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The household needs change drastically when a newborn baby is added to the family, especially if this is your first child. No longer are days spent just making decisions to do things at the spur of the moment. A simple thing like going to the movies and out to dinner with your wife and friends is not nearly as possible with a young baby on board. However, this is the time to be supportive of your wife and not think about how your “man time” has been drastically reduced. Listed below are 10 ways to support a new mom so she knows you are in this together.
I was born into a family of 11 and during this whole time, my father only changed one diaper. Perhaps this is just one of the reasons my parents quit talking years ago. Changing diapers is one of the toughest things to do as a father. Physically it is not difficult, but mentally it can be tough to handle. Volunteer to change your share of diapers without making your wife guilt you into it.
Bring Home Her Favorite Dinner
Making dinner is going to be low on her list of priorities right now. And unless you are a chef and have a little bit of Jack Tripper in you, this would be the perfect time to get some takeout and bring it home for her. She will appreciate it. Or, learn to cook?
Night Time Duty
During the first few weeks especially, tell your wife that you will assume responsibility for the baby crying in the middle of the night. This will require you to get out of bed in the middle of sleep and take care of the child. If you are lucky, maybe the baby will fall asleep in your arms on the recliner. If you are unlucky, diapers might need changing, a lot of feeding and bed time story from our favorite story list.
Take Care of the Laundry
No man likes to do laundry. It is not in our DNA to care much about sorting clothes into the washer. However, during the first couple of months that the newborn is home, volunteer to do laundry. If you don’t feel like sorting the whites and the colors, that is up to you. Just don’t put the blame on me if all your clothes turn blue.
Count to Ten
After giving birth, a woman’s hormones are a bit out of whack and can lead to them flying off the handle more than usual. Now is the time, though, to suck it up, count to ten, and move away from the argument. If your wife is still like this six months down the road, you can start speaking up then.
Let Your Wife Have a Night Out
Being a new mom or parent can sometime mean you stay at home more often then not. New moms aren’t used to being tied to the house for such long periods of time. It is a brand new experience for them as well. Because of this, you stay home with the baby now and then and let the new mom go have fun with her family and friends.
Don’t Complain When the In-Laws Never Leave Your House
Very few men like spending a serious amount of time with their in-laws. Two hours once a month is about how much most of us can handle. But when there is a new baby in the house, you will have in-laws knocking at your door at all times. Again, try your best to handle this situation without complaining. If it continues as the child gets older, I can definitely sympathize with you. Believe me.
It’s Not Called Babysitting When It Is Your Own Child
When the baby is being a bit fussy and your wife is trying to get some work done or take a nap, take the kid on a little adventure. You can push them around in their stroller outside or go for a ride in the car. Just don’t make a big deal out of this like you are keeping score. This will counter all the goodwill you are building with your wife.
Play an Active Role
When the new mom is asking whether the baby should wear a blue shirt or a yellow shirt, don’t say you don’t care. There is a very good chance that you could care less about what color shirt the baby is wearing, but if you say you don’t care, your wife could take it as you are leaving everything up to her. Women can be tricky. So when you leave all the decisions up to them, then they can get perturbed. So they would rather hear your opinion…and then do the complete opposite.
When a baby enters the household, intimacy between spouses can accidentally be put on hold for long periods of time. Don’t let this happen between you and your wife. It is much easier to remain a strong couple when love and affection are involved.
And don’t forget to always have fun!