As a proud daddy to six kids between the ages of 9 months and 26 years old, I’ve learned my fair share about parenting and being a supportive daddy – not only to my children, but to my wife too. After all, she is the mother of my kids, and by supporting her I reinforce the support I give so freely to my children as well.
Here are a few tips I’ve put together for daddies everywhere, so that they understand the importance of supporting their significant other before, during and after pregnancy.
Before: Being supportive begins with keeping an open line of communication. Discuss your plans for the future with your wife, and offer her plenty of opportunity to share her own plans with you. Sharing in what you’re most looking forward to, concerned about and ready for is an important part of the process that begins with deciding if you are ready to have a baby.
During: You’re going to have to quickly learn to “be” a lot of things while your wife is pregnant. Try to be patient, and take each day as it comes. Learn to be creative in coming up with special activities, meals, drinks, or chores that will make your wife feel more special. Just showing up for the smalls tasks and activities like a doctors appointments, running last minute errands, doing an extra load of laundry, or even drawing her a relaxing bath at the end of a long day – will score big points in the support department! Most importantly, you have to be her rock – standing behind her no matter what challenges you face.
After: Everything you’ve been preparing for and practicing for over the past nine months is now reality; you’re going to need to be more supportive than ever. After you take baby home, your role as a nurturing husband, now expands to being a nurturing daddy. Being a new parent is exciting, but it does take a lot of work. And working together as a team will ensure that each of you gets your basic needs met. Once the dust settles, be sure to plan a special outing or a special activity for you, your wife and your new bundle of joy to participate in together.
There are many things you can do to nurture and support your significant other before pregnancy, during pregnancy and beyond; these are just a few ideas to spark your creativity. Bottom line: The more supportive and nurturing you are, the more support you’ll receive in return – ensuring your family is, in fact, one big happy family.
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.