Most likely the person reading this blog post is a mom, so I do want to talk to you first. However, if you are a dad I want to congratulate you for looking for ways to help your beloved wife during this exhausting time. If you are a dad, you can go ahead and skip down to the bullet points. If you are the mom, let me talk to you for a bit. When Declan arrived for some reason, I wanted to do EVERYTHING. I don’t even know why. Maybe it was my pride?? My hormones (let’s blame the hormones somehow, they are always involved)?? I don’t know. What I do know is that every time my husband asked me if I needed help I said no. As the time went by I started to feel frustrated, bitter and started to resent my husband. You know what the funniest part was? It ALL made sense in my head. I thought that my husband should know better. He should know that when I say no it means “do something.” After a couple of months finally, I went to him and told him how I felt. Hunter very patiently reminded me how he always asked if I needed help and I always said no. So, dear mom, don’t make the same mistake I made. Tell your husband how you feel and some of the ways that he can help you. I wrote this list because sometimes in the middle of the battle our brain does not function properly and you might know you need help, but you don’t see how he can help you.
If you see that your wife needs help with something, but you are watching TV, don’t ask her if she needs help because the chances are she will say no. Get up and help her. If your wife made time to go through this list with you, take charge by actually doing it. Also, don’t wait for her to tell you what to do. I know that some things don’t come naturally and that if your wife is breastfeeding it is even harder to know what to do. That is why you need to…
Learn the signs.
Babies cry for various reasons. A big reason is hunger, but that is not the only reason a baby will cry. Learning the cause your baby is crying can be very helpful. If your wife just fed the baby and he/she is still crying most likely hunger is not the reason your baby is crying. Remember that babies also cry for no reason.
Change the diaper.
No, I am not trying to get away from changing the diapers, but after feeding the baby, sometimes I want just to sit there and think about how tired I am. If you come to change the diaper, it is a gesture of how much you care and it shows you understand how tired we are. Those gestures are highly appreciated.
Know the schedule.
If you have a schedule of feedings and naps, tell your husband. One-way Hunter was very helpful to me was after feeding Declan I went back to bed, and if Declan woke up a little earlier than usual, Hunter would get up and let me sleep as he took Declan around or just held him until the next feeding. Remember hunger is not the only reason babies cry. Of course, if you realize that your baby is in fact hungry, either wake your wife up or if you have frozen milk get a bag and give the baby a bottle. This is another great way you can take charge.
Feed the last feeding of the day.
During the night especially in the early weeks after having the baby, we have to wake up 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night. That can be incredibly exhausting, so if you have chosen to teach your baby to use the bottle that will be a great time for baby and dad to get some bonding time and will give mom a longer sleeping time. It is a double win! I did not see the point of having my husband wake up with me in the middle of the night, so this was a great way to compromise.
Find ways you can help around the house.
Anything big or small that you can help your wife with around the house will be much appreciated.
After having Declan, I looked as good as Duchess Kate. Ha, who am I am kidding? I looked like I had just been run over by a truck three times. I looked awful ok?! But let’s not point fingers over here. Even though I did not look so great, I am glad Hunter took pictures of that moment. But pictures should not just be taken during birth I want to be able to look back in time and see more hands-on photos than just selfies. So dads, please get the cameras and save those special moments.
Consider our feelings.
Let me tell you again about those hormones. They do things to us and our minds that are ungodly. You know when you have done nothing wrong, but somehow your wife is mad at you. BLAME THOSE HORMONES! Ok, they are not the only ones to blame. Sometimes it is us letting our minds wander. But, all jokes aside this is a very emotional time for us, and it is hard to cope with everything on our own. I don’t know about your wife, but I know how much I needed my husband during this time. That doesn’t make us weak it makes us humans, and that is ok.
Mom and dads this is supposed to be the most significant time of your lives. Babies are supposed to add to the love between wives and husbands not to divide them. Use this time to make your marriage even stronger by communicating with each other and by listening to each other’s needs. Finally, I want to give a shout out to my beloved husband who is the one who showed me in practical ways this list. He taught me that husbands can help their wives. Thank you for being the most excellent husband and dad anyone could have. Declan and I love you more than anything, and I love watching you be the best dad Declan could have.
Thinking about it… I should really be thanking myself for marrying you!