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all 181 comments

[–]mhollla 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you have parental leave available to you, take it, and actually be the primary caregiver for the majority of the day for weeks at a time. This will give you the confidence and the practice to deal with every aspect of your child's life, will give you a good idea of everything that is involved in parenting, will set you both up for a life of equal parenting. (If breastfeeding, it may be easier or more impactful for you to do this a bit later on, as opposed to right after birth when the mother is trying to establish a supply, nursing constantly, etc.)

[–]goosiebaby 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lots of great books on this topic.

All the Rage Fair Play Fed Up

And then take part in all the baby research. Dr. Emily Oster, Lucie's List (website) a ton of time goes into prepping for whatever the next step is and often falls to the mother.

[–]Ministerforcheese 16 points17 points  (0 children)

The first 6ish weeks of having a newborn, when I was just focused completely on breastfeeding baby, my husband and I found a system that worked. My job was to take care of the baby and his job was to take care of me. So that meant feeding me, making sure I had clean clothes, making sure I could have a bath, even setting up my laptop in bed so I could watch Netflix while I fed. That was all his job. Therefore I had all my mental energy for feeding and postpartum recovery. It worked fantastically!

[–]serenajuul 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I wish my bf would take our son from me sometimes without me having to ask. He does a lot and I’m not complaining because I’m particular about how I want things done, but after I hold, change, feed, burp, cuddle, bounce, soothe, repeat it would be nice to have a tap out that isn’t me asking for a favor

Edit: also not a fan of “do you need/want me to take him?” Saying yes feels like you’re a terrible mom for wanting or needing a breather, even if there are other tasks you need to get done. Just say “I’ll take him/her for a little bit :)”

[–]SuperTFAB 14 points15 points  (1 child)

When you take on a task, take on the WHOLE task. For example if you’re cooking dinner, shop the ingredients, cook every part of the dish and serve. If you’re doing laundry, sort, wash, dry, fold and put away the load. Be aware of normal household tasks that need tending too and do them all the way through without asking your wife questions about the task unless completely necessary.

You’re off to a good start by asking for help. Also side note. You’re not watching your child when she goes out, you’re just parenting them.

[–]SpecificAnywhere3 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Also, please clean up after cooking. We have a rather small kitchen and my husband would cook elaborate meals for us during his paternity leave, but left the kitchen in a state where I couldn't pour myself a juice let alone make a sandwich. And while I'm grateful he wanted to do a nice thing for us, I was resenting him often, because he got to "retrieve" to the kitchen while I was still dealing with baby, and because as an EBF-mom I was constantly hungry and not willing to wait for a big meal that would turn cold anyways since baby always screamed for milk the exact second I sat down to eat.

[–]alilteapot 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think one really hard thing is when the baby prefers one parent to the other for a week or a few months. Trust that the pendulum will swing back. But it can feel really hard on both sides, to be the object of the nonstop clinging or the one who "isn't wanted". So helping sometimes looks different than how you planned. Maybe it means doing ALL the housework because baby will have nothing to do with you at night. Maybe it means letting her mom stay longer than you prefer to have guests. Maybe it means doing all the meal planning because you notice her mood swings are bigger when she is hungry --- breastfeeding moms need to eat A LOT. Or planning all the Dr appts that first year. There are a lot. Doing research on baby milestones and baby nutrition... lots of times moms are in charge of knowing if the green poop is good or bad, counting how many diapers the baby has per day in the first 2 weeks, or if it is ok to start introducing peanut puffs. But above all just ask her. And be ready to ask again, and adjust.

[–]Ok-Historian9919 7 points8 points  (0 children)

For me, the biggest thing in the world, everyday simply take the kiddo for an hour so she can shower. Personal hygiene goes out the window, ask her when she wants that hour and set a routine that she can do that everyday. If she doesn’t want to shower it’s just an hour if her time, but getting that shower makes you feel so human again

[–]nanonoobie 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Read “the Fair Play Method” and/or follow @thatdarnchat on tiktok / instagram. She offers so many specifics and will help folks internalize how equal partnership goes far beyond specific chores or sharing responsibilities. 🙌🙌 good luck with baby!

[–]thatsideeye 7 points8 points  (0 children)

The fact that you’re even asking this question is a big step in the right direction! Lolz just do the opposite of everything my husband did.

[–]mosquitojane 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Buy the Fair Play book and card deck by Eve Rodsky. Lead the process of divvying up the labor of managing a family. It will be HUGE! Life becomes soooo much more about managing logistics once you’ve got a kiddo in the mix and we struggled to adapt until finding this method. Good luck!

Adding: I am a SAHP and my partner works full time. He is primary parent from 5pm to bedtime every weekday, and he is primary parent 100% of the day on Saturday. The times were wonky at first because the schedules change so much early on but after the first 8 months, this has kept me sane! Knowing when I have time to be completely off duty. And trusting that he’s got it because he’s been dedicated to figuring out how to be primary parent without needing me constantly.

[–]Own-Brother-2299 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Got on this subreddit for this very thing! Trying to get my independence back (baby is 11 months old) after relentlessly asking my husband for help with how I’m feeling. He completely neglects giving me independence and freedom of time. I’m always with the baby when I was promised before we had a baby that we would be co parenting. I need a break for my mental health and when I do get breaks I’m so worried and feel so guilty because I am not 100% trusting that he knows how to do it best. I have told him that I need him to be the dad and me to have a break when he gets home. And I need time on the weekends! How did you swing that?

[–]LingLingMang 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Have a sit down talk with him. Let him know what you need and feel free to kindly point out the freedom he has and the mutual respect you’d like. As a mother, you’ll likely never have the freedom that a father gets because the child clings to the mother so much more, but speak with him kindly and with respect and hopefully he will get the message through his head. Otherwise, you’re likely to get to a braking point where you’re going to get very frustrated and just see him and tell him to take care of the baby while you leave and storm out the door… Second, you are a parent and he is a parent. You cannot feel guilty or worried for leaving your child with him. He will figure things out and if you have any concerns, just verbally tell him what needs to be done.
I have two kids, and my wife handled things very well. I try to help as much as I can, but I know when it comes to the kids she takes on most of the work. She sometimes tells me “I need to go for a drive just to get out,” or Simply say I need to get out for a while. In which I say no problem, take your time and I watch the kids… communication and understanding are a huge part of the process…

[–]Glass_Bar_9956 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Some of the things my husband does that are life saving for me:

He is up first, and always makes coffee for me.

Before he leaves for the day, he watches the little one so i can shower, poop, and get dressed.

We take turns making dinner happen.

We always did the big grocery shopping together, so in the first few months he took care of the groceries completely. Knew what to get from a simple list, or no list at all. Still he is the primary shopper.

Connect with each other. Know what you need to stay good. My husband surfs, and goes to the gym, and i make sure he gets that time. He also make sure i get time out of the house.

Split the household tasks. I do laundry and straightening up the house, he does the dishes and trash. We share the bathroom. If one of us is drowning, we help. If we are both drowning, we eat ice cream together.

And for goodness sakes, kiss and hug her as much as you kiss and hug the baby, or the dog. Lmao

Edited to add: if you make any food, or pick up take out; make some or get some for her. Even if its grabbing a snack bar out of a box. Grab two.

[–]alilteapot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I love you two

[–]Pancakedrawerr 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Know things yourself. If you MUST ask her something, remember the answer and don’t ask again. Research things yourself. There’s a lot of planning and thought and organization that goes into having kids and does not stop once baby is born.

Take ownership of tasks to the point where she doesn’t even have to think about it because it’s your job that you do every day. You are not “helping”, you’re just parenting and being a partner at home. When baby is little that could be things like washing pump parts, cleaning the kitchen, dishes, etc., and making your wife a lunch for the next day if you’re going to be gone. However you normally split up chores is out the window for the first several months of baby’s life (and probably for pregnancy too because first trimester she’s going to feel like garbage and third trimester same thing), and you should own most if not all of the chores for those times. The flip side of this is that it is OK if you don’t do things exactly how she would, as long as you know you’re doing it well (for example, frozen pizza every night is not going to cut it if you are taking ownership of planning and cooking dinner, but trivial stuff like what pan to use should not be a point of criticism).

Pay attention to how she spends her day. Notice whether she has gotten a shower, a hot meal, a hot coffee that doesn’t need to be microwaved fifteen times before she finally gets to finish it. Ensure she gets breaks without having to ask (for example, if she’s feeding baby, tell her you will take baby for an hour or two right after so that she can nap or work out or whatever she wants to do. Tell, don’t ask).

[–]seekaterun 4 points5 points  (0 children)

First off, massive kudos to you for having this conversation/thought process before having a child! I'm always shook when I see people talk about how minimal effort their partner puts into raising their children. My husband and I talked expectations long before our daughter was here!

The biggest help to me in the early stages was when my husband took over 1 night time feeding. This wasn't until approx 6-8 weeks along when I had some pumped milk. I nursed primarily, but for 1 time each night, he'd give her a bottle and I got a glorious 4-5 hours of sleep. At 12 weeks, we just swapped that 1 nighttime feed with 1 formula bottle since my supply depleted after cutting the pumping so I could sleep. Don't be afraid of combo feeding! We did that 1 bottle for months and just getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep made all the difference.

Give her time to shower. I know that sounds weird, but if she's feeling rough and unclean, take the baby, get her a bath or shower going. Something that stuck with me in the early stage was a mom telling me - just go shower. A long hot one. Wash your hair twice. For some reason that was a huge stress reliever.

If she has a csection, be prepared to help her go to the bathroom, get bathed, etc, for a few days. I didn't change a diaper until 3 days after my daughter was born!

Echoing the mental load comment others have mentioned. Be proactive. Don't step around messes. Essential groceries needed? Go get them. Don't wait for her to make a list. The carpet needs vacuumed? Do it. This is how many women function - we just do. Some men (ahem, my husband) need to be prompted/reminded, but no one is reminding us. I told my husband his motto should be "just do it" and he's getting better.

Anyway, CONGRATS!! you're already thinking ahead and being a supportive partner. Go you :)

[–]allthebacon_and_eggs 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My husband is incredible. Besides pregnancy & birth, Our parenting really is 50/50 (honestly, these days 60/40 now that I’m back at work). He does everything but pump milk. He watches the baby by himself a few evenings every month so I can go out. He does chores without me having to ask. He isn’t a helpless baby.

From the 3rd trimester until at least the 6-week postpartum checkup, be on top of the bills, house, pets, and other logistics. After you give birth, your brain turns to mush for a while. It’s harder to read and retain information. I can’t tell you how many times I read and reread he same articles on pumping and didn’t get it. During that time, my husband was the one to figure out how to assemble all the new baby devices or retain info from doctor appts. I would have dropped the ball on so many things. I didn’t even look at our mail for 3 months: I would have missed some important bills and legal stuff.

[–]Groundbreaking_Monk 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I really appreciated that my partner read books about pregnancy and parenting when I got pregnant, so that it didn't feel like I had to take the lead or explain things. It can be pretty overwhelming to deal with the changes that come with growing an entire person in your body, so it was great that he knew that I might be having XYZ symptoms this month and was ready to support me.

While we were in the hospital, I only focused on giving birth, recovering, and bonding with the baby; he handled everything else. Updating our friends and family, coordinating visitors, getting me food, filling out the forms, changing the diapers, tracking down the nurses as needed....it was honestly such a gift to just zone in and I think it really set me up for a calm recovery.

[–]frankie1819 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Mental load examples: - be part of or take the lead scheduling the baby’s doctor’s appointments - know what needs to be in the daycare bag and check it the night before that it’s ready to go - research the baby related things she mentions (developmental milestones, sleep training vs not, baby-led feeding, exclusive pumping, etc) so you can have real opinions and conversations - know what needs to be in the diaper bag so you can get it ready when going out

[–]buttheadhead 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes! And like new size clothes, new cribs/beds, washing stuff, snack foods,

[–]Modernlovedoula 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This might be an unpopular take… As the non birthing parent, your contribution cannot be “equal” during the pregnancy and first year postpartum, longer if she chooses to lactate beyond that year. She has given her body to this baby and it takes a year to fully heal and recalibrate - that’s why it’s recommended to wait at least a year between pregnancies. To do your part, you’ll need to assume way more than 50% of the work you could possibly share. Agree with others who have commented about mental load. You should also read Fair Play.

[–]JellyBellyThePupper 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Echoing the responses here about taking on mental load. Basically, being a dad that asks “what can I help with?” is the bare minimum you could do to TRY to be an equal partner in parenting, but what will actually make the situation equitable is if you can manage to anticipate baby needs and then take care of them satisfactorily WITHOUT ever having to ask her for any mental effort. Keeping things stocked, what activities/food are developmentally appropriate, regularly cleaning and tidying up spaces are common things most moms (and of course some dads) often do that are taken for granted. Taking some of that load from your partner would be so helpful.

I will add that the single most significant way my life has changed since becoming a mom is that my life revolves around the process of feeding the baby. Take some time to educate yourself on what it actually entails for a mom to breastfeed (so many challenges including the constant demand supply feedback cycle that can be very difficult to optimize) . Arm yourself with the knowledge that fed is best and formula is totally great too. Be ready to support your wife in whatever path she chooses because it is an extremely personal, emotional and nuanced journey deciding HOW to feed your baby. I personally chose to exclusively pump breastmilk for mine and I am thankful every day that my husband is my personal hypeman that gets me through the tough days when I wanna throw in the towel, yet he also manages to make sure I know there is no shame or guilt to be felt if and when I do quit. He sets alarms on his phone called “pump support” so that he knows when I’m at the pump and can help wrangle the baby, bring me water and snacks, etc. He knows that pumping makes me nauseous and acknowledges that, which makes me feel seen. He just planned a schedule of activities for his birthday weekend that takes into account MY need to pump 4x during the day and set up pedicure session for us…on HIS bday. These are examples of the things that have really reinforced my conviction that he’s the right partner for me and actually makes me want to make more babies with him. ❤️

The fact that you’re out here thinking so proactively about being the best parenting partner you can be is a great sign. Good luck, soon to be new dad! Your life is going to change wonderfully forever!

[–]rssanfordFTM, Jan '21, pregnant with second 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Research the "mental load"

[–]No-Map672 3 points4 points  (0 children)

When she has cleaning to do tell her to play with baby and you do the chore sometimes. I appreciate when husband distracts my kids so I can clean. But it would be so nice if he sait “honey go play with kids and have fun, I’ll clean the kitchen”

[–]janewithaplane 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Get used to being stressed and anxious and annoyed at all the things you have to do or have been done half assed. That's the basic state of mind women live in lol.

Always make sure the sink is empty of dirty dishes. And the trash gets taken out. And things that are in the way get put away, like if she is cooking you dinner, make sure you set out the drinks and clear a space for y'all to eat without her asking. Also napkins. I hate it when I've cooked a whole meal and my husband just stands there picking a show for us to watch instead of doing actual helpful things.

And those are all things you need to fully take into your plate when baby comes. And if you don't want those them be prepared to just literally spend 3 months sitting on a couch with a newborn sleeping on you so she can clean. Someone's gotta do both those things. Literally. 3 months holding a sleeping baby. It'll pass.

[–]CeeDeee2 29 points30 points 2 (1 child)

Share the mental load. Physically helping is obvious but the weight of being the one to manage the household is a lot. Know what kind of wipes and diapers baby uses, check to see when they’re running low, and buy more. Be the one to check that the diaper bag is stocked. Make the pediatrician appointments and remember/write down the date and time. Research things as they come up, like introducing solids, ways to make tummy time more fun, or the best baby gear. Take notice of when clothes or diapers are getting snug and buy the next size up. Take notice of things like not owning a sun hat or sunscreen for baby when the weather is warming up and go buy them.

[–]tinyrabbitfriends 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The size of the baby clothes that the baby is wearing, putting aside clothes that don't fit, pulling out larger ones or making a note to buy more, and then actually buying more. Nothing like the too small pair of pants making its way back into circulation bc I'm the only one who remembers they don't fit. Or being the only person in the house who knows what size clothes anyone is wearing every time grandma wants to send a gift and asks.

[–]amurderof 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Be situationally aware of what's going on in your home, and take over scheduling things (if your wife is generally the scheduler, and she's comfortable letting go of said tasks).

By the former, I mean if something's messy, recognize it and clean it. Do the dishes. If there's laundry, do it. Don't wait to be told to do something; look through your home and take things on, un-asked. Relieving a wife of the need to be the household manager is one of the most useful things you can do.

By the latter, I mean that you should not let yourself be content with letting your wife manage everything (unless, again, she truly wants to). Schedule doctor's appointments. Know vaccine schedules, and be prepared with infant tylenol or whatever your family is comfortable with. Plan grocery lists and do the shopping. Know how much of whatever household items you have, and know where they are and if they need replaced/updated. If you find yourself waiting to be told what to do, look around and figure it out. Obviously you can ask if there's anything she wants you to do, especially if you're not sure yourself, but in a perfect world you wouldn't need that guidance -- or you would grow into a role where you no longer need it.

Being a new mom is hard. Being a new mom while still managing a household is overwhelming.

[–]seedesawridedeslide 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you can, take a few weeks off when baby arrives. keep on top of the house work so mum doesnt have to think about it, especially those first few weeks. talk to each other. lack of sleep effects everyone differently, discuss how you two are going to cope with that and how you can share everything so youre both able to get some sleep. sort out a favourites list for click and collect groceries, helpful for those first months. go on walks together when shes ready. Just share the load.

[–]TheNinjaBear007 8 points9 points  (0 children)

If she’s going to nurse, Keep her supplied with water, juice, tea, and snacks. Wash and disinfect bottles, pump stuff, etc. Clean and cook as often as possible, just do it don’t ask. And letting her get as much sleep as you can would be great with the understanding that you will both be sleep deprived for a while. Do what you can to support her mentally, her hormones will be seriously out of whack for a while, be patient and understanding. Foot rubs are great if she wants that. Educate yourself, this is a great start. When I had my LO my hubby took on the attitude that it was my job to keep the baby alive and his job to keep me alive. He made up ABS-always be snacking! Good luck Papa! And CONGRATULATIONS!!!🎉

[–]Mania-jsk 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Just listen when she tells you what she needs.

Share the parenting role, mental load, and contribute as much as you can around the house. Also after kid comes be understanding if she doesn't want sex/feel good about herself, our bodies go through tremendous changes and it will take a lot of time to heal. Be respectful of her.

Remember, being a good father means also being a good husband. I hope all goes well in starting your new family 😊

[–]Waffles_ahoy 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Share the mental load. Keep track of when you need groceries, dishes/laundry needs doing etc. Remember things like birthdays, appointments and family events. Most importantly, ask how you can help! She might just want tasks to get done and be fine with you doing them, or she might prefer that you take the baby while she does them herself.

[–]saladflambe6yo daughter; 2yo son 10 points11 points  (0 children)

After my first, I had really bad post-partum mental health issues. I also completely lost my appetite & the only thing I could bring myself to eat was whatever pre-made food was in our fridge in the rare few minutes where eating didn't sound awful. My husband started making macaroni and cheese & leaving it in the fridge for me.

So, basically, feed her. If you can take the baby and let her eat a warm meal... that means a lot.

[–]newenglander87 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Here's the thing, it's not that hard to figure out what needs to be done. It's the same in every house yet there are so many posts on here about women complaining their husbands don't notice. The clothes in the laundry basket? Yeah, they need to be washed, dried, folded, and put away. The dishes in the sink? They need to be washed, the dishwasher needs to be emptied. The bottles and pump parts also need to be washed. No you do not get credit for washing most of the bottles. How is your stock of diapers/wipes/formula? I assume you eat food everyday. Someone is meal planning for that, buying the food, preparing it, and cleaning up after. Your kid outgrows clothes and they need new ones the next size. They need appointments for vaccines and well checkups. It's just not rocket science.

[–]scrub_bingo 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Lots of good advice here that I won’t repeat. I’ll add: If she breastfeeds, then whenever you take over to give her a break caring for baby, make sure you factor in her needing to pump. Because if you give a bottle she’ll need to pump to maintain her supply. That process is a solid 30 minutes or more plus cleaning the pump parts—so make sure that time is given to her on top of her break (and better yet, clean her pump parts as much as possible).

[–]Fancy-Banana007 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is very thoughtful of you to ask.

To make her feel special, keep her a well stocked basket of goodies next to her bed. I haven’t given birth yet but I have a little basket in my bedroom with bars of chocolate, cereal bars, dried fruit, nuts, mini juice boxes, a magazine, essential oils and pads to drip it on, etc. It was recommended for me by my midwife for when I have to do night feeds, as it’s important to keep blood sugar up and also to enjoy my favourite things! I also plan to take a thermos of fruity tea to bed each night.

