By Brian Noggle
While it’s not easy, and it’s hard work, these are my biggest takeaways that lead to being a ‘successful’ father and role model while achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Get your sleep when you can. The more rested you are the better value you will be to mom and baby.
“Honey, what can I do to help?” This goes a long way. I cannot emphasis this enough, communication is key!
Don’t take it personal many new moms may be frustrated and overly exhausted, as the dad, you may be the punching bag, don’t take it personally and get into an Take a deep breath and give mom her space.
Bedtime routines. It’s never too early to start a bedtime routine – or too late, in fact, babies love consistency so I like doing the lovey blanket/book combo. Your deep voice while reading will soothe and secure the baby.
Go easy on yourself! New dads put so much pressure on themselves to provide financially. Do what you can but don’t beat yourself senseless. Mom and baby are good at picking up on your energy.
Security is essential. Making a new mom feel secure is important. Knowing she is being heard and understood and that she can lean on you is so important. Holding your newborn and giving them that extra attention is huge.
New to poopy diapers? If the stench of a poopy party makes you gag then wear a good surgical mask and throw a bag of herbal tea in there for a nice scent. Chamomile is a good choice since it has anti stress properties—win-win!
You are not alone. Most new dads struggle with the same stuff but we are men and don’t talk about it much so we struggle to find support. Note: the first 6 months baby is super into mama due to the connection to its food source and we take a back seat which all dads go through.
Don’t over spend. Best rule of thumb is to have a 1-month supply of goods. You don’t need to stock up for 6 months but ordering a pallet of diapers. Plus, babies grow quickly, so that over-priced “vintage” Stones t-shirt you bought on E-bay won’t fit for long anyway.
Self-care is vital. Take care of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). If you aren’t one of these, chances are you are cool as a cucumber.
It goes by fast, enjoy it! I know it’s cliche but there must be truth to the saying since I hear it from almost every parent.
Don’t force your agenda. Let kids be kids. Just because you like to do something doesn’t mean a child does too. We are here to guide, teach, discipline, love, and keep safe. At the end of the day, they pretty much run the show.
Brian Noggle is a soon to be father of 3, psychologist and registered nurse.