Hello Dude! Or is it Dad now :O
Wassup Dude…all well ? Hey, wait a minute…you aren’t a dude any longer are you? You, my dear friend are now a DAD! Woohoo, high five and major applause please! Ok…ok…sssshhhhh so what does being a DAD really mean? Is it all about being Dumb and Dumber? Or maybe its about Dividing and Delegating (you’d wish;))? Or wait, I reckon its when you are Done and Dusted! Maybe its all of the above ! Wow, sounds like a big bloody deal to be one then! Ofcourse it IS. And then some MORE.
Being a DAD really requires you to get your sh** together. As a new mom, I can vouch for the fact that Dads need to come to the field with their A game. New dads JUST need to hit the ground running. Ofcourse, “daddyhood” is new, scary and overwhelming. But you are in good hands. Here are some of my top tips for new dads that will help you dudes to rock at this new role! So here goes …
#1. Get your hands dirty
Babies are messy and toddlers are messier. If you thought that the first three months of dealing with burps, vomit and poop was all the mess that you had to deal with then let me break your bubble. As babies grow they become mobile and babies on the move create more havoc and mess than you can imagine! Soon you find that all your prized possessions are regularly strewn across the floor and feeding your infant will be the most challenging part of your day. My husband finds the contents of his wallet strewn on the floor on a regular basis. The sooner you accept the chaos the easier it becomes to start working around it. You will need to make peace with the fact that your favourite shirt will be routinely covered in food stains. Accept it and move on.
#2. Talk to your baby, a lot
You need to discover your inner duck voice and then bombard your baby with your version of daddy babble. Babies love attention and what better way to forge a bond with your infant than by striking a good conversation every day. God knows that soon these little buggers will have a voice of their own and wouldn’t want to hear any of your nonsense. So while they cannot talk back, you can go ahead and speak your heart out to them! Do not hold back. Talk to your baby. Tell him/her about your day. Narrate those silly stories. Be theatrical. Kids love drama. Forge that bond.
#3. Plan and fix play dates with your baby
Get into the habit of giving your kid your time and attention. You need to plan play dates with your little one at regular intervals. Take him/her for an evening stroll in the park or enjoy a session at home playing with blocks or read out your favourite fairy tale to your infant. This is real quantity time. How much time you spend with your child matters especially in the early years when they are forming their attachments.This has the added plus of giving your spouse the much needed rest and break from being the primary playmate for your baby. And for god sake, do not mention to your wife that you are baby sitting! You are a parent. This is a part of your brief as a dad and not a chore.
This is your first experience with fatherhood. Caring and looking after a baby isn’t going to be easy. You will not have all the answers.Everything will be new and scary both for you and your wife. You wife will need you to hold onto your nerves and keep calm. She will be trying to get a grip on everything from her hormones to her postpartum lactating body to her new role as a mommy. This is the time for you to step up and take charge. You need to get your zen hat on. Take the advice of folks who have had experience with parenting. Try to relax and help your spouse to take time out by taking charge of the baby or household chores or by giving her the much needed back massage every now and then. Keep reminding your spouse of the rock star that she is and the amazing job she is doing with the baby.
#5. Be a parenting team
You and your wife are a team. You cannot lose sight of that. The debate on who shoulders more responsibility, gets lesser sleep, is more stressed or is doing bulk of the parenting is never ending. So do not get into it. Do not be the type of dad who considers some duties to be “mommy duties”. You need to share responsibilities and etch out equal roles for each other. Mom can be the bad cop and dad the good cop. Mom can be in charge of feeding the baby and dad can take care of dishes and bottles to be sterilized and vice versa. Get involved in everything and support each other on this amazing journey. Before you know the kids will be out of the house and you will miss these chaotic days. So be a tag team and give each other the space to be a better parent.
#6. Have a sense of humour
Babies have a knack for driving you up the wall fairly quickly. You will have melt down days when everything crumbles around you. When your kid is being extra difficult you are likely to be super upset. Try and find humour in these situations. It is super difficult to do this (I fail at this miserably) but helps tremendously to keep you sane. Keeping the atmosphere light can lift everyone up and helps to distract the little one. Also your sense of humour is probably what appealed most to your wife. Use it. Kids love tom foolery and clownish behavior. So play to the gallery and gather the applause.
#7. Tune out technology and tune into your baby
Technology is so intertwined in our lives that we forget how it distances us from our near and dear ones. Chuck that laptop/ipad/smartphone when spending time with your little one. They will master these devices very soon and will be far more “connected” and “social” than you would like. Maximize your baby time when at home and tune out those office emails and phone calls. Don’t be the absent parent. Remember to take pictures, lots of them. Capture these golden years with gay abandon
#8. Say thank-you to mom
I cannot emphasize the important of this tip. Thank your spouse. Do it often. Your wife is finding her way in this new role. She needs encouragement, a warm hug and assurance that she is one helluva kick ass mom is much appreciated. Treat her with respect and applaud her efforts. You can also shower her with gifts from time to time to earn good karma 😉
#9. Plan fancy date nights with your spouse
So you have become a new dad and it’s a whole different world that you are trying to make sense off but please do not forget that you are a husband first. Amidst the diaper changes, sleepless nights and endless chores you might think that planning a date night is a luxury you cannot afford. But you are wrong. As new parents, you both need some time off. Take the lead in planning special movie nights or dinner with friends or a fancy romantic dinner with your spouse. You need to reconnect. Do it now.
#10. Go big on mothers day
Always leave the best for the last ! This is my golden tip for new dad’s. Mothers day is a big deal. If your wife says it isn’t, she is lying. You better have an awesome Mothers Day plan up your sleeve every year. It can be simple but it has to be awesome and heartfelt. You need to make her feel like a queen on that day and plan the day with the kids to be a real treat for her
There you go new dads. It isn’t all that daunting is it 😉 Just stick to some of these and you should be on your way to be being a SUPER COOL DAD. From super cool dude to super cool dad. HAPPY FATHERS DAY.