Written by Lance Green
Fatherhood is a big milestone for all of us. Compared to the different milestones we came across in the past, becoming a father is a lifetime commitment and it can be nerve-wracking and exciting all at once. It’s funny how we underestimate parents when we’re not parents ourselves.
It was easier back then to switch hats and have an opinion on what a parent should be, but now that the tables have turned, parenting can definitely shape your perspective on everything and provide a bigger picture on what it will look like in the future. How we nurture and care for our children says a lot about us as a whole and we must become forgiving of ourselves, especially at a time where we make mistakes. So, what encouraging advice do new fathers need at a stressful (yet incredible) time like this?
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Asking for help doesn’t mean it’s a sign for weakness. We all face some scary obstacles in our lives and society expects us to hold everything together and to be “strong”. It’s important to encourage yourself and your other male friends/relatives to do the same when it comes to being a first time parent.
In a time where we’re meant to be fearless and happy, there are a lot of battles to overcome when being a new father. Seek advice from those that have been through a similar experience as you: ask the big questions and never feel like you’re annoying anyone just because you’re learning. It’s all about persistence and being able to appreciate the wonders of parenting!
Take Care of Your Relationship with your Partner
It was all rainbows and sunshine when it came to the honeymoon period with your partner but we all know that doesn’t last forever. Now, you have to put in the effort and juggling a little member of the family. Sometimes it can be difficult taking on a new experience while caring for another person and that is understandable.
We want to achieve the very best and we want the same for our partner. Just remember that they are exhausted too and need a break from the baby at times. Do your part and take initiative by picking up some extra house chores or organising a cheeky date occasionally. Just because you’ve “settled down” doesn’t mean you should lose the spark of what you and your partner have!
Have One-On-One Time With Your Baby
This one’s obvious, but having some one-on-one time with your newborn baby can help you form a bond with your little one straight away. How interesting it is that a tiny human being can feel so connected to us: it’s almost as mind blowing like when the astronauts discovered the moon!
Knowing things like skin-to-skin contact and reading the signs for when they need something also come under the fatherly duties as well. It also means getting to know your child from the very start! Stay present and your future self will thank you for it!
Get Yourself Educated
Education doesn’t have to come from books or research from the internet; it can be combined with the knowledge of others too. If you have friends that already have kids or you have a relative with great wisdom in parenting, listen closely and learn from them quickly.
Absorb as much information as you can and you will eventually feel comfortable in knowing that you have what it takes to be a brilliant father. Have faith in yourself and never be afraid to keep learning. Parenting is a tough subject matter after all!
Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to feel like you’re pushing yourself too hard and maybe you are. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you haven’t been putting in your A-game since you’ve started parenthood and that’s totally fine! You’ve got big shoes to fill when it comes to being a father and it takes years to even show that you’re “good” at it. There is no measurement of success when it comes to raising a child; you need to put in the effort and the time and to fully understand the impact of how you treat them and the values you instill in them.
Though there’s a lot of pressure in being the perfect parent, remember there’s no such thing as perfection. We can make mistakes and learn from them. Throughout the journey, we need to understand that the only way to take care of the relationships we have with other people is to be able to take care of ourselves too.
A note to all new fathers out there: you got this! Even if it feels like you’re running a marathon half the time, just remember how precious the moments you have with your little one. Make the most of them and enjoy the times you have with each other.