Five Tips To Help Survive A New Baby

Posted on February 29, 2012 
Filed Under Fathering, Focus on the Family Broadcast, Parenting, Personal

‘Tis the season…for babies! A number of co-workers and friends are welcoming new little ones into their families.While I think most will adapt well to being new parents, some of us have not made that transition to life with a baby so easily or quickly. I’ve often said that getting married was oh-so-natural, but learning how to be a new dad was a lot of work! This was especially the case when it came to my marriage. Dena and I re-centered our lives on our new son, and in the process I found that not only did the baby need new efforts – so did my wife.

From my book, First Time Dad, here are five quick tips for men to help with the many adjustments needed when “baby makes three” (or four, or five…), especially when it comes to keeping your marriage strong:

  1. Stay connected with your wife. Make room in your schedule for daily talk times and weekly dates. Do things together as a family. Hang out at the park with parents who also have younger kids. Develop routines like Thursday night pizza, or Sunday afternoons. Take family hikes or bike rides.
  2. Remember your wife is not your enemy. She is the love of your life, and you need to treat her as the shining jewel that she is for you. So don’t get angry with her. Don’t blow up when she is exhausted and needs you to really help out. Extend lots of grace. Follow the Scriptural admonition to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19 NIV
  3. Remember this child is not your enemy. You love this little baby, really, you do! So don’t for a minute think that she is an enemy to your marriage. Yes, she will demand a lot of you and she will extract a lot of your wife’s energies and attentions. But she’s your child, and you have a tremendous responsibility to raise her well. It’s your job to allow her needs to dictate a lot of your life’s choices and activities – for now. And that’ll impact your marriage.
  4. Share the load. Now is the time to show your wife you love her by sacrificing your pride – or your stubbornness – and really stepping up the contribution you make to her life. Clean the kitchen, or her car. Empty the trash. Change that baby’s diaper. Make dinner. Those domestic duties that you’ve let her handle need to be shared, as she is pretty tired from being a Mom. That means you have to come alongside her and help. Look around, find practical things that need to be done, and get to work. Trust me, your wife will notice, even if she doesn’t say anything right now.
  5. Get some sleep. Suggestion: Take turns wearing earplugs. Seriously. Buy some Mack’s Silicone Earplugs and learn to love ‘em! I didn’t want to consider these things, but Dena started using them and it became apparent that she was sleeping well – while I didn’t, because our son kept waking me up during the night. So when you are desperate for sleep, wear earplugs. Alternate turns, so at least one of you gets a good night of rest, every night.

Guys, what other tips would you offer?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and will not appear on johnfullerblog.com until they've been approved. While we are eager to facilitate conversation by publishing most comments, we may withhold one from time to time if we deem it offensive, vulgar, overly personal, cynical, disrespectful, irrelevant, redundant or unnecessarily contentious.
Comments on John Fuller's blog may not refer specifically to any current electoral candidate, or any measure on a current ballot – at any level of local, state, or federal government. Focus on the Family is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity, and therefore cannot take a position on specific votes. Nor can we display any such statements on our Web sites. Likewise, we cannot discuss here the personal viewpoints of people like Dr. Dobson or Jim Daly on political candidates or ballot measures. Any posts to this forum which violate these rules will be removed. There is an alternative venue for this type of discussion. Some activities of this nature are undertaken by Focus on the Family Action, a 501(c)(4) organization, and its media outlet, Citizenlink.
Finally, if you would like to contact our ministry directly, please feel free to do so from one of our FAQs.