Tips For The Dad When Dealing With A Control Freak Mummy
It’s an age old piece of advice but communication really is key when it comes to all aspects of a relationship.
Sometimes we can expect our partners to know what we are thinking and to understand us better than they do. It doesn’t help that a lot of the things we say tend to mean something completely different. For example – “no I will do it, you relax” actually means “of COURSE I need your help, why would you even have to ASK that?”.
Communication in general becomes more complicated when a baby is concerned. It is a time where the reality is that you all need as much help as possible but sometimes you may not know the answer when people ask you what they can do. A lot of people will offer to hold the baby or feed the baby when that may be the last thing you want help with. But what about when you are the father? Every maternal bone in your partner’s body wants to hold, feed and be close to her baby 24/7. You want to care for your baby just as much as the mother does. So why is she making it so difficult?
– Don’t be surprised if your partner is breastfeeding for what seems like 90% of the day. For the first few months your baby will want to feed a lot. Feeding on demand is an important part of regulating the woman’s milk supply and teaching the baby to feed effectively. Just after a breastfeed would be a really good time to offer to hold the baby while your partner eats something or has a shower.
– Get involved in the dirty work. Changing nappies is not a job just for the mother. A hands on father is one of the most attractive qualities in a man.
– Bath time and changing your baby in to their pyjamas is a really nice time to connect and bond with your baby. Offer to do these things and your partner’s resistance will soon fade as she watches on in amazement. She will also appreciate the break.
– Read the books and download the apps. If your baby is having a particularly unsettled night or develops a fever it will make life a lot easier if you know the facts.
– Encourage the mother to leave you alone with the baby. This can be a very difficult experience for the mother, particularly with hormonal changes. She just wants to be close to the baby. Alone time between father and baby is very healthy and important though. The mother will soon learn to cherish it.
– Remember that your partner has had a very physical and emotional experience giving birth. Try to be mindful of the way you speak to her and approach her during this delicate time. It can be a very traumatic experience for many women. If your partner appears to be very stressed or is showing signs of depression it may be time to suggest talking to your family GP. Post natal depression affects one in ten women according to the NHS.
– Bear in mind that a woman’s sex drive can be non-existent for many months after giving birth. This is not a sign that you are being neglected or that her feelings for you have changed. Hormonal and physical changes have a great impact on this part of a woman’s life. Patience and communication is key.
– Sleep deprivation can cause us to feel very low and say things that we do not mean. This is not an excuse to treat each other terribly but being aware of this fact may help prevent an argument.
– Step up to the mark. Make decisions about what is on the menu for dinner, what the baby will wear and whether to put the heating on or not. Trust yourself. She may think she knows it all but you are the father and you have got this! She will soon learn to appreciate sharing the workload.
The NHS claims that having a baby can put immense pressure on a relationship. “Your partner may feel left out and you may resent what you see as a lack of support”. As always it is imperative to listen to each other. Sometimes a simple hug can fix everything.