It’s heartbreaking being the father of a newborn. At first, it’s a thankless job. How disappointing and shocking for a new dad to discover that his baby, whom he adores, won’t stop crying until mommy picks him up.
To all the new daddies, don’t worry if you feel at a loss, not knowing how to help out with the parenting duties. You may feel “useless”, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Your job is to be mom’s assistant. Take over the laundry and cleaning chores, make supper, take out the trash, make sure mom is eating right and has a glass of water at hand when she is breastfeeding. Because when you are taking care of mommy, you are directly taking care of baby too.
Soon, your baby will start to notice these things. “Hmmm, this man is always around helping mommy. He has a funny face. I like that.”
On this note, I wish to thank my husband for never giving up. For loving our son, even when he pushes your hand away because he would rather be in my arms. For going to extraordinary and silly lengths to make our baby eat his cereal, like perching toys on your shoulders and pretending they are “stealing” a bite off the spoon. For taking over almost every household chore. For giving me massages when it’s taken me an hour to put him to sleep. For taking care of him every morning so I can sleep in. (God bless you!)
Thank you for throwing yourself completely into fatherhood, shining your bright smile when you play with our baby. It makes me feel safe to know there is someone who loves him as unconditionally as I do.
Just so you know, this is how our baby boy feels about his father:
“Daddy is the only one who knows how to play the chasing game.”
“I want Daddy to read this story. He does the funny voices that makes me fall over in a fit of giggles.”
“Daddy is eating broccoli. OK, I guess I will too.”
“If Mommy is not available, only Daddy will do.”
And here’s the ultimate proof of how important you are. Every day, at around 6pm, when he hears the front door creak open, he suddenly freezes in mid-play. I ask him, “Is that Daddy at the door?” At which point he’ll throw his toy down in a crash, and make a mad dash to the door to greet you.
The rewards of fatherhood are great indeed, but that’s what you get when you put in as much work as you have with patience and love. Our son LOVES you, and so do I.
Happy Father’s Day!