Dad In the Household - Everything You Need to Know in 2018
Whether you’re a brand new dad or a seasoned father, you probably already know that there’s a lot to keep up with. When you’re the dad in the household, you have certain responsibilities and expectations you need to meet. In between soccer practices and fun projects with your kids, what do you need to know to be the best dad you can be in 2018?
For New and Expecting Dads
Any dad can tell you that their commitment doesn’t start at birth. Many dads love their child before their even born and just as many want to know how to help the mothers through their pregnancies. For these expecting dads, there are some things that you should know to be as ready as possible.
Learn What You Can
The minute you and your wife find out that you’re expecting, you’ll both probably be filled with a lot of questions. Take some time together to learn what you can. Read books, do extra research, and, of course, you can never ask your doctor too many questions. They work with new parents all the time; they won’t get frustrated and no question is too “dumb” to not answer.
Plan Ahead...But Don’t Be Surprised If Things Go Awry
When you start to get further along in the pregnancy, you and your wife will start to come up with a birth plan. For your wife, this will mean getting ready to give birth and for you, this will mean being there for her.
In addition, though, you need to help control the environment you, your wife, and your baby will be in. For instance, if it starts to get a little crowded or if visitors come around so often you and your wife can’t get any rest, don’t be afraid to set limitations. This is, after all, a bit of a private time and your wife will need some time to recover as well.
Work with Your Boss for Paternal Leave
Most people think of work accommodations as maternity leave for a mother around the time of delivery and for some time after. Many companies, anymore, are starting to offer paternal leave for not only new mothers but for new fathers as well. This can be a great time to adjust to being a parent as well as a chance to spend cherished time with your newborn.
Aside from paternal leave, communicate with your boss that you can’t go on any business trips near the end of the pregnancy (during the third trimester). This way, you know you’ll be there for your wife and you won’t miss the birth.
You’ll Be Flooded with Emotions
If you thought you were full of emotions when you found out you were going to be a dad, you’ll have even more when you see your baby for the first time. Joy, fear, awe… all these emotions are perfectly valid. You’ll probably shed a tear or two and that’s okay! No one will think less of you for wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Sleep in Shifts
As a final point for brand new dads, it would be remiss if the amount of sleep you get wasn’t mentioned. To put it simply, you won’t get nearly as much rest as you once did. The best way around this is to split time up with your spouse if possible and let each other get some rest.
Is the baby crying at 3 in the morning? While both you might want to run to see what’s wrong, it usually only takes one of you to take care of a smelly diaper or rock them back to sleep. Eventually, you might even be able to set up a routine of sorts to help stay on track.
Tips for All Dads
Once your bundle of joy is here, there are some things that all dads should keep in mind no matter how old your child is.
When you’re looking around online or even interacting in everyday life, you might notice that people place a lot of expectations on the mother. However, don’t let this make you forget that you are there for your child as well. You are an absolutely crucial unit in this parenthood.
Spend Plenty of Time with Your Child
As a dad, one of the most important things to both you and your child is the time you spend together. When they’re babies, this might mean just sitting with them in your arms or feeding them a bottle.
While your child grows, you will get a chance to learn about them as an individual. Even when they’re pretty little, you will still start to notice personality traits. Everyone is unique and learning about your child as they grow can be one of the most rewarding things as a father. Not only will you see them hit all the milestones such as taking their first steps or graduating high school, but you also have the chance to learn about them as a person.
You Will Have to Discipline Your Children from Time to Time
While it isn’t the most fun part of parenting, there will come times when you have to discipline your children and teach them right from wrong. The best way to do this is to do it with love and with your child’s best interest in mind.
The important thing to keep in mind is to not just guide kids in the right direction when they do something wrong but to do it when they do something right as well. For instance, if your child isn’t following the rules, you might correct them. When they do follow the rules, though, don’t let their good behavior go unnoticed either.
Your Child Looks Up to You
The best example for your child is a parent. Since you’re with them all the time and they see as both a loving and authority figure, they’ll copy what you do. So, it’s absolutely important that you set a good example.
For dads, this means that you need to be the person you want your child to be someday. Be kind, respectful, and demonstrate other lessons that you want your children to know.
You are More Than Just a Dad
Being a father is an absolutely crucial part of your life. In fact, your life probably undertook a major change the minute you found out you were going to be a father. Being there for your family is absolutely crucial but you might find yourself going a little stir-crazy if you never leave the house.
It’s important for any parent to do things for themselves from time to time. Taking your spouse out on a date night or going out one day with friends is important. The importance of this time for yourself can’t be overstated.
Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly
Last but very much not least, every father should know that they shouldn’t judge themselves too harshly. Along the way, you will make mistakes. This doesn’t make you a bad father, though, it makes you human.
The important thing to remember that at no point will you know everything there is to know at parenting. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and use those lessons in the future.
About The Author
Hi there, I'm Woodworking Pete Alman. I'm a former carpenter turned writer, and proud resident of Nashville, Tennessee. When not working on a project in my shed, I'm lifting weights or hanging out with my three dogs (Dobermans).