5 Crucial Lessons For New Dads Who Want To Live
Okay gents, time for some real talk. Before you had a kid, when you first noticed an attractive woman, you probably weren’t thinking, “Would she make a good mum?” That question might have arisen somewhere in the back of your reptilian brain, but it sure wasn’t in the top 500 front-of-mind things you would think about when you first felt intoxicated by her scent.
But when you become a father, when you fall head over heels with this new little person, you truly begin to appreciate the woman with whom you share the awesome responsibility of parenting.
I used to watch through bleary eyes (or closed ones - let's be honest) as Bek would wake at 90-minute intervals night after night. I would see how rather than drag her body like a burlap sack full of marbles the way I do, she would spring from the bed at the baby's slightest whimper. She would hold him for hours, smiling and laughing, caressing him, with a love that is overflowing and seemingly energising. Yes, she got tired, but she placed his needs far above her own. She never complained or suggested we leave him on someone’s doorstep.
As I watched her selfless way of caring for him, I saw that he was teaching her what love meant. I watched from the sidelines as my infant son blew her heart and mind wide open. It was like one of those dreams where suddenly the house you live in has a new room and you wander through it, exploring it with a sense of amazement.
Since the moment he was born, Bek excelled as a student of love. She'd definitely get an A+ at the end of the semester, except the semester never ends. It’s actually one long lesson, but that’s not the point.
At least we had the same teacher. He was a ruthless little thing with unusual teaching methods - he would literally shit all over us, pee in our faces, and abuse us throughout the night with mysterious shouts and grunts.
The homework was relentless, and he never let us out for recess. However, neither Bek or I have ever encountered a teacher as powerful as that tiny, wrinkled bundle of wisdom and poo.
Still, with that gummy little grin he taught us both what love really means: to give everything of oneself happily, to forgo sleep, food and showers without question or hesitation, simply and utterly because you are so magnetically drawn to protect and nurture another human being.
It’s a lesson we’re never done learning.
But for fathers, there are some other lessons to learn - ones I learned the hard way. Here are 5 simple ways to show your partner you appreciate her in her new role as a mum:
Tell Her You Love Her At Least Once Every Day
Especially now, in the weeks and months after a baby is born, women are going through some major hormonal changes. Be patient. Allow her to be upset even if you can’t understand why. Just be her rock. She may not say it now, but she will thank you in a few years. By then you will be bald. But it’s better to be bald and thanked than bald and hated.
When You Cuddle With Your Baby, Don’t Forget To Give Wife A Kiss
No matter how exhausted, she will appreciate it. It’s easy to get caught up in staring at the newborn; stare at your lady, too. She needs attention just as much as the baby does. Possibly more.
Shower And Shave
I know you haven't slept properly for weeks but it’s a wordless way to show her you still care, even though you feel like a cigar just exploded in your face. Plus, it will help you function more clearly and serve her at the highest level.
Tell Her She Is Beautiful As Often And Sincerely As Possible
Because she just had your baby. You might have seen it happen. Wonderful, yes. Pretty, no. And her body has obviously gone through some serious changes. Even the most confident woman needs to hear that a lot, especially post pregnancy. A tender kiss would be nice too, even though she will likely stop you at that. For a few weeks, you can once again pretend to be a teenager who is prevented from getting to second base.
Do The Freaking Dishes, You Barbarian
Take care of the laundry. Clean up around the house. She might not even notice, but on some level, she will. Anyway, it’s your mess, too. And your tidy whiteys don’t look all that tidy.