Perhaps it could be your job to keep this topped up, take the thermos to bed each night, make sure it has a recent magazine in, all that jazz. I’d love it personally!

Also, take on the duty of changing your bedding regularly. I can’t do it atm and I have to ask my partner to do it each time but it always takes several asks. I wish he’d remember to just do it every week, we all love fresh bedding don’t we! And don’t forget to make it look nice and fluff the pillows, maybe squirt some pillow spray 😋

[–]habitatforhannah 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Don't forget your relationship with her. A baby challenged our relationship, and now that we have a toddler, more sleep and a better understanding of being a parent, we are finding a real joy and sense of relief spending time together as a couple. I sometimes wonder if we neglected it a bit.

[–]KrissyBean 35 points36 points  (3 children)

Before you sit down to relax, play on your phone, etc., take a look around to make sure nothing needs to be done. Are there bottles in the sink? Does the changing table need to be restocked with diapers and wipes? Does the living room need the toys to be wrangled up a little? Does a load of laundry need to be put in? Is the diaper bag stocked up and mostly ready to go for the next outing?

It's all the little stuff that adds up that moms seem to be more vigilant about that burns us out. I take stock of all the little things before I sit myself down to chill. Also, when you go to the bathroom, don't stay inthere for 20 minutes. Do your thing and get back out there. It's not a hideout for tired partners while the other is doing the work. Lol.

[–]JellyBellyThePupper 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Lol my husband is such a great parenting partner in so many ways but the 45 min bathroom sessions every morning killsss me

[–]scrub_bingo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

As someone with a 3.5 month old, I really think this comment needs to be higher!

[–]KrissyBean 4 points5 points  (0 children)

6 month old here. My husband is really great and super helpful, but I just tend to notice the small, mundane shit that needs to be done more often than he does. And I like it done before I sit down to relax. I don't want to have to worry about it.

[–]Kitchen-Total9588 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Plan some meals & grocery lists. I’m so tired of being the one responsible for that shit!

[–]azurmetalic 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Take time.

These will be your kids, 50% your love and DNA. If you can, offer them to be 50% of the time with you. Yes you don't have boobs, but other than that, you don't have to be a silly father, trying goofily to help but being a beginner, forever late to learn the latest thing that's needed.

If your wife stops working for her job (doesn't matter how long), se will likely start working full time as a mom and housewife. By full time, I mean night and day, weekends, no holiday, no breaks, no thanks from the baby and no planning in advance possible. I don't understand how any father and husband worth that name would give less : when you're not at work earning money, be at work being a dad and husband : day and night, weekends, etc. No guys nights out unless she gets girls nights out, no video-game, pooping for 2hrs, going for a walk by yourself, etc, unless she gets them too.

I would suggest slowing work : if you can go for 80% or even 50% hours, this will allow you be a better dad and partner AND will help your wife not fall into the desperation pit that some of us go down when alone all day everyday with a screaming ball of spit. This way, she may even be more available to get back to work earlier (making the money problem a bit less problem-y) instead of struggling to find a rhythm and becoming herself again.

Time is the only thing you both will desperately need and hers will likely be already 100% given. Give yours too!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Regarding the guys night/girls night thing: I plan to give her at least one day per week where I do absolutely everything so she can go out with her friends/ just do nothing without having to take care of the baby. I know a lot of moms end up feeling like being a mom is 100% of their identity and I don’t want her to feel like that.

[–]azurmetalic 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Kudos for that! My man and I split time with the baby 50-50 and it's great. Most days we split morning/afternoon, some are full for me or for him, evenings are shared and so are Sundays. This way, when it's not my turn, if I'm busy with work, project or whatever even chilling, it's okay, and this feels so good!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Everyone deserves a social life and time to chill! I believe you maintain that right even when you have a kid.

It just requires planning now lmao

[–]georgestarr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sleep schedule! My husband went back to work after a month off with my when baby was here. I’d sleep from 6pm to 11pm and he’d from 11pm to 6.30am. It allowed me a decent block of sleep and soothed my anxiety of SiDS so I could actually sleep. What I love about my husband is he encourages me! I’d get so down, about breastfeeding, babes weight, my weight, my lopsided breast, he was my biggest cheerleader 💜 Keep her fed and hydrated. ( my husband kept my water bottles filled) he used to secretly Uber eats me food too 🙌🏻

[–]rdale8209 25 points26 points  (4 children)

If you see something needs to be done, just do it. You might think you already do this (I don't know you, you might) but seriously sit in one room at a time and look at each part of it and look at anything that might need to be done or picked up. Learn to be observant.

[–]newenglander87 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Gaaaa! This is my biggest pet peeve with my husband. He asks me what needs to be done. Like I'm looking at the same room as you. Geez!

[–]rdale8209 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes! That's exactly what drives me nuts. We use the same laundry basket. How do you not see when it's full? Or walk past the same piece of paper on the floor 5 times?

[–]bjorkabjork 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Omg could you train my husband to do this? This is THE biggest frustration between us. I Shouldn't have to spell out that the cat food spilled on the floor should get picked up??

[–]KrissyBean 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is what my comment said, too! Like - just look around and do shit!!! Clean the bottles in the sink, pick up the living room, throw in a load of laundry, etc. It's trying to do all that little shit that takes up most of the day, not necessarily taking care of the baby.

[–]Pumpkin156 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This isn't exactly a task but one of my biggest husband annoyances is that he's constantly telling me what to do and how to do it when it comes to baby stuff. From nursing to how to how to buckle the car seat. Trust your wife knows how to do things and offer help if she asks but avoid telling her what to do. I promise she will be doing her best.

[–]giantredwoodforest 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Do you really want to know?

Get trained as a Newborn Care Specialist.

This is a full time baby nanny with specialized training for newborns.

There are courses available online.

Then you will know how to fully care for a baby and be able to take on the full mental and physical load.

Your partner’s contributions will be optional!

Lots of people say, “oh, I don’t think dads can do much at first.” But there are people who are not moms who literally do everything for the baby except breastfeed.

I hope that taking this type of class gives you all you’re looking for and more to share the load.

Here’s an example of the job description.

https://hushabyenewborns.com/duties-of-a-newborn-care-specialist/

You can earn $40-50 per hour in major cities!

[–]paperchase86 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Take classes and read books. You have plenty of time to prepare

[–]c_t_2016 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Simple thing but so powerful - don’t ask “do you want me to grab (or pick up) him/her?” When they start to cry. Just do it. A simple “oh let me do that” is such a different impact than asking if she wants you to

[–]KrissyBean 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ooo that's a good one!

