They say that mothers become mothers when they become pregnant but dads only become fathers once their baby has been born.
That’s not a slight on guys.
It’s reasonable that a pregnant woman would feel more motherly than a dad who is still a bit isolated from his baby.
That said, mothers have a bit of time to prepare for the idea of parenting BUT their ideas and reality are often divergent.
It can be really shocking to find out just how hard the job really is.
Meanwhile, dads may feel helpless, confused or unsure of how he can help. Most fathers genuinely want to be a comfort to their wives and partners as they navigate this new and scary world of parenting.
They just don’t know what to do. Here are 7 things to know about becoming a dad and what you should know about how you can support your “baby mama” through the process.
1New moms are riddled with doubt and the “mom guilt” can be overwhelming
You may experience guilt and fear, as well. It’s not exclusively a mom thing. However, women are constantly barraged with messaging that they are not good enough or need to be doing more. Social media does nothing to help with this. The simplest way you can help your wife with this is to give lots of praise about her parenting abilities and remind her often how grateful you are for her being the mother of your child.
2The baby blues are a real thing
First things first, the baby blues and post-partum depression are NOT the same thing. The baby blues are a sense of melancholy after having given birth. Post-partum depression is a serious condition that requires a doctor’s attention. Keep an eye on your wife’s moods and do not hesitate to get a professional involved. With all of that said, giving birth is a strange experience and sometimes moms feel sad that the baby is now on the “outside.” They may simply feel unprepared and “not good at” motherhood. Just be there for her and be aware of these feelings. Be her rock.
3Household chores are not high-priority and moms need help
The house is a mess and she does not want to hear about it from you. Dinner is not cooked when you get home from work and she doesn’t care what you think. Her priority is motherhood. She has a right to prioritize what matters to her and parenting is time-consuming. If you want a cleaner house or more home-cooked meals, get to work.
4Moms may feel completely disoriented
Becoming a mother is like being thrown head first off of a boat into a huge, churning ocean. Your partner is still trying to get her bearings. She may seem different because she is. On the flip side, she will come back to a balance at some point but for a while she may seem off-kilter.
5Recovery after birth takes a while
Both physically and emotionally, healing from pregnancy and giving birth is a process. If your partner has a C-section, the physical recovery may be quite difficult. Do not expect her to be back to herself immediately. She’s just created a whole new human.
6Babies suck out moms’ brains
The disorientation, moodiness, sleeplessness and general worry cause moms to become a bit ditzy and forgetful at times. This is pretty common. If she misses an appointment, forgets to pay a bill or loses an important item, have patience and understanding.
7New mothers are still people
This one is really tough because of the previous 6 points. She is likely not acting like the woman you once knew. She is probably very different in many ways but she is still a grown-up person who enjoys adult conversation. She still wants a night out now and then. Don’t get in the habit of treating her as “just a mom” because she is much more than that.
Parenting is harder than any job out there. It’s 24/7 and thankless and you never get to eat your food hot. It is also magical and exciting to have a new baby but – when reality strikes – most new moms are smacked in the face with the realization that this whole baby-raising business is an incredibly hard job.
It’s not just physically demanding but also emotionally and women have to learn how to be moms on the fly while still recovering from giving birth.
So, be her #1 fan and help her through this process. Your relationship will surely be stronger for it.