She has carried your child for 9 months, now is the time we can show our gratitude!
1.Be present (understanding, kind, sensitive):
Breastfeeding is no joke! There are so many different issues and complications you may not be aware of. Mastitis, thrush, engorgement, if you haven’t heard of these things do the research and understand the affect each can have on the physical health of your partner and child. More than anything, keep a positive frame of mind and remember you are doing this for the benefit of your child. This is a great time to let your love shine through! Also be aware. Nursing a child is physically draining, make sure she has plenty of water and healthy snacks within her reach at all times. And be proactive, if you see her water getting low and notice she hasn’t eaten in a while, don’t wait to be asked, get up and make it happen! Trust me she will be pleasantly surprised and you will feel that much better for doing it on your own.
2.Don’t be scurred:
I think a lot of men feel embarrassed or shy talking about breastfeeding. Swallow your pride, open your mind, and dig in! The more you know, the easier things will be and you will feel much more included in the whole process. Think outside the box, don’t be afraid to seek help, most of my own research I did on my phone in the aisles of “Babies “r” Us” while on a trip to find nipple shields, healing balms, breast pads, etc. Most important don’t be overwhelmed, there are a million different items associated with breastfeeding, you don’t need to purchase them all.
3.Cooking and Cleaning:
You are the master of your domain, king of your castle right?!? So then make sure that castle is clean! Im not gonna lie, I am not the best at domestic drudgery, but in the kitchen I am a master of culinary arts! ok, not really, but I do know how to put together a healthy meal and you should too. And yes I said “healthy”! It really isn’t difficult, I taught myself at a young age how to fend for myself, and that was before the internet (insert shocked emoji here)! I’m sorry but pulling up at a drive thru just isn’t gonna cut it fellas, you want your newborn to have all the nutrients they need. Remember it doesn’t have to be complex, google “20 Minute Meals” and BOOM, a plethora of simple ideas pop up. I like to clean the kitchen straight after dinner, sometimes before I sit down to eat, it feels like one less task and you can enjoy your dinner without the burden of a messy kitchen.
4.Get Out of the House(!):
You are going to need to keep your own sanity so don’t wait until its too late to get some free time, but utilize your time wisely! If you have other children, use this as an opportunity to spend some one on one time getting to know them and reinforcing the bond between each of you. My son is 2 ½ so the majority of my day is spent keeping him from smothering his 6 week old brother. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or planned out. A lot of times we just go to the mall, I let him run around, and there is usually some kind of jungle gym for little ones to burn off that toddler energy. Best of all its free and air conditioned! Parks are another great activity, find one the kids love close to home and make it your “Go-To” place. We also have a couple other Indoor Playgrounds we frequent that are well worth the money on these hot Southern California days. Keep in mind, you are creating memories in your child’s mind, so take part in the fun! So often I see parents glued to their phones, wether its trying to capture the “perfect” moment or updating their social media. Put the phone away, be present, and appreciate the moment. Trust me you won’t regret it!
It may not seem like the most enjoyable outing, I myself don’t mind and will usually frequent the markets at least 2-3 times a week for 2 reasons. First, it gives me a reason to get out, and second, it helps reduce our food waste and encourages us to eat healthy, fresh foods. Make it easy on yourself, keep an active list in the kitchen of things you need, and take that list with you, a list that gets left on the kitchen counter doesn’t benefit anyone. This will help you stay focused and make your visits fast and effective. Make sure to get her some of her favorites and maybe a treat or two for the kiddos!
Changing diapers, burping babies, and putting the baby to sleep are all ways you can bond with your child. It also gives momma a much needed break. Nursing throughout the night is hard, whatever you can do to make things easier will be MUCH appreciated. Make it your job to change the diapers and burp the baby when you can, and if you don’t know how, LEARN! YouTube is a great tool to learn just about anything, parenting takes two, do your part. I take pride in my burping and swaddling skills, nothing feels better than knowing that you too can soothe your child’s needs!
Don’t neglect the time you have together. Make a conscious effort to schedule, yes i said schedule, your alone time. If its not on the calendar, trust me it won’t happen. This doesn’t have to be bedroom time guys, sorry, just some time to appreciate each other. The wife and I will take trips to target or ikea together and have some of our best conversations during these outings. Which brings me to communication. Resentments don’t go away, they get bigger and bigger, until one of you loses your shit because the other one left the ironing board out. Problems are only as big as we make them. If something is bothering you, no matter how small, talk about it. Lack of communication is the biggest killer of most relationships.
Please keep in mind you do not have to master all of these things, nobody’s perfect. Do what you can, everyone’s situation is different, but don’t worry! Your wife will be ecstatic that you are taking the initiative to help and take an active part in raising your family. This will create a special bond and reinforce the foundation of your partnership, plus you’ll be a better man for it and your relationship will flourish! Take pride and enjoy what you are doing, your family dynamic will explode with love and prosper tenfold.
We’d love to hear from you guys! Do you have any more tips to add to the list? Drop me a comment below!
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