Getting Daddy’s Co-operation:
Most new mothers have the same complaint: Daddy doesn’t understand that he isn’t just a helper but an active partner in this new job! Most men will help when asked but won’t see themselves as a partner in this new relationship of parenting. They tend to take the back seat and hang around like nervous bystanders. Here are some tips in getting daddy to be a little more proactive in his new role.
Don’t draw pictures for him, let him define his own rules:
A relationship is built between two people, so let him develop his relationship with his child in his own way. So the diaper is saggy and little Johnny starts to wail and pee when his diaper is off longer than 10 seconds. Instead of telling daddy what to do, let him figure out how to remedy each little issue he’s having, on his own. It’s OK to give polite suggestions, but if you feel the need to do more than that, leave the room.
Create the routine of daddy time:
Decide that daddy will take care of bath time or choose a day, like a Saturday afternoon, where daddy is left to his own devices. While you go to your aerobics class or do the shopping, solo, he will have no choice but to take control of his own situation. Giving some routine time to daddy and allowing him to have full control during these periods, will not only free up some time for yourself, but help create the bond between daddy and his new baby.
Buy daddy his own tools:
There are so many “man” items on the market today including man bags and daddy diaper totes. If daddy has his own things to organize, he will more likely be ready and prepared for last minute outings. This means you won’t be left to your own devices to scramble and gather all of baby’s belongings and necessities each time you go out as a family.
Close your eyes to his mother:
Grandmothers always have an opinion many of which may not completely be in accordance to your own. Remember she raised her own kids and will have lots of advice to give. Let him be the one to take it. If he feels a little more in control and involved, he will be quicker to make his own opinions of what he feels is right for his own child. Remember you are in this together, so his opinion is as valid as yours.
Let him organize a family activity once a month:
Give the new daddy the job of organizing one family activity a month. Often we think we know what our family should be doing and we’ll tend to follow our mommy crowds in doing activities that bring us closer to similar social circles. Although this is great, daddy may have something he wants to share with his new child. Give him the opportunity to organize a full day’s events while you sit back and enjoy your day.
Being a new mother is nerve-wracking and stressful. We tend to monopolize the child rearing often leaving daddy in the dust. Unfortunately this leaves daddy feeling like a distant participant in this new game! Involve him more, provide him with much more of his own responsibility and give him the tools and the freedom to make his own judgments. By taking the time to actively employ him in his new role, you will not only have a better relationship with your child’s father, but he will have the opportunity to enjoy his new role as much as you do.