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The focus is mostly on "Mother and Baby", but also in the picture (in my opinion) are the "silent heroes", the dads, so to speak. I am sure the whole process is just as emotionally and physically demanding for them. How have you gentlemen handled those first few months?

asked 21 Jan '10, 18:09

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Emi
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I operated on the idea that I am happy if my wife and my child are happy. Therefore, I followed a few simple rules:

  1. When the baby sleeps, you sleep (and you make your spouse sleep.) You will both be happier with more sleep, even if it's at 4:00pm on a Saturday.
  2. Do more housework. My spouse was largely taking care of the baby, so I did more cooking, the laundry, the grocery shopping, and so on (I should note that this was partially because my wife had a C-section and was still recovering)
  3. Split the duties. Obviously, I can't feed the baby, but whenever I am home, I change him every time he needs it. This included when the baby woke up during the night.
  4. Have some patience. This is especially for first time parents. She may get very sad or frustrated with caring for a newborn; if you also get frustrated, you will both be miserable.

Above all, make some memories out of this time. Your baby will be this small once, so make it last.

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answered 21 Jan '10, 18:22

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Matthew Jones
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+1 for having patience. It really helped when I got frustrated but my husband stayed cool and was able to take the baby to give me a break, or help me talk through what the trouble was.

(22 Jan '10, 18:45) Fun2Dream

I know my stress turned to finances. When you're young, highly motivated and working at a job you love it's a lot easier to excel at your job by just putting in a huge amount of effort, and you're likely rewarded for this. Your family naturally becomes accustomed to this.

When you have a child, your priorities change (you can't focus as much on work) and you have less sleep. The amount of money you're spending goes up (children cost money, no doubt) and depending on your situation, there's less money coming in. While there's a ton of stress that falls on the mother's shoulders, the father naturally feels 100% responsible for the family finances. Plus, he usually won't have complete control over the spending and income, and that's pretty much the definition of stress: responsibility without control.

We were lucky in that dept., but even so, there was certainly more financial stress than before. I ended up spending extraordinary effort at work in the first few months after our daughter was born because I was responsible for a very tight deliverable and I was afraid of the consequence of a high profile failure. Now I regret not being home as much. But the bills got paid... I guess it was a no-win situation.

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answered 21 Jan '10, 20:07

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Scott ♦♦
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edited 21 Jan '10, 20:49

I am not a dad but I have to say my husband was fantastic during the first few weeks. The most helpful thing he did was to show me support when I needed it. When I was falling apart he'd hug me and say "you're doing a great job." That made such an incredible difference.

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answered 22 Jan '10, 01:22

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Anne
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That's the most important thing, to be a solid foundation for the new family :)

(22 Jan '10, 07:48) brandstaetter
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Asked: 21 Jan '10, 18:09

Seen: 1,251 times

Last updated: 22 Jan '10, 01:22