Badass Dad Clan is proud to present the first in a series of member articles about common parenting topics.
5 Issues New Fathers Face
1. The Memory Game.
So, you've found out that your partner is pregnant recently. Now you'll need to clear some space in your internal memory to fit in all the appointment dates. Even if your
partner uses a calendar, I guarantee you she'll still forget. You are in charge of this whilst your first born child is baking away and playing havoc on your partners hormones.
Do whatever you need to do to ensure you remember about the appointments and remind her with plenty of time, so she doesn't make other arrangements. Nothing worse than arranging to
meet a friend for coffee, when she should be at the midwife appointment! She'll also require regular urine samples to take with to the appointments, make sure she keeps on top of that.
It can be tough, but as long as you keep on top of things, you'll do a great job!
2. Hormones attack!
As touched on briefly in the previous challenge, dodging those hormonal attacks is quite a challenge in it's self. A baking child will do all kinds of things to your partner's hormones
She could be real loving and friendly one moment, then turn into the devil the next. The key to this is not to take anything she says negative to heart, brush it off and try not to go on the defensive.
Your main job is to always be there for her throughout the pregnancy no matter what, tell her she's doing a great job and ask if there's anything she needs help with from time to time, without overdoing it.
Even after the birth, your partner's hormones may still be all over the place, watch your back and enjoy the moments you have together :)
3. Crying Detection
Oh boy, where do we start - There are so many different cries that you'll hear from your new child. Including but not limited to the following needs:
Thirst/Hunger, Sleep, Cuddles, You just hurt me, OMG I just hurt myself, Nappy change required!.
Each one is slightly different, but sometimes can be hard to distinguish from one another.
You'll find one day that you're trying to do ALL the things to calm your child. All you have to do is think systematically. Go through all the scenarios and maybe you might realise you've not done something for a while, like smell their bum and change the nappy! 🙂
4. Who needs sleep anyway?
It's true, us guys do usually like our sleep and lay ins... what am I saying, what's a lay in? You'll be lucky!
The first thing you'll realise is that your new born child is in charge, they call the shots, you're no longer the man of the house.
If that child needs feeding at 2am, they'll make damn sure they're fed at 2am. Then again at 5am...
You need to be prepared for a broken sleep pattern for at least the first year or so - And remember, it WILL get better. My son is now 14 months old,
and only just starting to sleep through the night. For quite some time, he'd wake up for a night feed - I think this may be partially down to our own doing. But once
we started cutting out his day time milk feed and replaced it with water/juice, he's now learning to go longer between milk feeds (Hoorah!).
5. Household chores.
You may or may not already help with this around the house. But if you don't be prepared to step it up! Your partner has just had a hellish ~9 months
and a very emotional and stressful birth. The least you can do is take some of the weight off her hands around the house. Cooking, cleaning, hoovering, dusting..
You get the idea! - Anything you can do, is one less task for mummy to worry about.
The main thing you need to be doing is supporting on the night feeds, which ties closely together with the above challenge of your sleeping pattern!.
Don't even think it, I know you're thinking it!! Before you say "But my child is being breast fed, how can I help?" - Here's some news, they can express the milk
and build up storage (You can even freeze it for up to 6 months!), you can feed the breast milk with a bottle. So don't think you're getting out of the feeds.
And as Sheldon Cooper says on The Big Bang Theory - "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!"
6. I thought you said there were 5??
Here's the fun part, the learning will never stop. You'll never master being a dad, there will always be things thrown in your face later in life. You might think you've mastered the newborn stage, which is great.
But do you know how to handle them when they're 5 or 10? What about if you have one child, then another child several years later, will you remember everything or will it be like new?
Be prepared for anything. One day your grown up boy or girl, might bring round their friend who's the same sex and tell you that it's their (girl/boy)friend. That's never something you can fully prepare for, but take it as it comes.
The chances are there is someone who has already been through it and can offer advice, Fatherhood is all about learning and sharing experiences with other dads out there.
Together, we'll be Bad Ass dads and nothing will be able to take us down.
Badass Dad Matthew Scully
About the Author:
I'm Matt Scully, 29 and father to a 14 month old boy called George. We live in North Wales on the coast with lots of amazing landscapes. I also gained an 11 year old step daughter when I entered the relationship.
That's a challenge in it's self, having to experience the whole new born thing, whilst having an already grown up and in school step daughter.
I'm taking on the challenge with full force and enjoying every moment!