Dads: Let's talk about Emotions
From being a couple to a co-parent
Welcome to the most significant change in your life: having a baby. There's no denying that the move from partner to parent can be difficult. It is very likely to have an impact on your relationships with your partner, friends, family members, and co-workers.
Furthermore, your transition to being a parent may differ from that of your partner. More information and tips on how fathers can bond with their children will be shared in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
Changes in lifestyle
You may notice that the dynamics of your relationship shifts as leisurely weekends and meals out become a distant memory. As you become a father, your identity will also adapt.
Many new parents report feeling closer to their child following the delivery. However, even the strongest of relationships can experience tension at times, especially when both sides are exhausted from a lack of sleep. Don’t worry, we’ve got you, we have a blog coming all about how to deal with sleep deprivation and how to get that extra nap in!
It’s good to talk
Pregnancy is an excellent time to communicate before you have a small human being begging for your attention at all times. Share your worries, your ideal parenting style, and how you plan to address parenting issues.
Try to be open with each other in the early days of being a new parent - and even after that - and realise that you're both doing a fantastic job! You'll also have contrasting experiences, particularly if one of you has returned to work and the other is still at home with the little one. So tell each other about them - your partner is probably more interested in what you've been up to all day than you believe.
Don’t get caught up in one-upmanship
It’s easy to get into a ‘competition’ about who’s the most tired or who’s had the worst day. When you do this, you pit yourselves against each other and it can feel like you’re not on the same team.
Let's face it: no one has an easy time with a new baby. Instead, when things are going well, focus on the positives and let your partner know how much you appreciate what they are doing for your family.
Whatever you do, keep talking to your partner and telling them about any problems you're having. That way, you can deal with issues before they get too huge. This will assist you in keeping your relationship on track.
Share the load
Dads may feel marginalised or even unsure when it comes to their babies if their mother is suddenly preoccupied with them or spends more time with them. A peaceful parent will help develop the bond with infants as well, so try to be engaged in everything from changing to bath time. Find more information in our father and baby bonding blog coming soon!
Try to give each other 'me time' so you can both relax. While mum is away, dad can change, bathe, and comfort the baby, or sing, read, and play, and vice versa.
Take care of your relationship
It is critical to foster your relationship because it will be one of the most crucial support systems for you and your growing child in the future. Here are some examples that you could try out!
Try doing things as a couple that makes you happy, such as watching a movie or going for a stroll.
It may be necessary to enlist the help of someone you trust, such as a grandmother, to care for your little one for a few hours. But it will be well worth the effort!
Changes in the physical aspect of the relationship are inevitable. Due to exhaustion, your partner's physical healing after birth, and changed priorities, neither of you may feel like having sex for a while after your baby arrives. More on sex after having a baby can be found in our fertility and contraception blog coming in the next few weeks.
Maintain existing friendships
Many new dads find their friends to be a great source of support. So, while it may be difficult to maintain any form of social life, try not to abandon old friendships. You may be fatigued or simply want to hurry home to see your kid and partner, but try to maintain contact with pre-baby friends.
Hang out with other new dads
Joining an antenatal or postnatal course to meet other pregnant or new parents in your situation is a great option. New dad pals can show you that you are not alone. The common ground, as well as trading stories about your baby's sleeping habits and bowel motions, might help you bond!
You may have a lot on your mind, which makes it even more crucial to seek help from every possible source. The enormous new duty may be weighing on your mind, along with concerns about what kind of father you'll be and the pressure to be the perfect parent.
Of course, for fathers who are returning to work, it can be difficult to find time to meet with friends to talk about how they're feeling. If meeting up with old or new friends is difficult, many online tools fit nicely into a hectic schedule.
Don’t forget how vital you are!
The most important thing to remember is that being a father is a unique and vital duty. The truth is that mothers and fathers have various parenting methods that complement one another. This is essential for your child's development since it educates your child about different personalities in the world and how to deal with them.
Of course, no one is claiming that being a parent isn't exhausting. With the correct aid and support, dads should be able to cope, discuss their feelings, and adjust to their new life as parents.
Join 1000's of families learning at home
Get 3 months of free access to our award-winning nursery education app.