Why new Dads need your support too

It's natural that mom and baby are the centre of attention after birth. They do all the hard work, after all! But let's not forget the role that fathers play in a baby's early life. It turns out that men undergo a few changes after becoming fathers too (their brains rewire, according to a scientific study), so we must take into account their emotional state as well.

New moms need a lot of rest and support, and getting that from a partner can make a big difference to their mental and physical well-being. Whether by supporting them through labour and birth, or by taking turns burping and changing the baby, Dads can really lighten what seems like a monumental task. 

A few reasons why we must remember to support new Dads too.

These are a few reasons why we must remember to support new Dads too:

They're scared.

And that's an understatement. If you're a mom, you may recall this feeling too. Despite carrying your baby for nine months, you still probably felt scared of the responsibility of taking care of a newborn. Well, Dads feel that way too, and even more so, because little guidance comes their way. They just have to watch and learn, and yes, they make mistakes like us moms too. 

They're confused.

When the baby is finally home, Dads aren't sure how much and what exactly their responsibilities are. They want to do their bit, but also don't want to 'get in the way' of mother-baby bonding. But let me tell you from experience - newborns begin to bond with their Dads in days, so they should get every opportunity to be with the baby (and let mom rest!). 

They didn't know it would be this hard.

So, they learned how to change nappies, and swaddle a baby, but like new moms, they are tired too. They hardly get sleep, and while moms at least have maternity leave, Dads get very little time to adjust to their new life, and this can be quite draining. 

They hardly know their partners anymore.

I'm sure there are times when new Dads feel that they left their wives behind in the hospital. Naturally, women think very differently once they become moms. They also feel exhausted, and frustrated with the demands of a newborn. This is also a time when Dads can feel left out, or feel guilty for not doing enough to help.

They're expected to stay sane.

As I've mentioned above, a mom isn't in her best state of mind after having a baby, so the responsibility of staying sane and making all the practical decisions falls upon the Dad. It can't be easy to do that with a wailing infant and a zombie wife. The pressure on Dads to do everything as before can be a lot.

They won't ask for help.

Just like they won't ask for directions, Dads will rarely ask their friends or family for help with managing the home. It then falls upon family and friends to offer support, and volunteer to bring meals or help in whatever way they can.

So, when you visit a home with a new baby, please do remember to talk to the new Dad, put your hand on his shoulder and say he'll do fine. Especially if it's the first time, he probably needs someone to talk to, and tell him that he's going to make a good father.

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Kim Carberry said...

Aww! This is so thoughtful and true....The dads do sort of get ignored when it's all about the mum & baby! Great advice x

Hodge Podge said...

So so true! Mister Podge was my rock with both our babies - no way I could have coped without him. This is why I am in awe of single parents - how do they DO IT all?!
Here's to the dads! x

Tarana said...

Thanks Kim, it's time we gave the Dads a thought too!

Tarana said...

I do admire the single parents too!

Nina G said...

I love this, Tarana. Dads can get overlooked or are expected to stand strong when they too can feel the weight on their shoulders.

Tarana said...

Thanks Nina, I really think new fathers need much more support than they usually get.

Mrs Tubbs said...

Excellent post! Dad's contribution to parenting and their feelings are so easily overlooked. #sharewithme

Talya Stone said...

Great post! I think not enough is said about this - it's something we need to talk about more. Looking back on when we had our first, I actually cringe when I think about how Daddy must have felt through a lot of it. Bless them they try so hard and have a hell of a lot to deal with in their own way #sharewithme

Baby Isabella said...

Great awareness post. Too many dads are suffering depression and are not getting the support they deserve. My daddy went through a tough time adjusting, so we can totally relate x #sharewithme x

Tarana said...

That's true, isn't it? Glad you like the post!

Tarana said...

When I think back too, I think my husband went through enormous stress, all the while having to continue working.

Tarana said...

Must have been tough for you as your Dad dealt with his feelings. Hope he managed to get some support.

Tim said...

Great post. Many new dads do feel out of their depth and struggle under the weight of expectation of having to be the strong, stoic one while also trying to bond with baby. All many of then need is a tiny glimmer of reassurance and acknowledgement that they are neither alone nor forgotten. As dads, we know we have the better end of the equation compared to mums - but it's still not easy.

A Moment With Franca said...

This is so true! I really love this post!! We should support the dads out there too! It is very important! Thanks for sharing! #sharewithme

Tarana said...

Exactly, it's so important to acknowledge them, at least a little.

Tarana said...

Thank you, glad you liked it!

Let's Talk Mommy said...

I love this and so true. New Dads should get more support and credit too. Bless them. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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