 2008

For the New Dads/ Dads in Waiting

While we are on the subject of advice, pregnancy, PPD and the works in some forum, I came upon an older post of mine in draft. I found it to be extremely angsty and therefore I had never published it. So I am giving the post a 360 degree makeover and turning it into an advisory list from a certified rant.
On a side note, this worries me- if I am making posts out of archived thoughts, am I running out of ideas? Does it mean I am not expanding my knowledge but converging towards past wisdom?
Anyway, I digress...
So this is for New Dads & Dads to be- I have taken up your cause before so now for some words of wisdom from women who have been through it before.

1. You (and everyone else) would have treated your pregnant wife like royalty and the moment the kid is born all attention will naturally gets directed to the kid. While this is normal, you as her husband and soulmate must, in no circumstance forget that she is your first priority. Otherwise you would undo all the good work done by you during the pregnancy. She might, in a fit of anger just turn back and accuse that you did it for your selfish interests- the child(ren).
2. Post pregnancy, whether CSec or normal delivery a mother is exhausted and requires a care taking equated to 6 months of illness.
Imagine getting up after hours of gruelling labour or waking up few hours post any surgery and going about the business of feeding/ cleaning/ comforting a newborn. Yes, a mother forgets all about her pains & well deserved rest and sets to look after the child right away. Can you even think of doing it?
So make it up to her. Offer a helping hand as often as possible. Be part of the process and proactive rather than a casual bystander helping whenever convenient.
3. Give her emotional support
Talk to her, spend time with her, especially if she is cooped in a room nursing the baby and the rest of the household is laughing, gossiping and joking away in the living room. Don't treat her as a baby making and nurturing machine. She is still a living, breathing, full blooded woman who is your wife first and then a mother. It doesn't hurt to ask her how was her day or what did you do the entire day in office, whom did you meet or update her with the latest.
4. Let her have her space- with herself, her thoughts etc.
people tend to crowd a new mother with their advice, presence and constant talk. Keep a watch and disengage such people when you feel it is becoming a "too much". She will be unable to blatantly tell people to push off because all of them are well meaning people who have come to bless the baby(ies).
5. Contribute to the home management
bunking maids, messy home, unwashed clothes, nappies, folding washed clothes, filling water bottles, other hygiene issues that the wife is expected to be done. Find alternative support or pitch in yourself. Remember she is on a full time job now unlike your part time office work
6. The new born(s) will wake up many times in the night.
Even if you have to go on work next day, you must work out a schedule where in you take turns to wak up and check the nappy before handing over to her for feeding. Imagine being rudely woken up everytime you try to sleep- this happens to her the entire day- morning & night.
6. Be by her side if anyone critisizes her
The baby does not always fall sick because of the mother's diet, bath schedule etc.
7. Make time for her. Insist that she gets a break
Take her for a romantic dinner, movie etc
8. A welcome home / thank you gift (for giving you the baby(ies) ) would be a nice touch.
9. She might yell and lose her cool for no reason with you or ILs or anybody else
Be her sounding board without quarreling/ arguing back (This comes from wise Sue in another forum)
10. Take off from work from time to time just for spending time with her and the baby(ies)
11. She may not cook anymore.
Don't throw a tantrum for that
12. There is something called Post Partum Depression
see 10, 9, 7,6,4,3 above
13. Make it a rule to not go out and socialize without her
it makes her feel all the more left out. She might encourage you to go alone but refuse vehemently saying you will not go without her!
14. With the multiple changes in her body, her self esteem may reach an alltime low
Give her mental/moral/emotional/physical boost
Do post your PPD memories on my comment space or send me the links for me to make our case stronger

10 comments:

lumi said...

Tell her that she is the most beautiful person in the world for having given birth to your child even if she has black circles under her eyes, unruly hair, leaky breasts, and is wearing an unattractive night gown.

Mama - Mia said...

:)

the perfect list! dont ask her WHY is she crying! just let her cry and blubber incoherently for whatever time and as many times as she wants! :D

cheers!

abha

Sue said...

Tell you what, I'll put up what I wrote as a post. Or do you think it should go on the shower blog?

Anyway, it'll add to your post better.

Good job, btw!

Swati said...

sent the link to my bro :)

WaitingforSunshine said...

I read the post sometime back and was just browsing now... FOr a min I thought you have posted a new post:
For the New Dadas/ Dadis in Waiting

;)

GettingThereNow said...

What? Where??

Hmph! You left me a comment and then google baba sent me an alert that you had linked me. But I don't see ennything linking to me here :(

Nice post by the way :D Good tips - now only if these mens would implements thems - and their parents too!

eve's lungs said...

You know Itchy , apart from the ante-post natal advice some of it would work at all other times . I loved reading it :)

Lavs said...

Will I jinx myself if I declare that my hubby does all the points that you listed out here???

SHAMAN.....DTB(Dad to Be) said...

Well....good points for a DTB.....Will do take care of that... !! :)

The Scorpion Ma said...

Hey Itchy...
This list is so true...Why do some men handle pregnancy and delivery so beautifully while some men are just the opposite..
My husband did not treat me like royalty even during pregnancy leave alone post delivery... Post-delivery I had a tough time coz he was doing his management at the IIMB and would often give me a lot of management gyan even for things like diaper, feeding, nappy change, etc..
The funniest part was, one day I started crying that my back was gone with the long feeding sessions and my husband tells me that I need to strategise my feeding ... Oh how I hated him that day !!
And he locked himself in another room and slept for the first 6 months coz he had to go to work and attend B-school while I was JUST BEING AT HOME...
I have published only angsty posts..I wanted to rant and rant and rant till my heart got some peace..:))..
You can read them at thescorpionma.blogspot.com

Nowadays since we are all sleeping in the same room he gets rudely awaked by the baby at 1 am or 3 am... He keeps complaining that he is feeling very weak coz he is not getting enough sleep..Ha Ha... I am so happy that he is not getting enough sleep... Cruel me na :)