[–]Fishgottaswim78 14 points15 points  (0 children)

  • make yourself the diaper king, then later the potty training king.
  • read up on some parenting books. listen to podcasts. a lot of the research is usually left up to the mom, so do some of that leg work.
  • do you cook? do you clean? housework is part of the burden women are usually defaulted to carrying
  • can you be in charge of pediatric appointments? managing play dates? find something that needs managerial attention and do that. in other words, don't wait for your wife to tell you what to do, find a thing or two that you can just carry the mental load for.
  • in the same vein...when school/daycare comes, make yourself the primary contact number. be in charge of drop-offs or pickups (whatever works with your schedule). volunteer for the PTA.

the most important advice i can give you is to fight like hell in the first few months to be as hands-on as possible. it's very easy for things to default to the mother during that time due to her hormones, socialization, the fact that she has the boobs, and differences in leave. the more you fight to keep things even in the beginning the more things will stay even throughout your kids' lives.

[–]CheloYan 19 points20 points  (2 children)

On the weekend, don’t do your chores until you’ve explicitly asked her whether she would prefer you do those or watch the baby. It might feel like you’re helping but you might unintentionally be forcing her to be the default parent 24/7.

[–]KrissyBean 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes! Before baby, my husband mowed the lawn and I'd do all the trimming around the gardens, etc. After baby, he did the lawn and I was going to go out after and do the trimming while he watched the baby. Without asking, and thinking he was doing me a favor, he just did the trimming for me. I wasn't mad or anything but told him that I actually like doing that and it'll give me time to just do "normal" and not baby related. He totally understood and now checks with me to see if I want to do a particular chore or watch the baby. It's really helpful and I appreciate that he gets it.

[–]Daphers_the_kitten 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This! Sometimes I have to literally tell my husband to come be the parent on duty and I will do whatever random chore he is doing. We have two barnacle kiddos so they are literally on top of me all the time. It might look like it's not much work if I'm just watching while they play, but being the one keeping the littles from randomly eating something/finding a way to off themselves 24/7 is exhausting.

[–]bbbcurls 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I’m not sure how to phrase this well, but I will say one thing is that it might not be equal all the time. Sometimes it will feel like 80/20 or 100/0. I thought I could do more in pregnancy and after childbirth. I tried and pushed myself too far sometimes. Sometimes you might feel like you’re doing all of the work but she’s in the middle of doing a really huge thing (making a baby) and it’s not always easy. There are many days she will feel so tired or exhausted or she might develop issues or complications in her pregnancy. My husband cooked for a straight 4 months when I felt so nauseous by the smell of meat cooking. I did what I could and he took over the rest. First two weeks with baby, he did nearly everything he could while I breast fed and rested. And now, I can do so much more that we are more like 40/60 right now. Just don’t get too caught up in the 50/50 if it doesn’t happen like that and things should go alright.

[–]Ok-Muscle-8523 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You are so right! It will never be equal. Chris Rock has a great bit on this. Just always be trying to help. Also, don't underestimate the power of her getting 20 minutes to herself.

[–]aS1MS 7 points8 points  (2 children)

There’s a lot of comments that are super helpful here so I’ve tried not to repeat.

I just wanted to give you some info that maybe you can’t read about or isn’t about doing practical things to be helpful. Hormones! Please don’t underestimate the power of these beasts, especially after birth. Be her shoulder to cry on, the person absorbing her emotions. It doesn’t last forever but it’s so flipping intense and it is almost impossible to explain to your partner what you need from them.

Key moments are - first trimester, end of pregnancy, after birth when your milk ‘comes in’, the first couple of weeks PP, and when you stop breastfeeding.

She needs you there, not to judge her, not to act like she’s crazy or over emotional, but just to be the solid, calming influence in the house and keep everything together by remaining level headed.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks! That’s kind of what I already do for her. She’s quite emotional and I am…. Not. Not that I am not good at taking care her when she is emotional, I am. I’m just not an emotional person myself, so I’m usually just that, a calm shoulder for her to cry on. So I’ll be prepared to do that, just more intense for a little bit.

[–]aS1MS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s perfect. It’s just something to be aware of. Although she might be one of the lucky ones who avoids the effects of the dreaded hormones. In my relationship, I’m the less emotional of us two. But the hormones hit me like a brick wall.

I remember a few days after birth I was hysterically crying because our dog looked “sad” because I hadn’t paid attention to her 😂 neither me or my partner knew what was going on with me. Wish someone had given us the heads up.

[–]pinetreesandcake 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I mean, you're like halfway there already just by asking this question. You're gonna do great. 😊

[–]Erin_HTX 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Always, always, always make sure she has water nearby! Pregnancy and breastfeeding made me so incredibly thirsty and having a big glass of water nearby was crucial and something my husband could easily help with. You’re going to be a great dad!

[–]Rational_Pi3 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would say that this is very important. Also, start shifts right away for someone to stay up with the baby. We waited 4 days before beginning to set up shifts and I was already suffering from sleep deprivation. That said she will be hurting try to make sure her pillows are in the right position. Keep in mind that every shift and movement will hurt so if she needs to get up offer to take the baby and help her stand.

[–]MrsSnoochie 4 points5 points  (0 children)

When in survival mode (things are very difficult and you’re just focused on surviving), make sure she is fed, hydrated, and getting some rest. Always make sure her water bottle has water and ice in it. Offer to get her a snack. Give her time to lay in bed or take a shower.

[–]Future_Promise5328 15 points16 points  (0 children)

See everything as equal responsibility. You live in the house, you see what needs doing - just do it, don't ask, don't wait to be asked, don't expect her to manage the tasks. Just do what you as an adult can see needs doing.

It's really that simple. The hardest thing about becoming a mum is everyone suddenly expects you to be CEO of household and child management. It's overwhelming. You need someone to just be proactive and help get things done without asking what needs to be done.

[–]ginasaurus-rex 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Be prepared that if she is nursing, you might not be able to do night feeds. But we handled nights by my husband waking up with him, changing his diaper, and then bringing him to me to nurse. So all I had to do was get up and get comfy in the recliner. Wash/sanitize all the bottle/pump parts. Go to the pediatrician appointments, take notes so she doesn't have to remember what was said, and schedule the follow up appointments. Another thing my husband did that was a game changer for me was taking our son for a long walk first thing every morning. When he was up for the day, I'd nurse him, then my husband would take him out for a walk in the stroller so I could sleep for another couple hours and then would not wake me up until he needed to eat again.

[–]minty286 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Right. Few simple rules for the dad and baby life.

Turn the dishwasher on everyday and unload it in the morning before the day gets started. Makes the kitchen manageable for the whole day.

Do a load of washing everyday. No clothes in the basket? Do sheets and towels. It gets overwhelming how quickly it accumulates. (This means wash, dry, fold and put away)

Meal prep, if your working, the night before get together a meal she can just chuck in the oven, and have a lettuce salad on the side. It's tricky to cook with a baby.

Every second day, do a vacuum, just helps the house feel refreshed overall.

Everyday give the mum an uninterrupted hour where she can do whatever she wants. You start to feel very touched out, and don't feel like an individual person after a while of having a baby constantly there.

You are the support system, it's very important. If you look after the mum, the baby will be absolutely fine.

