Having a baby is a life-changing experience that both parents should be ready for. However, new dads might lack resources and information, and sometimes the support, that are often available to new mums. Being a father is an overwhelming experience that can bring joy and excitement, but also stress and responsibilities along the way. As any other major change in life, fatherhood needs special physical and emotional preparedness, the good news though is it’s a life-long journey so you don't have to master everything from the beginning.
It is important for new fathers to get over their fears, rather than ignoring them. If you feel you cannot stand the delivery process, then don’t propose to attend and explain it to your wife. Also, if you have any other concerns you’d better discuss it with an expert before labor. These are some tips that can help you get the most out of fatherhood.
Many dads don’t have enough time to give their newborn babies or to help their wives deal with their new responsibilities and challenges. This can be overcome by making the short time you do have more valuable and joyful. Compensate for your absence by going out together on holidays and weekends.
Although parenting may often fall to the mother, don't compromise your role. In every task, fathers have different tools that are both needed and enjoyed by the baby. For example, the way dads cuddle and play with the child tends to be more physical and noisier, which is different from the mother’s soothing stimulation. It is advisable to have something unique between father and child, for example, giving the baby a bath before bedtime.
“Men can do quite a lot, they can hold the baby, clean the house, change diapers, and much more,” says Wael Ra’fat, businesman and father of a two-year-old. He believes that helping his wife greatly influenced her psychological status and helped her do her job as a mother.
Obviously, women start being a mother emotionally once they know they are pregnant, which is not the case for men. Get involved before labor so you have time to adjust to being a father. Men can attend prenatal classes (although not common in Egypt), talk with friends and experts and learn how to change a diaper or deal with a newborn.
“The pregnancy months are an excellent opportunity for men to start learning about babies through books, TV shows, and most importantly, through friends,” Ra’fat adds.
Both men and women need support at this critical point of their lives. It is not uncommon for mums to get a plenty of advice and recommendations. When it comes to new dads, most people feel they have nothing to tell them although they also need advice and support. Talk with friends who have recently become fathers and share your concerns.
Set Your Schedule
Decide together when you can have guests so that you don't have too many people coming to see the newborn.
Try to hold your nerve and don’t panic easily, this can be best achieved when you feel you have a good backup, for example a list of phone numbers for the pediatrician, breastfeeding consultant, supermarkets etc. Do shopping ahead of time so you eliminate a big source of inconvenience, especially for tdiapers, creams, shampoos, and formula milk for the baby. Accept the fact that your own means won't be ideal at this stage of your life. With little time for cooking, make sure to get ingredients for meals that are easy to prepare.
Look on the Bright Side
After shifting to a completely different, more tiring and less convenient lifestyle, dads can lose some perspective, but try to keep the positives in mind.
“The day you become a father you are a role model for your child, this obliged me to watch my behaviors, and also to be wise in terms of finance so I can provide him with a better life,” Ra’fat says.