TO celebrate the launch of their new Baby hub, Marks and Spencer’s Baby were keen to know my Dad tips for dealing with having a wife who’s so pregnant she’s considering murdering you as it’s all your fault, right through to how to deal with the inevitable lack of sleep a new born brings.
So without further ado, here are my top tips:
- Whatever you do, don’t pat your wife or partner on the hand in a limp wristed manner during her labour. She won’t appreciate it. By the same token, don’t keep on apologising either. Only apologise if you accidentally put on Megadeth’s Symphony of Destruction as the baby’s head crowns. That, from bitter experience, is worthy of an apology.
- When your wife packs for the hospital visit, make sure you pack too. Yes, you might not be staying over but invariably the cafe/coffee shop/canteen will be closed when you need feeding, and you also need to keep your strength up because deliveries can be time consuming. Okay, you’ll have relatively little to do but by the end of it you may have been up for over 36 hours and the NHS won’t feed you.
- Stay away from the business end when the midwife tells you to. There are some things you can’t unsee.
- If you manage to take the first two weeks off work, that’s great. You’ll be tired, knackered, grumpy and irrational. That’s completely normal because the perfect sleeping baby scenario only happens in adverts. What you need to do is realise that this isn’t about you, it’s about your wife, your baby AND you, in that order. Look after your wife so she can look after your baby and put her first in everything.
- After the first couple of weeks visitors drop off a bit to “give you space”. Make sure when you go back to work you’ve organised your mother in law and friends to come round because this is the loneliest time imaginable. Dealing with a newborn when you’ve gone through what could be a traumatic birth is hard enough but when you have little or no support it can be terrifying.
- If your wife can’t manage to breast feed for whatever reason, she will feel a failure as a woman and a mother. Make it clear to her that she isn’t.
- Familiarise yourself with the signs of post natal depression because there’s just the chance that your wife might be too occupied to notice herself. The NHS have a useful set of symptoms here.
- Things will return to normal eventually, they will be different to how they were before you decided to have kids but within 3 years (if you’re lucky) you’ll have a proper little person who sleeps through the night. You’re in it for the long haul and don’t forget it!
There you go, my top 8 tips for surviving having kids. I’ve got 3 of the little urchins myself and I like to think I made enough unique mistakes with each one of them to build up certain degree of knowledge in what not to do and what theoretically you should do!