The roles of parents are changing as we speak. Let’s say that today modern parents with little kids are between 25 and 35 years old. If you look back at your childhood in the 80s and 90s, you’ll remember that most parents had traditional roles. Fathers were mainly focused on work and mothers were more concentrated on raising children.
Today, however, the situation is much different. When you go out to the park, you’ll see many fathers playing with their kids. However, there are still men who think that they can’t do too many things with their kids when they’re still babies. If your husband is one of them, you shouldn’t fall into despair or start reprimanding him. What you should do is teach him how to become a committed father.
Lesson 1 –Washing up and doing the laundry
Your pregnancy is the perfect time for your husband to take some baby steps (pun intended) in housekeeping works. Washing up is one of the least demanding tasks, so it’s a great chore for starters. Doing the laundry is also pretty simple, but your husband will need some time to learn the basics of these two actions.
If possible, make an arrangement with your husband to wash the dishes after every single meal. As a result, they won’t have to struggle with loads of dirty dishes at the end of the day. This routine will keep your kitchen in order and add to the hygiene of your home, which will be of great importance when the baby comes.
As for the laundry, you should categorize the clothes together with your partner at the beginning. You don’t want your white bra and his black shorts to be washed together.
After a while, let him do everything on his own. Also, you can you can sit together and name one day of the week the laundry day, or make a laundry schedule, to keep things organized. This will be more than useful when your baby starts adding its dirty clothes to your basket, as well.
When you and your baby get back from the hospital, you’ll need a fair amount of time to physically recover from the birth and start breastfeeding. While your husband should provide support and care in that department, as well, keeping the house in order is also very important. That’s why doing the laundry and washing up should be his share of work at the beginning of your joint parenting adventure.
Lesson 2 – Brewing tasty meals
One of the first prerequisites for establishing regular breastfeeding is a healthy diet. The only problem is that you won’t be able to cook, because all your energy will be directed towards your baby. This is where your husband’s cooking skills come on stage.
However, if he has never cooked for real, let him do his trial and error period during your pregnancy.
I remember the first meal my husband made. I was at the beginning of the second trimester when he made some baked potatoes and lettuce. He forgot to salt the potatoes and he added vinegar to the lettuce, whereas I like it with lemon juice. Still, I didn’t criticize him, but just suggested what he could do to make it even better. I saw in his eyes that he was proud of his new skill and he got better after that.
So, when I got home from the hospital with my baby, he was already able to prepare soups and stews, as well as grilled vegetables. It meant a lot to me during the first few weeks, when my after-birth wound was still painful and while I was learning how to breastfeed my little boy.
Had I not supported my husband when he expressed his wish to learn how to cook, he might not have been able to do the cooking part when I needed it. So, do your homework and prepare your partner in advance for their cooking role. The effort you make that way will be worth twice as much when you get a committed and skillful husband-cook.
Lesson 3 – Taking part in breastfeeding
In addition to your own commitment to breastfeeding, it’s crucial for the benefit of your baby to include your husband in the breastfeeding process.
Again, if you don’t prepare him for the forthcoming breastfeeding challenges, he might not be able to react the way you’d like him to do.
That’s why you should both attend a breastfeeding course and read additional literature on the given topic. When you tell him how important breastfeeding is for your baby’s health and growth, he’ll be more than happy to take part in it.
Now let’s fast forward the plot a bit.
You’ve just come home with your baby and you’re planning to breastfeed it for the first time at home. Your husband should be in the same room with you and the baby, and watch how the magic happens. Other than that, he’ll be more than welcome to bring you a glass of water or natural juice and to pick up the baby for its first burp. If that’s your first baby, it might be a good idea to cooperate with a maternity nurse, just to relieve some stress in these first few days of breastfeeding.
After that, your husband should always have the same role, no matter if it’s getting a glass of water to you during the night or taking the baby for a burp. By doing so, he will not only establish a strong emotional bond with the baby, but he’ll also be here to help you get through these first few days.
Lesson 4 – Sleep routines
While your role here is immense and almost irreplaceable, you should give your husband a chance to put your baby to bed, as well. Of course, there are different babies and different dads. In some cases their temperaments won’t match at first. It’s important not to force things if they don’t work well at that moment.
But it’s also important not to give up. In other words, if your husband can’t make your baby sleep at first, you should take over, but keep repeating the routine. Eventually, the baby will fall asleep in your husband’s hands and he’ll be over the moon that he sees your baby sleeping in his arms for the first time.
Also, while he’s putting the baby to sleep, you can do some other chores or even take some me-time and do something for yourself. (Be aware that it won’t last for more than a few minutes at first)
As your baby and your husband keep developing this relationship, you can leave that part to him whenever he’s at home.
Mothers have the leading roles in the adventure movie called parenthood. They can’t take care of their babies if they don’t have appropriate support and living conditions. So, fathers need to take their own roles seriously and be there for their babies and wives. Still, women also need to prepare their husbands or partners for the challenges they will be facing. They will need our support in overcoming those obstacles, just like we’re going to need theirs in making parenthood a great joint experience. We hope that the tips given in this article and other pieces on our blog will help you reach those parenting goals.
AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents