Monday, September 23rd, 2013
How much help you get from your baby father will depend on a number of factors:
The kind of guy he is…good guy/bad guy?
The amount of sleep he needs…flying on 5 hours or sluggish even on 8?
The kind of job he has…brain surgeon? Out of work actor?
How his own mother has helped to shape his beliefs…modern man or Stepford Husband?
And most significantly and importantly, how assertive you are!
In a nutshell, if you are a bossy bitch, shacked up with a compassionate, freelance / unemployed artiste, insomniac kind of man, you are likely to be getting a good deal of hands on help. Indeed, he may be better at childcare then you!
If you are more of a pushover who has chosen to breed with a chauvinistic, sleep-monster who works all hours then you are probably practically flying solo and chances are you may have even forgotten what he looks like let alone how useful he could be.
Here are 5 top tips to help you cultivate and foster this most legendary of domestic phenomenons – the helpful baby father!
1. Be clear about what you want him to do. Whether it is something you want him to do everyday like empty the dishwasher, or random tasks like cut the toddler’s grotesquely and embarrassingly long toenails, spell it out!
2. Do not be shy in asking for help whenever you need it. If you can change a lightbulb/build an Ikea flatpack/go to the dump then your partner can surely sterilise the bottles/clean out the nappy bin/do the late feed. If you never ask for help, it is unlikely you will get as much as you might like.
3. Cut your partner some slack! You will be able to multi-task to the extreme – washing bottles, whilst pureeing carrots, rocking the baby with one foot, pushing fish fingers into the toddler’s mouth with the other foot, whilst online shopping with your proboscis, and all the time planning what you are going to cook for supper and what you are going to get your godchild for his 4th birthday. Your partner will only be able to do one of these things at a time, and even then it will be with the speed and efficiency of a tranquilized sloth.
4. Don’t Cry Wolf. Be honest about how bad or how good your day has been. If it has been decent, then tell him about the good bits and try not to focus on the poo/sick/tantrum stories – even though we love to share them. Then, whenever you have a ‘FML’ kind of day, you’ll get the proper sympathy you need.
5. And if all this fails, and you are not getting the help you would like from him, the remedy is simple; a full day of “Daddy Day Care” whilst you spend the day doing something for yourself! This day of father-led care usually brings even the strongest of men to his knees by about 11am. You should return home from your massage/lunch/shopping trip to find the house pretty much destroyed and your partner filled with a new-found respect and marvel at how you manage to do it everyday. Repeat this once a month for guaranteed results….
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