I’ve been writing a series of new blog post about what a new father should expect when his first child is born. The reason I’ve been doing this is because my wife and I are expecting baby number 2 in February of next year and I’ve been thinking back on what surprised me the most about being a new father.
One thing you will experience as a new father is that family and friends will want to come meet the new baby. They will want to come to the hospital to see and hold the baby. Once you go home from the hospital you will have family and friends who will want to come over. So how do you manage this new attention with a new born and a new mom recovering from giving birth?
Managing Family and Friend Visits
In my experience family and friends will often call before to see if they can come visit. But it doesn’t hurt to request that everyone call to see if it’s okay to visit. When family and friends visit they’ve come to meet and hold the new baby and see how mom is doing. Don’t hesitate to ask them to wash their hands before holding the baby. I found that visitors who came to visit my son and wife in the hospital knew to wash their, but it doesn’t hurt to ask so baby doesn’t get sick. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your wife to see if the visits are getting too stressful. If it is getting too stressful, it’s okay to reduce the visits by simply saying your wife needs to rest. You could also suggest that visitors come tomorrow.
When my son was born I found it quite enjoyable to have family and friends come visit. I knew they would all be a big part of my son’s life. I wanted them to meet him and him to meet them. Also, I knew that my wife needed and wanted support from family and friends. She had just gone through a very tough experience in giving birth and visits from family and friends were uplifting for her.
Grandmothers are awesome! Your wife’s mom may want to come help out with the baby. Your mom may want to help out too. The challenge here may be coordinating which grandmother comes. When they should come. Maybe it is most helpful for your wife to have both grandmothers there at the same time? To facilitate this as a new father, make sure to communicate with your wife about this so both of you can be on the same page. Both my mother and mother-in-law wanted to help out which was very helpful for my wife. I knew that my wife wanted and needed the help from her mother so it became my job to facilitate that and not get in the way of letting both grandmas help out.
With all the focus and energy you will put into helping mom and baby you will get a bit overwhelmed. So what do you do when this happens? You take sometime for yourself. To do this you may need to make sure everything is in order with your wife and baby, as well as making sure everything is squared away at work. Once you do this, take sometime for yourself. Doing this will recharge your batteries and will enable you to better help and support mom and baby for the weeks and months ahead.