As a husband and father, I have entered into a world where my needs no longer come first, or even second. I am not only responsible for making sure my baby is ok, I am also responsible for making sure my wife is ok.
"The next time she sheds a few tears, pull her close, wipe her tears and tell her that it is all going to be ok, because it is. Tell her she is doing an amazing job, because she is, and tell her that together, you can get through anything, because you can"
No-one said parenting would be easy. And let’s just rule out the perfect family pictures splashed all over social media, where everything looks calm and super happy. Even I am guilty of it!
As a husband, I have learned that we feel and react to parenting situations differently to that of our wives. In a way, I think we are designed to function in this way as it allows us to help out in a situation where a new mom is just not able to. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if both of us broke down for every crisis!
A new Mom is full of emotions, stress and self-doubt amongst other things. Come to think of it, us Dads have it pretty easy compared to what our wives have to go through. Could I deal with the pain associated with birthing a child? I can confidently say, that I would not.
To try and understand what a woman goes through from the time she finds out she is pregnant is impossible, but here are few scenarios to think about:
We did not carry a human for 9 months while still maintaining our daily lives, chores and activities. We did not have the stress of a hospital and a gazillion people invading our personal space. A Mom stresses about things we do not even think about at first. As a husband and a new Dad, stress will most certainly come. Will your wife cry? The answer to this is yes, but knowing how to help could mean the difference between a calm and collected situation, or a whirlwind of uncontrollable emotions tearing through your house.
Here is what NOT to say to your wife in the first few months of her motherhood journey:
You’re over reacting
You’re fine, just calm down
Your newly-appointed title of ‘Dad’ will carry along it’s own worries, but it’s a time where you need to tackle situations one at a time. Practice patience, put your Wife and family's needs above anyone else's, and don't feel bad about it. It is in this time that your wife will need you more than ever. Be there, be present and be as hands-on as you can. Your wife will go through many different emotions - give her comfort, give her space and give her time. It is in these moments that you grow as a couple and reach a newfound level of love and respect.
The next time she sheds a few tears, pull her close, wipe her tears and tell her that it is all going to be ok, because it is. Tell her she is doing an amazing job, because she is, and tell her that together, you can get through anything, because you can!