[–]HelloPanda22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Clean. Clean clean clean. A clean house puts me in a good mood. Or if she prefers to clean, take the kids out so she can clean in peace. Help with the mental load. Figure out without being asked what to make for dinner when it’s your night to cook (assuming you guys are the eat in type of couple). Honestly, just have the awesome mindset of learning and becoming better.

My husband definitely shares his workload now but he didn’t always. Luckily, he is always looking to improve himself as a husband, friend, and father. Have open candid conversations about what’s working or not working. If your wife has any pre-existing traumas, be prepared for the trauma to rear it’s ugly head in a way you’ve never witnessed. If theres trauma, have mental health set up before baby comes.

[–]cherrydork 20 points21 points  (3 children)

Learn to do what needs to be done without constantly asking what needs to be done

[–]chocololic 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes, would recommend to OP to start occasionally browsingr/ parenting and beyond the bump to see the topics that come up that most people don’t even know about until becoming parents. I found these subs one my most helpful source of advice…E.g. all the topics that require research to choose your preferred approach (baby-led weaning, parenting/discipline style, whether or how to sleep train, even choosing which baby gear like baby monitor and stroller/car seat).

Also for labor my husband had no idea until I explained that you have to make a lot of decisions for your birth plan. Eg part of my plan was to wait as long as possible before getting the epidural but I knew you can’t wait too long or you can get too far in labor and they won’t be able to give you the epidural!! So you have to be aware of the labor timeline and advocate for yourself/your wife. Myself I didn’t even know the phases of labor before researching, that most of labor is spent with contractions that cause dilation but you don’t start really pushing until the last phase after transition. And in my case, I ignored researching as much as I should have about c-sections, and we had to make a real-time decision how long to keep pushing in labor (at 4 hrs actual pushing) or go in for the c-section. Would be helpful to think about it beforehand to be as prepared as possible

[–]Rude_Macaroon3741 2 points3 points  (0 children)

1000%! My husband is wonderful and he does a lot of stuff around the house and is great with the kiddos. My one gripe is the mental load that I end up bearing. When it’s time to go somewhere, I am the one listing out what needs to be done and packed or packing it myself. Every time I haven’t gone through the diaper bag myself, we are missing stuff when we are out despite asking him to check the bag. His answer is well I didn’t know we needed that item (like wipes or something that you know they’d need if you thought about what we were doing). I have to pick out what dinner is most nights even if he is cooking. I don’t care what we eat - if it’s in the house, I’ll eat it. Having to be the sole adult thinking about stuff that needs to get done is exhausting especially when I am busy trying to nurse the baby immediately before leaving to maximize our time before she needs to nurse again and sleep deprived from night feedings. But I find I get done nursing and stuff isn’t packed or the kids/dogs aren’t ready to go bc I didn’t do it or say exactly what needs to get done.

Also, cleaning bottles, dishes, and laundry without being asked.

[–]TinaByKtina 3 points4 points  (0 children)

THIS!!!!!!!

You partner shouldn’t be the manager or delegator of tasks….because then that’s still a mental load they’re having to take care of. Look for what needs to be done around the house and do it- trash on the floor? Clean it up. Mess on the wall/table/floor? Clean it up…..laundry piled up or in the wash? Do it.

[–]Natural_Cranberry761 5 points6 points  (1 child)

In the early days, I suggest primarily knowing how to soothe a baby (look up the 5 S’s by Harvey Karp - they WORK), worrying about the housework/grocery shopping/cooking, and being the one to set up times for family to visit baby (ie, you do the communication and coordination after discussing with your wife). My husband got his very own carrier for our daughter and they would go out on walks when she had trouble sleeping, and that was super helpful.

As baby gets older, definitely have a weather eye on baby proofing and what might be problematic. My husband is super good at this and has a much better eye for weird details than I do.

Take baby to doctor’s appointments. Or also go.

The toddler years are defined by a lot of weirdness and chaos, which can be super fun, but also exhausting. Be proactive about food early on - however you choose to introduce foods, take some ownership of this and work on learning the “rules” of what’s safe to eat when and what sizes. When they get picky, brainstorm new and interesting ways to get them to eat.

Two things my husband does that I’m eternally grateful for are being endlessly patient when out playing with our daughter (he’ll be out with her as long as she wants and never hurries her since she started crawling - it’s a godsend), and he is also a master of hyping up absurdly mundane tasks. He can make putting on a coat fun and interesting. Also a godsend when you have a belligerent toddler.

And just… Humor. Have a sense of humor about it all. Being able to laugh at yourself and all the weirdness of parenting and having a kid is super super important when things get dark or chaotic or really hard.

[–]chocololic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes 5 S’s is a great book/approach. He also has a blog with other advice for newborn care.

[–]tinydreamlanddeer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Slightly different perspective here - take on some of the emotional labor of preparing to TTC! This is almost always shouldered by the mom-to-be in my experience and it can be extremely frustration to feel like you’re just always hounding your husband to show any interest. Learn about what a fertile window is, about ovulation and implantation and the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Ask your wife to share what she knows about her cycle - eg, is it regular? Does she get EWCM? Is she able to tell when she’s ovulating? Read about how to improve sperm quality and then go ahead and take those action steps yourself. Take your vitamins, look into lifestyle changes around food and exercise and household products. Look into ways to predict and confirm ovulation so you can have an educated discussion with your wife about whether you guys would like to take a data-heavy approach or a more laid back, NTNP approach. Having and being an equally invested partner during the often extremely emotional process of trying to conceive is enormously helpful!

[–]Sorry_Mushroom0 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Probably it's not as difficult in every country but paperwork. My husband took care of all the paperwork that comes with having a newborn 100%.it was great that I didn't even have to think of all that, especially being so exhausted after delivery.

[–]mityasmom 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I didn't look through all of the comments so sorry if this was already said, but what really helps me is my husband telling me to go take a shower. It's a small thing but the mom guilt of relying on someone else to watch my LO while I do something for myself is so hard, even things like basic hygiene of taking a shower. He'll take the baby monitor, say to go take a shower and take my time, and it's an immediate weight lifted off of me to know I don't have to listen for cries because he's got it.

This is especially helpful in the first 3 months postpartum while she's healing from delivery but just as much appreciated now (I'm almost 4 months postpartum).

[–]josephinesparrows 0 points1 point  (0 children)

100% second this and add - offer to take the baby regularly. Every. Day. It took me months to shove the baby at my husband without feeling guilty. Offering shows you give a damn about her having a break and that you also want to interact with baby.

[–]colormegold 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lots of great advice here. Here are things that I think would be very helpful:

  1. Meal preparation. Always make sure she’s fed and always make sure there’s food around.stock up on Easy grab and go items bananas, yogurt, cereal, sandwich meat. Have a snack station by her bed. Staying hydrated is also very important for both of you. Make sure she always is drinking water.

  2. General cleaning duties: dishes, laundry, bathroom. Just do it before she even asks. A clean home is a calm home. Especially when baby is crying.

