There is no “mommy manual” – we all know THAT! You get home from the hospital or birthing center – and now what? Whether it’s your first baby or your fourth…new moms always feel a little bleh. And new dads can often forget a few things, mostly because of the lack of the aforementioned “mommy manual.”
New dad is just as scared as new mom. I mean…you are now charged with keeping this tiny little thing alive! Totally dependent and helpless – the fear sets in. This is our list of the top 5 things new dad should remember about new mom – even if they’ve already had 3 kids together…
1. TELL NEW MOMMY THAT SHE IS BEAUTIFUL -and OFTEN.
- ‘Cause right now she feels ugly and smelly. There’s a baby latching on to her at all times, mostly with liquids coming out of it from every which-a-way, which inevitably get all over her hair, neck, arm, clothes, and shoes. Oh – about clothes…nothing fits right, so either things are too big and she feels frumpy…or they’re too small and it makes her feel fat. So for goodness sakes, new dads…tell her she’s beautiful all the time. Not just every three days – but at all times of the day. Leave her post-it notes on the bathroom mirror or the breast pump. Text her in the middle of the day – even if you’re just across the room. And of course tell her verbally, while you hug her or bring her something cold to drink…or wipe the spit up off her shoulder.
- Most important: if she says “shut up, no I’m not, I look awful” or anything to that effect – INSIST UPON HER BEAUTY!
2. ENCOURAGE NEW MOM IN EVERY WAY.
- She’s scared just like you are (I could list all the horrific things she’s frightened about and probably had nightmares about – but I won’t because you probably already know what they are). She’s nervous about whether or not she’s doing a good job. Whether the baby is eating enough, sleeping enough, or gaining the proper weight. She’s also being met with TONS of advice from everyone in the world (even people without children) for the last NINE months, that she’s overloaded with info – and about ready to pull her hair out. Tell her she’s doing an amazing job, tell her that she’s a great mother and that your baby is going to grow up so healthy and strong and happy. Tell her you appreciate all the work she’s doing (because even though YOU are having to pick up the slack EVERYWHERE else around the house – she still feels like she’s doing everything) – so tell her she’s awesome!
- Most important: I’ll repeat it – if she says “no I’m not I’m just being a mom” – INSIST ON HER AWESOMENESS
3. ASK NEW MOM WHAT SHE NEEDS
- She’s tired (inevitably so are you)…she’s smelly and feels gross and she’s hungry all the time (especially if she’s breast feeding). It hurts to even THINK about standing up to go get anything – much less the thought of having to sit back down again. So, anytime you can just say “hey can I get you anything?” she will adore you for it. She KNOWS how much you’re doing, and she KNOWS that most of those things you probably don’t enjoy, and she also knows that she’s paying a lot of attention to this baby and you might feel left out for the moment. But all that will pass – and you should never forget that she LOVES YOU and she couldn’t be any happier that YOU are this child’s father. So, give in and ask her around the clock if you can get her anything and tell her you love her
- Most important: Don’t roll you eyes, or let out an audible sigh. Anything at this time that doesn’t encourage or help WILL irk – don’t cause strife during this beautiful (yet testy) time in your lives together.
4. TELL NEW MOM TO “GET SOME SLEEP”
- She’s never been one to nap at 3:00 pm on a Tuesday and she feels guilty that she wants to. But, she was awake most of the night and all she can think about is baby…sleep…food…baby…sleep…food (very similar to new baby huh?) So give her the go ahead, tell her it’s ok and that she needs the rest. Tell her you’ll take a nap with her, and if the baby stirs you’ll get up to hold him in the other room until she wakes up. Whether new mom is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding you can help with feeding when she really needs some rest. And even just to offer to feed the new baby will make her swoon, further endearing you to her.
- Most important: You are both sleep-deprived and cranky…but new mom is both those things with gazillions of “teary” hormones flying about her body – if she cries tell her that’s ok, let her cry don’t tell her “not to.” Tell her to rest and relax and that everything is ok.
5. PAMPER NEW MOM
- Seems silly but it’s so true AND easy to do. A foot rub, a back rub, a hair cut, new lipstick…anything to make her feel pretty and relaxed(see #1). Relaxed and pretty-feeling mommy, makes for a happy daddy. Which also means that when her body is ready for some sexy time…she’ll be THAT much more excited and willing to hop in the sack with the man who’s done nothing but pamper, help, and encourage. If you can spring for a house cleaning – do it!! If you can “babysit” while she goes to get a pedicure – do it!! If you can cook a dinner, light some candles, and watch her favorite tv show while the baby sleeps – do it!! Ask her to wear sweats and red lipstick and meet you in the living room once she’s fed and put the baby down to sleep. It all seems so silly but she will love you for thinking that these things are important – even if she says not right now.
- Most important: Little gifts (like her favorite lipstick or a pedicure) show her that you know she needs to feel pampered.
There are many more of these I’m sure – and feel free to write them in the comments section. This was written as a guide for new dads to read, feel free to print and read it together and “comment card” out loud! We would also love to hear what New Dad thinks New Mom should have tattooed on her chest!! So sound off ladies and gents!!