Sunday, December 14, 2014

fatherhood

Being the father of a newborn is easy and very rewarding. Here are a few pointers for new dads in order to help you be a Superdad, or what other people might call a barely functioning mother.1

Be involved in your child's life

This can mean anything from holding the baby when he's not crying, or working from home and putting in earplugs when he screams in the swing and mommy is showering. The great thing about babies--especially for their mothers--is they are so cuddly and lovable for anywhere from seconds to minutes at a time, and when they start getting annoyed, it's pretty obvious they want their mommy back, so be sure to say things like, "I'd keep holding him, but your emotional neglect will obviously result in his eventual multiple drug convictions", or, "look how hard this little angel is crying for his mommy who is too tired to just take her baby for another hour or two or three."

Give helpful suggestions as a father

Sometimes babies cry because they are hungry, sometimes because they are sleepy, and sometimes because they want their mommy to hold them and definitely not daddy. There are a few exceptions to this rule: the first one that should come to mind is teething. People have told you about teething, which could start anywhere from just after birth until age one, or more realistically after four months, but it can't hurt to mention that as a possible source of your child's crying, maybe say, every time he cries. If he cries for any reason at all, suggest he could be teething because someday you'll be right, and you can remind mommy about that for a few years.

Show empathy

Being a stay-at-home mom with a newborn is tough work, so it's helpful if you can show empathy for mommy by reminding her that you "worked" all day long too, and be sure to hold your ground that going to a winery and playing bocce ball with coworkers is work because you are an introvert and navigating complex bocce ball social dynamics is difficult, so you can understand why her back hurts and the house is in disarray and the baby screamed for four hours and she wants you to bend over backwards and hold the baby while she cooks dinner.

Following these simple steps is the fastest way to fatherhood glory and a trip to Oahu by way of paying penance.

1. You may have resented society's low expectations of you in the past, but you're going to revel in false glory now!

2 comments:

brittney perry said...

Here's my question. You know how people are always saying they're, "not winning any parenting awards"? Do those awards even exist? And where do I make submissions? Because THIS guy is nailing it.

jamwt said...

Chris, I feel like this is a grossly unfair characterization of fathers. I would never allow myself to shirk responsibly like that. You don't have to believe me--just ask Brooke how involved I am! Oh, and if you talk to her, let her know how much I'm looking forward to seeing her and the kids when I get home from work next week.