Parenting is not something exclusive to moms. Sharing the responsibility of raising a child with your husband, parents, and other family spreads the joy of watching a child grow.
This article, however, will focus on how to make your partner help you out with raising your child or children.
The reason why sharing of parenting is important
A mother’s body after childbirth is not in perfect condition because the hormonal balance is broken and/or the pelvis and uterus have not recovered. If you do not rest, recovery will be delayed, and in some cases, you may develop diseases.
Therefore, it is advisable to take it easy for about a month after birth. However, caring for the baby is unavoidable, so surround yourself with the necessary support to lessen the burden on your body.
There are many people who go to their parents for help, but parents cannot be available round the clock. That’s why you must learn to depend on your partner.
What childcare responsibilities can you share?
What tasks can you request other people to do?
Actually, everything except breastfeeding. For feeding, if you feed breast milk or powdered milk in a baby bottle, you can delegate the task to someone you trust. However, because your request for help may be met with some resistance, it is wise to change your partner’s mind to cooperate little by little until he can finally do it by himself. By slowly increasing the list of small tasks, daddy’s participation in raising the child will increase in the future.
However, at the start, you may not know what to do, and there are many things that you leave to your own mother. Take the initiative to make sharing childcare easier by getting advice from your mother.
Also, men are said to take time to realize that they have become fathers, unlike mothers who have carried their babies for 9 months.
As the baby’s reactions often develop the baby’s self-consciousness, it is an opportunity to turn on the daddy switch by making daddy spend as much time with the baby. Some men are amazed at the baby’s response and make statements such as:
“He/she laughed when she/he saw my face”.
“He/she stopped crying when I embraced it”.
We often limit “child-rearing sharing” to diaper changes and bathing. But we must allow babies to explore and participate in our everyday lives and interact with them as often as we can to help them grow, give them a hug and spend some quality time. These activities are also part of child care.
When Daddy has understood these things, you can take a rest or do some housework as you share child care tasks.
How to communicate with your partner to turn on his “Daddy” switch
A woman is usually already in “mom” mode from the moment the baby was born, while a man’s Papa switch has yet to be turned on. Eventually, however, most of these guys will eventually feel the role.
So a lot depends on Mama’s response to situations that can help motivate daddy to realize his job as a father. These are the following things that you can do.
Be pleased and praise every little effort
It is good to be praised. Therefore, if you show praise or pleasure to your partner for doing something or making effort, it will help him get comfortable to perform new baby care tasks.
You can make motivational responses with concrete words such as “Daddy does it, the baby is calm”, and “Thank you, you are our savior, we really needed that”. It would help to say it like these praises were also coming from the baby so that he realizes the importance of his contribution.
Do not expect 100%
“I changed the baby’s diaper, but it got misplaced and leaked”.
“The bathroom is a disaster after bathing the baby”.
These are things that may discourage the mother from delegating tasks. But like many mothers, new dads also need time to learn about child care because they are freshmen at child-rearing.
Although it may take time and effort, it is important that you first appreciate what he did and not ask for perfection.
Please advise casually and gently address the things that you are concerned about. Avoid making counter-productive statements. Encourage improvement by using lines such as, “You can do it better this way”, etc.
Even though some situations are natural and not surprising for mothers who are face to face with babies every day, the same scenario might not have the same casual impact on Daddy who may not understand what’s happening because he is unable to spend as much time with the baby because of work. If you make assumptions and do not make an effort to understand, these events will become the cause of dissatisfaction and fighting later on, so explain patiently what you want as specifically as possible.
Make time to give priority to dad
When childcare begins, the baby becomes the center of life, and the time spent relaxing as a couple is minimized. It is unavoidable that some housework will be neglected, but make it a priority to be continually aware of Dad.
By simply asking, “How was your work today?” and making time to listen, Dad will know that you care and he will cherish that feeling and attention from you.
It is for couples to perform childcare together. Spending quality time as a family and cooperating on various child care scenarios creates an environment that allows you to support and trust each other. The feeling of laboring for each other may be the best trick in sharing child-rearing.