4 Ways to Support Your Husband as a First-Time Dad

4 Ways to Support Your Husband as a First-Time Dad | Twin Cities Moms Blog

My first four months as a mom were beyond survival mode—more like complete panic. I was so focused on my baby that I couldn’t meet my own physical and emotional needs. My dear husband fell through the cracks of my emotional exhaustion. I couldn’t see through the fog of my own needs to recognize how much he was drowning in fatherhood.

New Mommy, let me encourage you: In the face of overwhelming odds, don’t forget your husband. A healthy relationship can survive a few weeks of distraction, but soon our focus has to fall back to mutual encouragement or we will lose the happy dependence that makes marriage beautiful.

It only takes a few simple steps to support your hubby as he becomes a daddy:

Encourage him to do the things he enjoys about fatherhood: If you don’t know what they are, ask him. When my youngest son was around nine-months old, my husband admitted that he loves to put him to bed. I loved it too, but he needed those baby snuggles more than I did. The more moments of joy our husbands can capture with our children, the easier the tough patches will be for them. As moms, we can facilitate those moments of joy our husbands might not even recognize they need.

Allow him to husband you: My postnatal emotional instability was painful for my husband to watch. He wanted to fix it but didn’t know how. It’s an age-old problem. As women, we want our husbands to just listen and affirm, but they want to hear and fix.

When I gave birth to my third baby in three years, my husband suggested I hire a cleaning service. It felt like admitting defeat and accepting my own ineptitude, but when I finally humbled my heart, I saw the wisdom and love in what he was suggesting. Sometimes as women we need to allow some duct tape on our lives instead of wallowing in our misery. The duct tape might not fix it perfectly, but if it can make it better, let’s accept the help.

You are probably an exhausted, emotional, and overwhelmed new mommy. You need all the help you can get. If your husband tries to fix your problem, don’t get angry that he isn’t listening. Maybe it’s time for you to accept the fix.

Assume the best intentions: Don’t take your husband’s every action a personal offense against you or your baby. When he makes a suggestion for improvement, it doesn’t mean he thinks you’re a bad mom or you’re messing up your child. Assume that he means the best, even if what he said or did was hurtful. Seek to restore relationship, but don’t accuse. Ask him why he did or said it, then believe him. Because you love him, trust that he is bringing you suggestions out of love.

Find time for him: It’s easier to say you just don’t have time, but you can find it. Don’t underestimate the value of even 10 minutes of focused, caring conversation. Be interested in his day and ask good questions. New dads often feel like they are always last priority. Find 10 minutes today to make him your priority.

When you’re drowning in the demands of your new baby, don’t lose sight of your husband. He’s treading water in the deep sea next to you, and while you don’t need to be his lifeguard, you could throw him a buoy. Any investment you make into your husband always pays back dividends to you.

Maggie Combs is the author of Unsupermommy: Release Expectations, Embrace Imperfection, and Connect to God’s Superpower. In her totally imperfect life, she is a mom of three busy boys: Isaac, Zander, and Judah. She blames their unending energy and solid build completely on her tall, active husband, Wes. Maggie grew up dreaming of motherhood because she assumed it would increase her social life. She thought wrong. Now Maggie uses her stolen moments to write about the down and dirty realities of motherhood, occasionally getting these thoughts corralled online on Instagram (@unsupermommy) or www.unsupermommy.com. Her family is currently building a new house on the hobby farm she grew up on. You can peek into that journey on Instagram by following @bravenewfarmhouse. {Photo credit: Gina Zeidler}

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