I can still remember, like it was just hours ago, how exhausted my husband looked lying on the hospital couch moments after I gave birth to our daughter, Jill.
I was high on painkillers, but I remember perfectly well the look of absolute grogginess on his face. But every time our baby would cry that night (I was just learning to breastfeed), he would get up and rush to our side. I also remember him sneaking a feeding bottle and a can of Similac infant milk just so I can have an hour of peace and quiet (we still laugh about this today).
So take a moment and think about him. He’s pretty much gone through heaps just to give you and your kid all the love you deserve. And what have you done for him so far? (apart from giving birth to his child, which is, like, everything already).
It Shouldn’t Be Hard
Admit it, since you’ve had the baby, all you ever think about is how tired you are as a first-time mom, how sore you are with breastfeeding, how sleepy you are, and how confused you are about everything in your life. Yes, it all didn’t come easy for us moms, which is why, as absorbed as we are in our own emotions, we forget that we’re not the only person feeling this way. The man who helped you make this beautiful baby is also going through a tough time. And he may feel neglected most of the time, or worse, unloved.
It may be difficult to worry about other people while you are transitioning to motherhood, but I’m sure that little changes can go a long way! Here are a few ways on how you can help him transition to fatherhood and at the same time get your relationship back on track.
- Bond over parenting moments
First and foremost, allow him to handle the baby stuff. He may struggle with the diaper, and so you just need to instruct him gently and don’t criticize his efforts. Little moments like these make great memories. Take pictures of his crazy parenting styles and have a good laugh about it.
- Connect rather than communicate
We are often told to keep communication lines open, especially with your partner. But with the baby around, this may be challenging. So if you can’t seem to find time to talk, connecting is enough. This can be as simple as having breakfast together, enjoying a TV series together, or simply looking at your sleeping baby. Just find a few minutes within the day when you can focus on just him.
- Shower him with compliments
Start by thanking him for helping you recover and for little things like getting you a glass of water while you breastfeed or by watching over the baby when you need to have a “moment” by yourself. As much as possible, I make sure I never run out of reasons to thank my husband. Sometimes, I even thank him simply for choosing this life with me. You’ll be surprised how a simple thank you can mean so much to him.
- Get intimate
It’s particularly difficult to have sex right after giving birth. But as you heal, you have to start working on bringing intimacy back into your relationship. And sex isn’t the only way; never underestimate the power of a good hug and a kiss.
- Spend time doing things you love
My husband and I share the same passion for music. We used to hang out in bars to play with our respective bands and watch some of our favorites. We also used to write songs and play them with our guitars. And we love watching movies, too. So there’s no reason you should stop doing these things together just because you’ve become parents.
Have your mom, mom-in-law or any person you trust watch over your baby so you and your husband can go out and spend some baby-free time together. Believe me, you need to do this, mommy. And please don’t feel guilty leaving your child at home. Just make sure you have everything prepared for the babysitter.
Having a baby is priceless. As parents, this could be the best gift you could ever receive. But amidst the excitement of it all, don’t forget to let him know that, even after the new baby arrives, he still occupies the biggest place in your heart. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did so.