7 Things a New Dad Needs to Know About His Spouse After the Baby’s Birth

Photo: Flickr/Karsha K R

Photo: Flickr/Karsha K R

Excerpt: The Good Men Project

by Luis Velasquez

As a dad welcomes his first birth child, change will hit the household. Luis Velasquez has 7 that the dad needs to know about his spouse.

Having a baby is all about change. I knew that going into it. There are the changes they tell you about in books, like shifting priorities and adjusting to the needs of a third person in the house. Then there are the changes your friends who are parents warn you of, like sleepless nights, changing diapers, and baby toys around every corner of the house. As a husband and new parent, I wanted to make sure I could support my family, no matter what changes we faced. Part of this was recognizing the fact that no matter how many books I read or friends I talked to, I’d never be able to anticipate everything, and that I’d have to adjust to and learn from the changes as they came.
I was pretty scared leading up to the birth of my daughter, Alexis. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to handle the changes she would bring. It’s been a learning lesson for sure, and I’m amazed at all the change our little one has brought to our lives.
Some of them have been typical: we didn’t get much sleep in the first several months; we’ve both had to adjust our priorities; and Rujeko and I have forgotten what it’s like to go out on a date. But those are the changes we anticipated. Less predictable were all the changes my lovely wife would go through.
As the husband and father in all this, there were a lot of changes that didn’t necessarily concern me. Men get off easy; it’s not our bodies that change dramatically during pregnancy, and we’re not the ones who have to endure all sorts of other physical and emotional changes after the birth. But we men do carry part of the load, and there are many dramatic changes that husband and wife endure together once a new baby is born.
It’s been 13 months since our little Alexis was born, and although I am still learning, I’d like to take the knowledge I’ve gained so far and pass it on to fellow husbands and fathers out there welcoming new babies into their lives.

7 things men should know about their wives after the baby arrives:

  1. She’ll be more critical of herself: Yep—she’ll observe herself in the mirror more often, and she’ll see the physical changes she’s gone through. Those changes aren’t subtle to begin with, and they’ll be even more magnified in her eyes. You’ll need to be there for her, reassuring her that she’s still the most beautiful woman in the world, and that even though she might be telling herself her body isn’t what it used to be, you genuinely believe otherwise.
  2. She’ll expect more of you: You’re not a relief pitcher; you’re the starter AND finisher. That means you need to have your game face on at all times. Your wife will automatically expect you to step up to the plate and save the game, every single time. Babies may be small, but their accessories sure take up a lot of space. Once the baby comes home, there are suddenly diapers to change, bottles to sterilize, tons of laundry to do, groceries to buy, and frequent runs to the store. Be ready to sacrifice your sports car for a larger car, or your man cave for the baby’s playroom—and that is OK.