Firstly congratulations! You have made it through the pressures of the pregnancy and now baby is here and the work really begins.
Prepare to take a back seat in your relationship. Mum is now going to be finding her feet in dealing with the little one. Whether she is breastfeeding or bottle feeding there are ways you can support her.
You may start feeling left out. This is normal. All the attention is now on baby. You may feel a loneliness creep in as your social life takes a hit and tiredness begins to take hold. You may even begin to resent your situation but you must practice patience and tolerance under your roof. Your partner needs stability from you.
Find support. There are plenty of groups on Facebook for dads. You can find friendship and support from other men in your situation. To be able to vent or find a place of shared experience, these groups are a God send. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions. We have been through it and know the struggles.
Prepare for your relationship to change. Your partner has been through the emotional wringer, physically and emotionally. Her body has changed, her focus has completely shifted from a relationship with you to a bonding relationship with baby. It’s not personal.
You may feel like a spare part but the only way that can happen is if you let it. There are always things to do to help. Ask your partner what she needs, allow her the space she needs while her hormones rebalance. If she is breastfeeding she will especially need you to remain calm and supportive. Stress can cause problems that can also affect your newborn.
Take time to bond. Whatever the pressures of your situation there is one thing you must do for yourself and baby. Spend time bonding. A fathers connection to a baby is just as important as is a mothers. Have skin time. Talk to them as your voice will soothe them. Play them your favourite music, anything that will help you to connect.
Find ways to relax away from the family. This could be hiding out in the bath tub for an hour listening to your favourite tunes or going for a drive. You may need to put your other hobbies that eat time on hold. Your presence is needed which means your wellbeing is vital at this time of adjustment. I will leave the link to a free meditation at the bottom of this post that you may find beneficial.
Above all practice patience and tolerance with your new family. The adjustment time can take a while as your life changes. Your new role will bring you rewards that you cannot put a price on. To become a father is the greatest job a man can be given. Take strength in that fact. And enjoy every moment. Because the time will fly by.