How To Include ‘Daddy’ In The Parenting Journey?
Most of the time the father of a new born baby in India is almost pushed off to the corner by others once the child is born.
Most of the time the father of a new born baby in India is almost pushed off to the corner by others once the child is born. He is there to pay the bills, doctor’s visits, and does the shopping. There are grandparents, uncles and aunts, and nannies hovering over the baby other than the overly tired Mom. Many families still favor the ritual where would be mothers go to her parents place for delivery of the child and fathers have to stay put in the place where the job is. Fathers feel a little confused in the beginning and then get detached from the emotional connect of parenting process.
Indian parenting scenario can definitely benefit a lot by bringing daddies more into the picture. Dads will get to know more about their kids and kids will benefit from different styles of two parents. Above all the couples will have another reason to bond with each other while parenting.
There are countries where paternity leave is mandatory to take….India still needs to walk a long path for paternity leave to become a reality
There are countries where paternity leave is mandatory to take and all over the world debates and discussions to revamp the role of fathers in parenting in consequence to changing status of today’s women. India still needs to walk a long path for paternity leave to become a reality. In the world where we live, motherhood is extremely glorified. Mothers are judged relentlessly on upbringing of a child, anything that she does is questioned by the family and society. Being conditioned within, new mothers also try to take the entire responsibility of parenting and often walk a very lonely path.
Here are few ways how a new mom can include the “Daddy” in a journey of togetherness called parenting.
Use the Pregnancy Time
A woman gets the feel of becoming a mother through 9 months of her pregnancy, through changes in her body and mind. For me motherhood has induced an intense dose of anxiety over the health and safety of the child, which normally becomes difficult for my partner to relate with his logical thinking. It is necessary for a woman to talk out all the strange and happy feeling that she goes through with her partner and do that regularly. Visits to the doctor, prenatal courses, buying stuff for the new member of the family all can be done together. Men take more time to understand about the overnight change they see in their partner once they learn that they are pregnant. It is important to give them time as they are not going through the creation of a baby inside their body. Try to talk on stuff other than baby too; this helps your partner to keep him calm.
Bonding During Child Birth
Share your fear and anxiety, don’t immediately hope that your partner will behave as you want him to, but keep sharing so that he is aware about most of your thoughts. It is an overwhelming moment for both of you and men and women have different ways of handling stress. I have often heard that men feel quite lost in the middle of their partner’s child birth process.
After Child Birth
Life changes completely after homecoming with a little bundle in hand (of joy they say!). You get completely drowned into new motherly chores and your partner keeps up with ad-hoc requests. You may get little critical with the way your husband is learning to handle the small wonder. If there are other family members he gets more comments. Also little baby comes with lot of cleaning and washing action items, men are not very keen in understanding those schedules. You can create a ritual here where few times a day he would do the clean up and you would not pick mistakes, fathers have a different way of handing babies and that is fine. Have trust and use that time for you, for a cup of tea or a long bath and get rejuvenate. It is again important to keep talking about the feelings and emotions you go through so that any post partum depression signals could be picked by your partner and you get support on time. Some time the mundane feeding, cleaning, and sleep routine of a new born can make you dead tired and emotionally low, talking it out helps a lot.
With Child Growing Up
New mothers need to remember that parenting is a project of 18 years and above and it is not only about changing diapers and nutritious food but there are many complex factors attributed to it. For raising boys it is easier when fathers are close to them and guide them about physical changes and can guide mothers on understanding their energy outbursts. Fathers can guide their sons (and daughters) on respectful ways of talking with peers and using curse word is no sign of power or being grown up. For girls having involved and supportive fathers help them learn about another gender and how to treat and should be treated by boys. A father who helps inside the house gives children on both gender hands on visuals of a balanced life.
Father-Child Exclusive Moments
It is important that mothers take initiative in looking at the common interest between her partner and her children and leave them doing those activities together, it can be grocery shopping or watching a movie together or visiting an electronic shop. Often it is observed that fathers are not very vocal about their feeling toward their children and mothers take the charge of emotional binding. Often absence of mother for some time, helps father and the children to handle each other emotions and get used to of them. In my case, when I get absent from their scene, they immediately start doing their together – fun things!
Parenting is a lovely journey but a long one, every new mom wants to make the best of this journey and tries all possible ways, and one very evident way would be to include the “Daddy” too in your journey.
Image credits: Pixabay.com