Helping a New Mom Article
Window of Opportunity
When asked what is most important for rookie dads, veteran fathers will say that no matter how difficult your circumstances are, focus on supporting mom.
They will also tell you that the birth is when the rubber needs to hit the road, because not only is this when she needs you most, your support once the baby arrives is what she will remember in the years ahead.
The first few months are the toughest for a new mom, when the demands on her are often overwhelming, and her confidence and capabilities as a mother are just developing. In comparison, pregnancy is like the preseason before regular season games.
You want to do well, but if you do not meet her and/or your own expectations, the games that really count are still ahead of you. Most anything you did prior to labor kicking in, good or not, will be archived in the recesses of her mind, much like who won or lost in the preseason.
Bottom line is that your performance during this crucial post-birth period will form the basis for her new perspective of you as the father of her child, and as her partner as a parent.
The long-term potential of your actions during this intense process will easily justify any effort you can muster, and then some. You may need to go beyond anything you can conceive of in terms of effort and exhaustion to get the job done.
Mom may be inundated by the baby's needs as well as her own. If she has a cesarean birth, plan on pushing the boundaries of your endurance for at least the first two weeks. If your baby is fussy or becomes colicky, plan on it for three months.
This is your window of opportunity with the new woman in your life - the mother of your baby - and you will want to be there for her. In time the demands upon you will pass, but the job you do will set the tone for your relationship for decades.
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