Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Help a girl out, will ya?

OK. I honestly love all of you. And, now I need your help. Life is so crazy right now as I have landed two GREAT assignments this week for national publications. One was my idea; the other, not so much.

So ...

I need your help.

I already have a nice list started, but I'm curious to hear what you would put on a New Dad's To-Do list. Things already taken: wash bottles, do laundry, change diaper pail, tell mom you love her and that she's doing a good job, bring home chocolate, and take the baby for a walk.

There's plenty more, I know, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts and ... if your answer is unique and interesting, I just might ask to interview you!!

Thanks! Hope you all are having a better day than I am!!

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12 comments:

Michelle (the beartwinsmom) said...

Give mom a night off a week, or even a day off a month. It is SO important for mom not to get burned out. Mom has to remember to take care of herself or she's not going to be good at taking care of anyone else.

Now if only my hubby would take that tip...

Jena Strong said...

Yes to Michelle's tip!

A few other ideas, among many:

1. Connect with other new dads - WITH the baby (or babies).

2. Establish a "date night" for dad & baby that can grow and evolve over time - this was especially important and special for my husband with our first child.

3. Make time "off" mutually important, i.e. make friends with the hand-off.

xo Jena

village mama said...

I'll help you, you 'year of writing' pro, you!

Here's some thoughts:
- go grocery shopping WITH the baby
- make meals
- book days off and use them to stay home WITH baby so mom can go to the doctor etc
- wash, fold, put away laundry
- let mom sleep in AT LEAST once a week, more if she nurses on demand all day and night and if she co sleeps
- Promise, in writing/blood that the first twelve months will be about the baby, and not doing home renovations, train for Ironman, etc (yes, I'm speaking from a very tender place in my heart and brain)
- listen, hug, and empathize even if he's not really sure what hormonal wave mom is on

Good luck Shawn!

Let me know if I can help in any other way!

Shannon said...

-A day off might be hard to arrange, and if so...just take the baby and order mom to go spend some quality time with herself under a hot shower.

-Take lots of pics with mom and baby (somehow mom always gets left out of these)

-Order take out

-Let her cry and vent without trying to fix it, just listen

I'm sure I'll think of more later...

marta said...

Get up in the middle of the night. Cook and clean up afterwards. Give compliments. Run interference with in-laws.

LauraC said...

Ooohhhhh... this could be a long list!

* Buy groceries and make meals
* Rent movies for mom to watch while breastfeeding
* Take lots and lots of pictures of mom with baby
* Field all phone calls the first few weeks. Also take care of all emails, sending photos, etc.
* Spend time with the baby and learn how to comfort it at night and during the day
* Tell her each day how much you appreciate her
* Offer to get up for every night waking to take care of everything except feeding
* Help the mom understand that even if your way is different, it doesn't mean her way is better. You're both parents in this together.
* Ask ask ask ask. Ask what you can do to help. Ask how she's feeling. Ask what she'd like to do. Ask if she's ok. Ask if she has enough support. Be there in spirit as well as in person.
* Never ever say the mom is "on vacation" during maternity leave.

LauraC said...

Ooohhhhh... this could be a long list!

* Buy groceries and make meals
* Rent movies for mom to watch while breastfeeding
* Take lots and lots of pictures of mom with baby
* Field all phone calls the first few weeks. Also take care of all emails, sending photos, etc.
* Spend time with the baby and learn how to comfort it at night and during the day
* Tell her each day how much you appreciate her
* Offer to get up for every night waking to take care of everything except feeding
* Help the mom understand that even if your way is different, it doesn't mean her way is better. You're both parents in this together.
* Ask ask ask ask. Ask what you can do to help. Ask how she's feeling. Ask what she'd like to do. Ask if she's ok. Ask if she has enough support. Be there in spirit as well as in person.
* Never ever say the mom is "on vacation" during maternity leave.

bella said...

Shawn,
I've got some of my own favorites.
And I also explore this with dads in my birth preparation classes.
It's amazing what comes up.
I'll email you my thoughts rather than clutter your comment box here.
and congrats on these two amazing, fabulous writing assignments.
You rock!

Karen said...

Take time off (sorry, it needs to be said.) Cook, grocery shop, take photos (only don't take photos of Mom!), stay off the phone to your own friends and family, give new Mom lots of credit, send out email updates to friends and family, take off work for the doctor's appts.,give up video games for a nice long duration, don't complain

Shawn said...

Michelle: Did you mean give mom a month off? That's what I heard, anyway. : )

Jena: Great ideas here. There should be more dads groups.

Village Mama: R U Serious about Ironman? Wow. I think your first point is going to be a controversial one for those with multiples.

Shannon: Yeah, sister. I get it. That pictures point is a GREAT one.

Laura: Fab list here. Have you heard someone call maternity leave a vacation?????? I dare anyone to call my day a vacation right now. Go ahead ...

Karen: You're so right about taking time off. I bet there are a lot who still do not do this. It's really important ... and I didn't even think of that.

Everyone so far: These are so great. I love your ideas and there are some here that I will definitely include in my rough list -- can't promise that the piece will end up with them all. You guys rock! (And, I so needed this today. Thank you.)

Candace & Anna said...

My hubby would be sure that I had plenty of water. I was nursing and always thirsty.

He would help cook or clean up which ever I wanted sometimes both.

Even though he couldn't feed the baby he would bring her to me for the middle of the night feedings that way I would know he was there with me.

He would also let me go crash in the bed or tub when he came home from work and would let me chill until she was ready for her next feeding so usually about an hour or little more.

Bastet said...

This assignment is really cool...can't wait to read it! I think pretty much everything has been covered, but here is my list...

1. Give mom a foot rub or neck rub.
2. Offer to make dinner once a week.
3. Get a babysitter and take mom out (at least once a month) on a real date.
4. Pick some fresh flowers and bring them home.
5. Tell her how much you appreciate and love her -- often.

Good Luck!