Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Men can get sidelined when it comes to being a new parent , they get relegated to helper, person who gives you as a Mum a break rather than actually Daddy time. This can take a toll of a Father and in worst case scenario not let him bond with his child and he can lose interest or feel inadequate and overwhelmed and even jealous. We need to make sure that they get a look in, not be kept out of the parenting field. It took both of you to make this little person , it takes two to raise them! Fathers can get ignored in the chaos of a new baby, Mothers get a rush of hormones. Fathers get to watch.
I've found you need to coax them in to being present sometimes and doing that can mean leaving them alone. Alone with the wee one. Woman have pressure of expectations on them to know what they are doing , like the matrix its thought we get an instant download to the brain and off we go. Dads, I suspect missed that software and are left with an error message most of the time. We need to remember that they are learning too just like you and need time to adjust . They are not just your support crew, you need to give them bubs and walk out of room and trust them to figure it out.
I have found that I have to let him do things. A, bottle here and there (even though Im bf ) won't hurt, getting them to make it up and get to give it to them can still confidence. Doing bath time sometimes, mine ends up in my opinion water boarding our daughter with a flannel but she survives. She gives up where I have hidden all the clothes, chocolates and spontaneous purchases Ive made when I thought she was asleep, little traitor but it's ok. I have to sit on my hands as he changes her, lifting her by her ankles clean off the mat, only her giggling away do I feel it's ok. And don't get me started on allowing him to dress her..... All those spontaneous purchases of matching little socks and dresses goes out the window with miss matched top and pants and colours that looks like she going to Woodstock for a hippy festival ! But he looks so proud of himself that he got her in to anything, we have likened it to getting an octopus in to a string bag. The expletives about buttons or poppers, tights!! Or this or that. Her first word won't be mama or dada trust me, I bite my lip not to say its on back to front !!
My favourite times are when we are either home and doing new parent date night, take out or home delivery, latest blockbuster down loaded and her playing on his lap , or asleep on his chest. Or we are out in all weathers , wellies and coats if needed and her strapped to his chest. Him protecting her from the elements . So Bond up ( Google Daniel Craig Front pack ) give bubs to him to , sling it , front pack it , push that pram and go get ice-cream or a hot drink after a long walk. You can even hold hands if they are strapped to Dad. No phones except to document it and talk to each other. Its been scientifically, genetically proven that babies look like their father in the first year of life so they will claim them as a mother knows its her baby. Harks back to cave man days when people didn't know paternity - saucy ! And mothers needed men to hunt and gather for them. Its still in their DNA now to want to provide for their off spring. Thank goodness we can teach lil ones better gender roles, but if you have a man around let them give in to their urges. ( of parenting that is )!
Remember he is not just there to give you a break , he is there hopefully as a fully functioning parent and member of the family. As time goes by its helpful for both parties and I mean Father and child to actually pencil in time with each other. Taking a bike ride just the two of them , wee one strapped to his bike , wind in their faces laughing in pure enjoyment , going on secret adventures. Or a walk they do every week to get the paper or buy something just for them. I had one Dad who (in season ) would take his daughter and then subsequent children on a walk every Saturday to get a pineapple. And they would bring it home peel it and devour it , just them ! They are now in their 20 's and still remember those days every time they see a pineapple. People say its quality time or quantity time you spend with your child. In doing this for 25 years ( of watching parents ) and now as a new mum its both every time.
There are a lot of good Dads out there and we need to make sure we given them time to shine and acknowledge them. Now I'm off to show my other half how to put new front pack on , he has her legs all akimbo ...............