Fathers-to-be! Fundamentals of Fatherhood

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You may or may not have had good modeling for an engaged father as you were growing up, but as the late Dr. Benjamin Spock once said, "The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children, the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all." In other words, if you are tuned into your inner voice, you will be a good parent to your children.

Caring for your body: It is nearly as important for you to care for yourself as it is for the mother of your child-to-be. Successful parenting requires stamina, and taking care of your own health will enable you to be in a better position to support your wife and baby. Pay attention to the basics:

  • Good nutrition
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Sound sleep

I have some great info and tips on how to achieve all of these, feel free to reach out to hear more details!

 As a father-to-be you need to acknowledge that you cannot fully understand or appreciate what your pregnant wife or partner is going through. Her body is changing on a daily basis and the hormonal fluxes that are occurring inside her can contribute to rapid emotional shifts. Shout out to pesky mood swings!  It's important that you not take her emotional perturbations too personally, but, rather, look for opportunites to provide support and balance. Intellectual analysis will usually not be of much help in navigating the emotional turbulence of pregnancy. Remember, when your spouse is upset, her distress is the result of a need that is not being met. Whether or not she is expressing her need in a fully conscious way, see if you can look beyond the emotion to the implied request. Sometimes you will be capable of meeting her needs, and other times you won't, but the more centered you remain, the better you'll be able to help her regain her balance. No one is expected to be perfect- neither you nor your partner- but try to seek creative solutions to the inevitable challenges that arise.    

As a father-to-be you need to acknowledge that you cannot fully understand or appreciate what your pregnant wife or partner is going through. Her body is changing on a daily basis and the hormonal fluxes that are occurring inside her can contribute to rapid emotional shifts. Shout out to pesky mood swings!

It's important that you not take her emotional perturbations too personally, but, rather, look for opportunites to provide support and balance. Intellectual analysis will usually not be of much help in navigating the emotional turbulence of pregnancy. Remember, when your spouse is upset, her distress is the result of a need that is not being met. Whether or not she is expressing her need in a fully conscious way, see if you can look beyond the emotion to the implied request. Sometimes you will be capable of meeting her needs, and other times you won't, but the more centered you remain, the better you'll be able to help her regain her balance. No one is expected to be perfect- neither you nor your partner- but try to seek creative solutions to the inevitable challenges that arise. 

 

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Quick Tips for Dads

QUICK TIPS FOR DAD:

Take care of your own body, mind, and spirit so you can be more available to your wife and new child

Flow with the inevitable emotional and physical changes your partner is going through during pregnancy. Look for opportunities to provide your support.

Identify your own support systems that you can rely on when you are feeling depleted or overwhelmed.

 

Resources: Chopra, Deepak, et al. Magical beginnings, enchanted lives. New York, Three Rivers Press, 2005.