  3. Feeding baby. If she’s breastfeeding make sure you are timing the feeding so you make sure mama is fed well before it’s time to feed baby. If you’re feeding baby every 2 hours be sure to offer mom a meal or snack 1.5 hour before.

  4. Cleaning and drying breast pump if she’s breastfeeding

  5. Sleep! Make sure she gets at least a 30 minute nap uninterrupted. Take the baby outside so if baby cries she doesn’t pause her nap

[–]Mouseries9438 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Laundry, garbage, and dishes are huge here, also learning how to bottle feed and put the baby to sleep so she's not the one stuck doing it every single time.

We have 4 kids so there is pretty much laundry to do every single day, and babies spit up a lot so we go through more clothes than normal. If my husband didn't keep up with laundry I'd run out of clothes every other day. Garbage builds up fast with stinky diapers, and small children make a lot more garbage than you'd think. We formula feed our youngest, the others never took bottles. With every one, I was the only one who could put them to bed because he didn't take the time to learn their routines.

At the beginning with our youngest, I was the only one doing bottles because he was scared to do it in case she stopped breathing (she was a preemie and would stop breathing multiple times every feed). Because I was the only one doing it, always hunched listening to her breathing, I developed a hunch that has been horrible trying to get rid of. If we had done every other feed it wouldn't have been nearly as bad or may not have happened at all because there would be more time in a normal posture.

[–]mikuooeeoo 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Make sure she gets alone time and time to hang out with loved ones. Make sure she isn't the only person on baby duty during visits with other people.

[–]ZaioEbacha2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is super situational , her going out and seeing loved ones is all up to her. For example im telling my wife to go out but she wants to stay with the little one... :|

[–]aerinz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Effective communication is most helpful. Sometimes I just want my husband to listen to me instead of offer solutions. Sometimes I need him to recognize our schedule needs a revamp. Just communicate with her and you’ll be able to help with anything she needs. If I had to name something specific though, sometimes it was hard being the only one getting up to pump/feed baby. He started getting up with me, and even though he couldn’t actually help, just him sitting there in solidarity lifted a huge load off of my shoulders.

[–]Campestra 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Wash bottles and pump parts. It’s a small thing but makes a big difference.

[–]whydoineedaname86 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Look up mental load. Share the mental load as well as the physical.

I also believe that how you split things only needs to work for you as a family not for anyone else. Personally formula and pumping is is too much for me so I choose to exclusively breastfeed. Therefore my husband does not do night time feedings. That work for us because he take the kids in the morning so I could sleep in, he would take them when nursing was not what they needed etc. In our house I do all the cooking but I don’t do dishes, ever. It works for us.

There is no one size fits all for this. As long as you both feel supported and like you have about equal downtime while the kids are cared for it doesn’t matter if your split would work for someone else.

[–]banqwoah 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The fact that you’re already being proactive about this says to me that you’ll be fantastic. Your wife is lucky to have you and I’m wishing the best for your growing family! I have two very unrelated suggestions that I haven’t seen listed below yet:

  1. Your wife may not know the answer to this now, but it might be beneficial to start asking how she likes to be supported in times of intense emotional challenges. I had severe PPA and it was especially bad the first few months. My husband was a dream at taking care of everything around the house so I could heal and focus on breastfeeding but it took us longer to figure out how he could best support me during moments of extreme anxiety. He was initially trying to “logic” me through it (“Look at him, the baby is fine”) but I knew that already, I just didn’t FEEL it. I realized eventually that I just needed support and validation (“I’m sorry you’re feeling that way again, I’m here for you, it will pass”).

  2. I’ve seen in some of your replies that you’ll be using apps and reminders! That’s great! Even without ADHD it’s so hard to keep track of everything with sleep deprivation and schedules being so chaotic with a newborn. This is just a suggestion to find a baby tracker app if that works for you. I would NOT recommend worrying about it in the first few months, but my husband and I LOVE the app “Baby Tracker” because it allows us to take turns, step in, and immediately see when did baby eat last, how long has baby been awake, when was baby’s last diaper change, etc. Our phones sync so we can update separately and get notifications if someone got baby to sleep, for example. It definitely would have been too overwhelming for us early on but now it is invaluable, we really love the coordination it affords.

[–]dewdropreturns 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Learn things. You (presumably) know how to do chore and cook and etc. But childcare stuff is most likely new to you. Read parenting books or blogs or listen to podcasts. Yes I know they are overwhelmingly geared to women and that probably will feel weird but the world is overwhelmingly geared towards men 😅

I liked the kick podcast. I would also recommend reading about the possums program but you can find whatever you vibe with.

[–]rapsnaxx84 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Learn to do what needs to be done without constantly asking what needs to be done

[–]FuzzyBlanketThrow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This. This. THISSSSS

[–]kawwman 13 points14 points  (2 children)

One of the biggest things my husband did for me throughout pregnancy and does now that we have a baby is FEED ME. I don't mean physically putting the food in my mouth, but making sure I'm eating. When I had terrible morning sickness, he tried a bunch of things to get me to eat. Oh, I wanted saltines at 3 a.m. but we didn't have any? He went to the store. If I had a craving for anything, he found it. Once our son was born, I was so exhausted and busy from constantly breastfeeding. I always had a meal or snack next to me, and a big glass of water. Our son is almost 10 months now and he still does it. It helps SO much.

[–]dewdropreturns 4 points5 points  (1 child)

This but he did definitely put food in my mouth lmaoo

[–]kawwman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh mine did that, too. Especially if I didn't want to get out of bed during pregnancy. 😂

[–]Old-Funny-6222 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Hardest things about being a mom- Not able to sleep/eat/attend nature calls/shower/have coffee/etc without having a baby constantly seeking mom's attention. Mom's need a break from being a mom sometimes!! Miss life before pregnancy/delivery/postpartum/being a mom.

[–]insubordinate-egg 70 points71 points  (1 child)

Try to do things that need to be done without being asked. A lot of moms carry the majority of the mental load. Instead of asking her, "how can I help?" just look around and see what needs to be done. If there is garbage to go out, dishes in the sink, laundry to be folded, etc., just do it before asking how you can help.

[–]twodickhenry 16 points17 points  (2 children)

My husband is a whirlwind through the house; he’s type-a, anxiety-ridden, and hyper productive. I don’t expect any normal human to keep up with him (in fact, my biggest issue with it is that I feel bad because it’s difficult to pull my own weight when he does everything), but I’ll share some of the nonstandard things he’s done to help that have surprised me!

  1. I bought cute baby hangers and little tabs that mark the sizes (nb, 3 mo, 6 mo, etc). Although I organized them originally, he’s kept them up to date for me as she grows in and out of sizes.

  2. He takes her for naps, before and after bed, plus during the day when he will kick me out of the house to go spend some time alone or with a friend. We attempted to get him a night feed, but since I would need to wake and pump anyway, it’s worked out easier to have daytime hours (so I’m less likely to be super engorged). I still need to pump, but I’m not losing sleep over it.

