Hi all, I’m the very lucky partner of Eliza.
I’m 39 years old, so a bit late to the party, and work in property and finance.
I’m going to try and throw out a contribution that is more male centric and light on the estrogen. Not that there is anything wrong with that, hell, we wouldn’t be here without it would we? It’s just that these days, us dads are finally getting the recognition we deserve (I’m kidding honey).
So my first bit is about getting involved.
Much as we all love the easy path, more involvement has bigger rewards. I was very fortunate that Eliza quickly realized with our first child that I wasn’t much use at a 3am feeding, since I lack the necessary equipment. So very quickly, I was given permission to sleep through- many mates have not been this lucky and have been losing sleep in a very supportive manner.
But this doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do my fair share, so its important early on to jump in with all the facets that I can actually help with. It can be intimidating, and we have some stupid inbuilt sexist sense that girls are better at this stuff than boys, but its only mental. We can’t breast feed, but we can change nappies, push prams, mix formula and especially carry heavy objects. The only thing holding us back is confidence. Its very easy to think that wifey is better at this stuff, and therefore to stand back and ‘assist’. But the truth is they aren’t- at least not naturally, they only get better because they have to do it, and therefore get better through practice.
Being more involved, by helping out more, will not only give your partner a break, but will also build your confidence for that time when mum isn’t available, and thereby create more freedom for you and the kids. I couldn’t wait to get out in the bush with the dog and Charlie, a couple of nappies tucked in a back pocket, and no longer feeling housebound. Mates who haven’t made this transition get dragged to lunches as if they are a third handbag (i.e. completely useless).
Don’t be a passenger!