This is for your partners to read.
I am in full support of the partners of all new Mommy's. You have a pretty big job ahead of you too. While breastfeeding and caring for baby appears to look natural and lovely, it is hard work. I know you know that and I also know that you may not know exactly what to do to be helpful
Every new mother is overwhelmed, even if she is over the moon about being a mom. Nothing in either of your lives has ever been or will ever be more consistently requiring you to be present than being a parent. You have a different kind of partnership now, one that both of you don't quite know how to manage so be patient and let's look at some ways that can make this transition more seamless.
Every new Mother appreciates hearing how well they are adapting to Motherhood. This is that simple. " Honey, you are such a natural at caring for our baby" can go a long way. There are going to be plenty of times that Motherhood gets messy, overwhelming and exhausting so be mindful of your timing as timing is EVERYTHING.
Every new Mother neglects her own needs while figuring out how to care for baby. If sleep is already interrupted and there is not proper nutrition, that can lead to a very cranky person, postnatal or not. Little snacks brought your partner while she sits and feeds, can do wonders for her overwhelm. Notice how long she has to sit and feed, track, change diapers, change clothes and then go to the bathroom for herself before she can get some food. A cut up apple with peanut butter, almonds, crackers and cheese, trail mix, a simple sandwich cut into small squares are perfect for her to get a little fuel.
DO ONE THING:
Do one thing, everyday to care for your baby. Take on all diaper changes, laundry, outside time, tummy time, baths or massage and make that your sacred time with baby. Be willing to admit that you don't know how to care for a baby. If this is your truth, ask your partner to show you how to do one or two things and get really good at them. This will give you private time with baby while giving your partner a guaranteed break and trust me to be guaranteed a break feels like the biggest gift ever to a new mom. Stick to this and add duties and ritualsthat give you more time with your baby and more time for your partner to get back on her feet.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT KEEP THE OLD:
You will start to meet other new Dads at some point in the first year of Fatherhood. Take a courageous step and extend an invitation to a new Dad or two to have coffee or meet at the park. While free time is sacred and the first thing you may want to do when you get some, is nothing. Carving out even one hour a weekend to bond with other Dads can give you a sense of community and support. Your partners will begin to be surrounded by new Moms and we women thrive on these connections because it helps us remember that we are not alone. You don't have to feel alone in your new role either. Your old friends may have kids but if they don't your time with them will change. While you may still cherish your relationships with old friends, new parents will be simply an opportunity to expand your circle to include people going through the same transition in life.
You are a Dad now, you have made a huge transition in your life to be the protector and solid provider of all things male. Stop each day and remember that you have been given this gift. May you grow happily and enthusiastically into your new role in your family.