In the short span that I have been a father I have discovered and come across a few truths that every new or soon-to-be Dad should know. I have compiled them here and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.
Here are 4 things you need to know when becoming a dad:
1. Aside from breast-feeding and actual child birth, there is NOTHING that Mom can do that you cannot do.
Probably the most profound piece of advice ever given to me relating to becoming a dad. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and never shy away from your duty as a father. You can do anything and everything for your baby (with the exception of those first two, physically-oriented tasks). Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know what you are doing. You know just as well, and perhaps even better, than they do.
2. YOU WILL GET UPSET/ANGRY/FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR NEWBORN.
Don’t feel guilty, it happens to everyone. What’s important here is to remember that the baby is just that – a baby. Your baby is helpless and cannot verbalize what’s needed. They will scream and they will cry. Add a sleep-deprived male in the mix and frustration is unavoidable. Have systems in place – if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the baby it is okay to gently put your baby down in the crib (or other safe place), take a step back and take a few breaths. You can then re-approach with a calmer mind. Some couples have a code word they use when they are getting frustrated so they can rescue each other. You are human and you will get upset so take precautions!
3. Don’t forget about Mom! Be extra nice to new Mom.
She’s going through the same scary and potentially frustrating things you are, and perhaps even magnified due to many circumstances (common issues like baby not wanting to nurse and societal pressures on Mom can be pretty intense as well as general health post-pregnancy issues like baby blues) so be nice! Part of becoming a dad is to take time to listen to her. Make sure she knows you’re 100% on her team and there for her. And if she lashes out at you, remember she’s just going through a huge transition so be patient and don’t react back.
4. When becoming a dad remember to enjoy it.
Yes, you will be frustrated, exhausted, and at your wit’s end many times but your baby won’t be a baby forever. All the frustration and sleepless nights are temporary. Cherish the fact that right now they need you because some day they won’t depend on you any more and won’t want you to hold them. Life is short so hold their little hands and look into their little eyes and enjoy the moment. Always remember this whenever you’re with your baby.
Now that you know these 4 things get out there and be the best Dad you can be! Your little one and little one’s Mom need you so don’t shy away from your duties. After all, they are the greatest blessing you can ever receive.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Mike, call 407-622-1770.
Michael’s goal is to assist clients in reaching their full potential by helping them explore within themselves to find their strengths. He pays special attention to building a therapeutic relationship in order to create a safe place for change and growth. Michael provides counseling services to people of many different backgrounds but specializes in helping men with anger management struggles. Continue reading here.