Once he becomes a father, the ‘head’ of the family automatically takes a backseat, in family matters at least. Having said that, while the spotlight and the cameras (literally!) will constantly be on the protagonists – the mom and the newborn – the man does play a supporting role, and a very important one at that. As a Dad now, he is not just a man, but the Man Friday for both his wife (now Mom) and their Baby!
However, while the Mom’s role is clearly defined – that of being the primary caregiver for the baby – poor Dad finds himself clueless about his undefined role in the new scene. Now, while there are many things that Mom can do, which Dad simply cannot (like carrying the child for 9 months and breastfeeding, for instance), there are quite a few things he could do to lighten the burden off the fragile shoulders of dear wife, which in turn would help her become a more effective parent. Remember, the lesser the time Mom needs to spend on routine activities, the more the time and attention she could give to the baby, leading to happy parenting and more importantly, a happy baby. “So, dear daddy, will you please help mom stay free and always available for me?”
Play the role of ‘Reliever’ for Mom
Motherhood is a 24×7 job. And it is dad’s duty to relieve mom every now and then, by presenting himself as an able substitute. So, he could take turns in massaging and bathing the baby, changing her diapers and clothes, putting her to sleep and playing with her and keeping her happy and occupied during her waking hours.
Why, he can even help feed the baby! Yes, we all know he is not equipped to breastfeed like mom, but he can certainly volunteer once the breastfeeding stage is over – right from boiling the milk, cooling it, putting it into the bottle and holding it patiently till the baby has drained the bottle, right up to the last drop.
Besides, he could also help Mom with the routine work – managing the house, keeping the house clean and well organized – especially the kitchen and the baby’s room, so that in case of emergencies, one knows exactly where to find a particular thing, paying the bills, answering the door whenever visitors come… and any other routine work that wife used to do before becoming mom.
Occasionally, he could also employ his culinary skills (Oh, what a welcome relief that would be for Mom – No going to the kitchen!) He could make tea, coffee, snacks and even full meals, if possible for the mom (She would be glad to see her husband serving her, for a change).
Do remember that while doing any or all of the above, the father is not just doing regular chores, but also nurturing his bonding with the newborn. This will also give Mom some much needed rest and precious me-time, so that she can come back fresher and happier, to the baby’s delight.
Become Mom’s ‘Secretary’
Just as a busy boss needs a secretary, mom, who is now busier than she’s ever been in her entire life, will be better off with her own personal secretary. And who better than her own hubby – her baby’s father!
While tending to the baby, Mom may have too many things on her mind already and might get late for (or worse, forget altogether) her appointments with her gynaecologist (for post-pregnancy care and check-ups) and also the baby’s paediatrician (for routine check-ups, vaccines and treatment, if any). Here, the father could take up the responsibility of filing and maintaining the medical records, fixing appointments with the doctors and safely reaching Mom and baby to the doctor’s clinic and back home.
Play the father
Last, but not the least, the man has to play his natural of a father. Though, he is not as emotional and expressive as his wife, it would be stupid to think he doesn’t yearn to take the child in his warm embrace and spend some time with her playing, caressing, or simply doing nothing but letting the father-child bonding grow.