This collaborative post on 13 Tips for New Dads to Survive Parenthood is 4 years to late for me! but some great tips!
If you have just become a father or are trying to survive the toddler years, congratulations. You will have to try and embrace the moment and live up to the expectations you have for yourself. Remember that you are unique, and shouldn’t follow other people’s paths, just because they think that they know better than you. Listen to your instincts and be the best parent you can be. Your kids will not expect anything more of you, but to accept them and support them in their development. If you can complete this task, you will build a healthy relationship with them and enjoy a peaceful family life. Below you will find fifteen tips that can help you survive the first years of parenthood.
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Your Masculinity Doesn’t Matter
Just because you are a male, you don’t have to shy away from housework. Your children’s mother is overwhelmed and stressed out, and will need a lot of rest in the first few months and even years, when all they do every day is try to chase after the little ones. You can help out at home, cook dinner, or even clean the bathroom. There are no rules when it comes to household chores. Likewise, if you are not allowed in the kitchen, you can get the baby in the stroller and take them for a walk.
You Are Not Living In the 19th Century
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It is also important that you agree before your child is born who is going to do what. If you automatically assume that your partner will give up their career and rely on you to be the breadwinner, you might have to face a lot of arguments. While this might have been the done thing in your parents’ lifetime, you will have to accept that females have career goals just like men, and they will not give up working just because they become mothers. You can share the chores at home and take turns staying at home until your child is old enough to go to nursery.
You Should Try Not to Miss Your Chance to See them Grow Up
It is important that you work and provide for your family, but you will also have to find time to spend with your kids. You can’t be a happy family if there is someone always missing from the dinner table or the special events. No matter how tired you are when you get in, join in with the bathing and the play, and help your partner plan programs according to your schedule. You don’t want to miss important moments, such as the first words, the first steps, or the first racket. Make time for your family and they will help you manage your schedule better.
Kids Will Teach You New Skills
When you become a parent, you will notice that you will automatically adopt to new ways. At the same time, you will be surprised that you can learn a lot of new things from your kids. Just imagine how many times they fall on their backside before being able to walk. How many times they try to say “dad” and don’t quite get it. How long they try to reach the light switch and how happy they are when they are finally tall or clever enough to do it themselves.
Your Partner Needs You
It is important that you don’t take yourself out of the equation. You might think that your partner is too busy with the little one, and they don’t need your company, but this is never true. You can help them out and spend time with them. Just because they look tired and stressed, it doesn’t mean that they reject you or don’t want you around. Don’t be the new dad who spends his kid’s first weeks in the local bar catching up with friends because he feels useless.
You Have to Take Responsibility
As you become a parent, your priorities will change. You are more likely to take care of security, and your car’s main feature will be the advanced airbag, child lock, and back seat entertainment. Make sure that you can provide for your family to the best of your abilities. You can’t expect your partner to do everything, and once you feel like you have a full house and a complete family, you might consider vasectomy to help your other half recover and avoid side effects.
Being a Good Provider Doesn’t Mean Being a Good Dad
While many people think that being a good provider is what makes a family man, this alone is simply not enough. You will also need to change your lifestyle and think as a family instead of chasing success and money. It is likely that you will find it challenging to balance home life and being a father, but it is possible. Simply cut back on activities that you no longer enjoy or you can’t take part in without your family and replace them with the ones you can all share.
You Need to Accept that You will Hate Your Daughter’s Boyfriends
You’d better get used to the green eyed monster as soon as possible. You will think the world about your daughter, and simply no male will be good enough for them. The sooner you accept the fact the more realistically you are going to treat them growing up. Likewise, you will always be biased, no matter how fair you will want to be.
Yes, You Can Take Time Off Work
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Just because you are a man, it doesn’t mean that you will have to leave all the child-related appointments to your other half. You can be a part of it all. Whether it is time off to see the new nursery and help your partner make a decision about a new place, or painting the baby’s room, you can use your paternity leave. You will want to be there supporting your partner and giving them a reassurance that they are doing a good job, instead of simply staying in the background and
Your Health Has Just Become More Important
Before you had kids, your priority might have been having all you want and an easy life. Your priorities tend to change after you have kids, and you will look after your health more. You want to be there when they go to school, graduate from college, or get married. You will think more long term and do everything to make them proud of you and support them. Instead of nights out you will look for family vacations. Instead of the latest gadget for your car you will start researching the safest car seats.
You Will Lose Some Friends, But that’s Fine
When you become a family man, you tend to lose some friends who are still living the single life or don’t understand why your lifestyle changed. Those who really care about your happiness will stay with you, and the ones who feel uncomfortable around kids will go. This is natural, and you will have to be prepared for the changes in your friendships. Some family members, however, might turn up and you can get closer to each other, sharing your experiences with parenting.
Men Have Instincts and You Can Use Them
It is likely that you will be confused and insecure, not knowing how to deal with the baby, how to hold them, and what to do with them. While people will tell you that women have it in their hormones and can figure it out based on their instincts, you don’t have to give up. While some things will not come naturally for you as much as for your partner, you also have instincts and you should use them. If everything fails, you can watch videos or read books.
You Are Likely to Disagree with Your Partner
You will certainly have disagreements with your partner how to raise kids, and this is normal. Parenting is not easy, and you will have to learn it as you go. There are no two kids who are the same, so you will have to write down some standards. It might be a good idea to talk about parenting before your kids are born, so you can start off together and make decisions to change as you go along. From choosing a school to picking the toys and the babysitter and your child’s diet, there might be some small disagreements that you will have to handle if you don’t want your children to remember you arguing all the time.
People don’t become fathers overnight. They learn as they do the job. If you would like to make a difference in your child’s life and support them during growing up, you will need to be prepared, though. Make sure that you agree on parenting principles as soon as possible, and you will get along just fine. Your priorities and social groups will change, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.