Asking for help as a new mommy was the hardest thing (and still really is for me!) I didn’t want anyone to help from the beginning; I wanted everyone to know I could handle every need my sweet boy had! There are always people that will help even if you don’t ask, (my best friend and mom, for instance.) For those people, it’s like they know you’re not going to ask so they just do it.
My husband, however, has never really been one to offer help. If asked he normally jumps right up (after shrugging). He has never been around babies so I knew our new addition would be a BIG change for him! In the hospital he was great, and that continued throughout his paternity leave. But, as he worked longer hours and more overtime, it stated to slow down to the point where he would rarely change a diaper. Did I ask him to pitch in a little more? Of course not! So many times I have found myself glaring at him while he enjoys a warm dinner. I would hold the baby, feed him, and try to eat my food all at one time! If I would have just asked him for help I know he would have, but it was like I had too much pride to ask. Another issue I had with asking was the fact that he would never do it the same way I did. The diaper might be too tight, he wouldn’t match his outfit, and food would be everywhere if he fed our LO!
So why not just do it myself? I started to realize that not only could I not do it all myself (especially once our new guy is here,) but that I was taking valuable daddy time from them both. Being a SAHM, our son gets mommy time all day. So as long as daddy hasn’t had a hard day at work, after dinner is daddy playtime! Does this mean he is feeding him dinner, changing his diaper, or giving him a bath? Not every night. But what he is doing is bonding with his son, making him giggle, giving mommy a break and most of all creating memories! What I love the most about this time is getting to take a shower that is longer than 5 minutes; what I love is walking in the room and our son yelling for me to leave the room because he is having so much fun! I have seen so many moms struggle to get new dads to help. Hopefully my tips below can help you to get a hot meal, long shower, or just a second to yourself!
I started out asking for help by just asking him to play with our son! This is a way for dad to learn and bond with your little, without having any pressure. Even at 11 months old my husband still feels unsure of big things like changing his diaper! (And lets be real, it can get pretty messy!) Small tasks will help him feel confident.
Try not to ask for big tasked in front of a lot of people. I will never forget the fear in my husband’s eyes when I asked him to feed our son at my grandparents! This is setting them up for failure. (And we all know they hate to fail!) If possible try to get him to feed baby a few times at home alone before trying to perform in front of people. He may feel a little more in control then!
Plan your outings!
When we are about to get out of our van I give my husband a run down so everyone is on the same page. For example, “When we get out of the car I will get the baby and change his diaper so can you get his stroller and all his stuff out?” A little communication is a great thing and can go a long way.
These are just a few things that have worked for us! Try to remember that you are on the same team; you both want your baby happy and healthy!