Parenting

How not to be useless

Let’s face it, men are useless. In pretty much any given situation, and especially when a new baby enters the household. And I can say that because I am one.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered, follow my simple tips below for a (relatively) stress free integration into new fatherhood… or if you’ve already faced it, here’s your refresher course…

  1. Put your pinny on. See that washing up mounting up by the side. Do it. It’s your responsibility now my friend. Don’t just do it, love it, because you’re going to need to take ownership of that for a while.
  2. And further to that, the clothes washing and general titivating. Your wife’s knackered mate. It’s the least you can do.
  3. Repress your father fatigue! Speaking of being knackered, you’re going to be as well. Oh I know, don’t worry I understand, you’re going to be more tired than you’ve ever been. But somehow your partner, who’s just grown and carried a baby around inside her for 9 months and then squeezed it out during an intense and overwhelming battle over many hours, is seemingly less tired than you, whilst getting less sleep and doing more with baby. Don’t ask me how, I can’t fathom it either, it must be built in. Its genetics mate. I certainly don’t have it, and I’m willing to guess you don’t either. But whatever you do, DO NOT say you are tired and try not to act it. DO sympathise, regularly and authentically, about how tired they must be. This is pivotal to your success, so ignore it at your peril.
  4. Become a cheerleader. No, not like that before you start dusting off your mini skirt and pom poms. I mean become verbally active in raising morale. Tell your partner she is doing a great job. Because she is. Reassure her. Its Ok to feel down or worried or stressed, and it’s certainly normal.
  5. Service please! If your partner is breastfeeding, keep the drinks and snacks a coming. Or even if not. They will be thirsty and hungry like never before. Hop to it Jeeves, what are you waiting for?
  6. Don’t rest on your laurels! I know it’s hard, you’ve just finished work, you feel like you need to rest for a bit, chill out and have a beer right? Wrong. Take the baby and give her a rest for a bit. Trust me, if you have a day solo looking after baby, the first thing you want to do is hand them over to their co-creator. I’m not saying you’re on duty for the rest of the night, but at least at work you could go to the toilet and make a brew in peace, they haven’t had that luxury yet.
  7. Bite your lip (Hard). And finally, and this is not to underestimated, DO NOT ARGUE BACK. How many times have you been told? But this time, its warranted. My wife wont mind me saying this (she will) but first time around there were times when she was slightly irrational. Normally she’s the most rational person I know, so it was further enhanced. And I, shamefully, argued my points back to prove I was right. But I’ve learnt a valuable lesson, it really doesn’t matter who’s right, this baby lark is stressful enough as it is, so bite your lip and reap the rewards.

And that’s it my friends. 7 steps to eternal happiness, or something like that. I don’t offer a money back guarantee, and I’m certainly no expert, but maybe, just maybe, if I can help just one poor father to be, it will all be worth it…

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