Ten Surprises continued.
Your Relationship with Your Partner
This is no longer about just the two of you. Enter a third variable. Jealousy is an issue for many new fathers. The emotion hits many a man as they observe their partner constantly breastfeeding the newborn. You may start to perceive the baby as something that is coming between you and your partner. Don't bottle up these feelings, let them be known to your significant other. Get alone time with your partner, even if you can only manage a few minutes a day.
There are more changes. Many women have issues with their sexuality after giving birth. They still retain some of the pregnancy weight, may have just had an episiotomy, have sore breasts and are tired most of the time. As soon as the two of you get back into the routine of things, you'll start to get back into the mood.
Fatherhood is indeed a daunting responsibility. Right now, you're responsible for the physical well being of your child. Later on you will serve as the child's role model. While new mothers worry over their ability to nurture, new fathers are anxious about providing for mother and child.
Another worry partners share is how to care for the baby — it's a fragile, small new life and its main medium of communication is crying. As an adult, this constant expression of need can put you on edge. Don't worry because you'll get used to all this noise. Once you realize that these are the concerns of all new parents, you should relax a bit and realize that things will get easier.
Sure, you may have loved the little darling yesterday, but it's common to feel this sort of ambivalence toward you newborn. It may go hand in hand with coming down from one of the biggest highs in your life — birth. It may be that you're having a hard time connecting with this little stranger. Whatever the reason, fathers tend to feel guilty over these emotions. If you think it's an indication that you're not the world's best dad, don't! You're on a physical and emotional rollercoaster and these feelings are perfectly natural.
Just wait until your child becomes a teenager.
Absolute and Utter Confusion!
Babies can be pretty confusing: they're pretty terrible at articulating wants, needs and future dreams. Don't stress out when you're utterly confused about how to provide support and comfort for a crying baby. First, try to get to the root of the problem - is your baby appeased after you change her diaper or feed her? If all her primary needs are met, maybe she just needs you to walk around the house with her and rock her. Try singing, swinging and playing music for her. Some babies just crave physical contact. If that fails, just wait it out —the crying has got to stop eventually. When all else fails, fall back on passing the baby off to your wife.
This Baby is Going Places
You used to be able to hop out of the house for errands. Now, you're taking this baby with you. That's right, what used to be a two-minute routine has turned into a full-blown crusade. Get into the habit of being organized. Have a shoulder bag that contains everything your baby could possibly need. If you're especially active, a backpack may be more convenient since it will help keep your hands free. Learn to plan errands and trips in advance to help your preparation time. Don't worry, you'll get down your new technique.
Remember, there will be lots of highs and lows, but you'll eventually get into the groove of things. Stay strong.
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