Yay! You are pregnant! Your new bundle of joy has been delivered! You have been promoted to mummy and daddy! Lots of smiles, laughter, oooh-s, aaahhs . Now what?
Perhaps I was a little naïve, but deep within me somewhere was this presumption that since I was always good with kids, being a mum wasn’t going to be too tough. I mean, I had already signed up for countless subscriptions, done my research. What could go wrong?
(pic on left from: http://www.twinpossible.com, pic on right: myself with Kiara)
When this reality slapped me hard on my face, I really needed support. Yes, lot of us have our parents, in-laws and friends to help and we are grateful for that. However, support from our partners is essential.
Pregnancy/Post pregnancy was PMS x 345656768678 (at least for me). Your patience really helps. We don’t act psycho on purpose.
Bond with the baby
Some dads are natural at this and some not so. We know you can’t exactly have a conversation with a newborn, tickle them or play with them. Still, carry them, cuddle them and do this often. It makes us very happy (unless you are trying to do this right after we’ve struggled to put the baby to sleep).
We know you truly believe that we’re going to be awesome mothers. But sometimes, we don’t think so. We feel inadequate, lost and disappointed. Encourage us with a hug, a kiss and let us know we are doing a great job.
(Hint: A beautiful gift from you is perfect – http://wp.me/p4HBwQ-C)
Be a ‘hands-on’ daddy
Remember those long conversations we had about how you are going to take our baby to the park, zoo and the beach? Well, that’s not going to happen with a newborn. Instead, help us with the diaper changing, rocking the baby to sleep and the midnight feeds. Know the baby’s routine, it helps. As much as we love our new role as a mummy, we need a break too.
Take us out for a date
Yes, it is well established that we love our little ones to death. Once in a while, we would like to have some personal time with you too.
Fat jokes are NOT funny
We may have been or some of us still are quite laid back and able to take a joke. But constant pokes (literal and otherwise) at our tummy are not appreciated. Yes it is flabby. We may get rid of it, we may not. Deal with it.
Remind us of ourselves
Being a new mummy is such a demanding task, that most of us tend to neglect ourselves. At this point, help us remember who we used to be as a person. Support us in getting back to the things we used to love. It can be anything from jogging to our career.
The appropriate time for this varies from mum to mum. Whether to do this when pregnant, after baby or whether to take baby along are individual preferences. What is for sure is that taking a holiday can provide a well-deserved break.
Help us! Help us! Help us!
I know we are on maternity leave or a stay at home mum. That doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. So help us as much as you can with whatever you can. Each mother is different and their expectation of support varies. Help us cope and together we will be fantastic parents. Always hand in hand.
Coming soon : A letter to the Mummy Me