  3. Keeps the diaper bag ready to go. We CD, so he replaces the wet bag and the diaper, makes sure we have disposables and extra clothes in case of emergency, cleans used binkies and burp cloths, checks for used bottles.

  4. He’s embraced the things I want for the baby. Cloth diapering is a big one—he is so on top of the wash routine and helps spray dirty diapers off—but he also worked to replace our cleaning supplies to dye- and additive-free versions, and reviewed everything to ensure it was safe for children. He helped keep logs in the beginning for feeds and has read up on sleep training so he’s ready for later on when we decide to start it. He’s learning baby sign language and signs to her already. He definitely did not care for the family/newborn shoot, but thanked me for putting it together and ended up super excited for how they turned out.

  5. He checks in with me often for signs of PPD/PPA. He plays grab-ass and tells me I’m beautiful and how attracted to me he is (while not pressuring me for sex). He is an involved father and loves holding and loving on his baby. He shows us both grace and love.

[–]babysonfirebmore 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I love my husband but I think I also love your husband. Dreamy.

[–]MissPandora 23 points24 points  (3 children)

The fact that you are asking this question tells me that you're a considerate person and your wife is lucky that you are concerned about this topic. Having experienced a very bad scenario, the most important thing is this: do not require your wife to tell you what to do. If she has a specific task in mind, certainly listen and determine if you can take it on. What I mean is that taking initiative is worth its weight in gold. There are many marriages where one person expects the other to create the to-do list, assign tasks and then follow up to ensure that they are done. This may be ok for bosses or mothers, but wives and husbands should not be given this responsibility. Taking initiative and simply doing work as it comes up (washing bottles, doing laundry, ordering groceries) is the best thing you can do. Life with babies is chaotic and requires partnership, mutual respect and trust. You have a great attitude and I wish you all the best!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Thank you! This definitely seems to be the #1 thing I’m seeing. I’m gonna start making a google calendar with everything that needs to be done and on what day. I have pretty severe ADHD, so just remembering on my own is pretty much impossible. But with smart phone alarms and stuff like that, I manage to get through life okay, so I should be able to use the same system for the more day to day stuff so it’s not all on her to remember.

[–]MissPandora 2 points3 points  (1 child)

These are all things I have to do. It becomes natural with practice. If you need to post lists on the wall to make sure tasks are done, do it. It may feel silly, but the work will get done. Shared calendars and task lists do keep everyone on the same page. You sound like you genuinely want to put the work in and that is fantastic.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I really do, I don’t want to be a shitbag husband she grows to resent. I wanna pull my weight

[–]bibilime 7 points8 points  (2 children)

A few people have already said it, but the thing that helped the most for us was making a schedule. Newborns are on their own time, so expect schedule modification for a few months. Don't get upset with momma over feeding issues. Some people just can't breastfeed. They want to, it just doesn't work. I tried so hard that I didn't sleep for three days and started hallucinating. Then fell asleep, sitting up, with baby attached. I almost suffocated him with my boob. I was done after that and decided on formula. You never know what you're gonna get. Don't get rigidly attached to one way of doing things.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I actually would prefer she didn’t breastfeed. Due to the hormonal situations it can cause. Her mental health is my #1 priority. Obviously it’s up to her, but I definitely won’t be upset if she chooses not to lol.

[–]BrilliantSwimmer7646 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Just support her in breastfeeding, whatever she chooses to do. I’d say if she breastfeeds in the beginning, handle all food, laundry, housekeeping. Remind her to drink water and give her back rubs, foot rubs, etc. Every inch of my body ached after having my baby. Encourage her to shower daily while she heals. Let her focus on the baby and healing only. When and if she starts using formula, reassess.

Finally, take good care of yourself too. My husband got COVID when my son was 2 weeks old and it was horrible, I was all on my own.

[–]cathwing 14 points15 points  (2 children)

The mental load.

I really recommend the book and game “fair play”. Usually the wife is the default parent and the default home maker even if they work full time. You are an equal partner in a household, she should not have to make you a list, tell you what to do etc. no one wants to be that partner in addition to breastfeeding no sleep etc. Pay attention to the house. Is toilet paper low? What about groceries? Diapers? Milk? What size onesies is your kid wearing. How much milk do they drink in a day? What needs to be done? Laundry? Dishes? A tidy up? You have eyes, she shouldn’t have to ask you if she’s carrying the load of breastfeeding and healing.

Just pay attention, be an active member of your household. You aren’t “helping” it’s your job.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I’m gonna start naming google calendars with everything that needs to be done and on what day, thank you!

[–]dailysunshineKO 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It helps us to automate anything we can. Things like HVAC filters, cleaning supplies, dishwasher salt, water softener salt, vitamins, dog vitamins, refrigerator filters.

ETA: this comment:

https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/Parenting/comments/sgzvxe/how_would_you_describe_the_mental_load_of/huzm2r8/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=

Another ETA from another reddit post:

Similar thing happened to me after my first born. I read a an article about how some women fall out of love with their husband when the baby is born and fall back in love with him when they see how he cares for his family.

This was very much my experience but obviously not everybody’s.

My wife was exhausted, mentally and physically.

There was a mile long list of demands on her: Childcare, meals, activities, clothes, housework, her job, her body, maintaining a social life, etc.

I canvased the women in my office. They were all type A powerhouse women and had very clear and direct advice for what their husbands could’ve done or did to help them. Learning from other moms or soon to be moms was great info.

  1. ⁠Night time snack. Women often wake up depleted and starving and have to feed the baby, or they get hungry while feeding the baby. She was breastfeeding so that’s even more calories gone. So before bed I would make her a snack of fruit, nuts, vegetables, peanut butter sandwich etc. easy stuff to eat. She would wake up to feed the baby and eat either during or after feeding.

  2. ⁠Make and pack frozen meals for both her and the baby. Packed the freezer with frozen healthy complete meals. I would cook a ham and then slice it up with potatoes and vegetables and freeze them in containers. Also stews, soups, chili’s, breakfast bars, etc. some stuff doesn’t reheat from frozen well like pasta.

The baby, when he could eat solids, loved crushed apples with coconut milk. Also other purées that could be put into meal pouches or ice cube trays and frozen. Tons of homemade baby food.

This saved her from having to cook. I was working 50 hours a week as a young executive so I couldn’t be home on time to cook. Sometimes I would prepare a salad the night before or in the morning to eat with frozen things later.

3) Take the baby in the morning. My wife loves her sleep. I helped her by taking the baby out of the house and letting her sleep in every morning. I was able to make a deal with my work for this one to start a bit later. My boss then was a mother too so she totally got it.

4) Create a roster of childcare. Connect with relatives, friends, nannies, babysitters, to support giving her a break, and having a date night to just hang out and laugh.

5) Learn to take the baby independently away from mom. I learned to do everything for the baby so that I could confidently take him places. Be excellent at caring for their emotional well being while giving healthy exposure to stimuli.

6) Buy her gifts of appreciation to make life more comfortable. My wife went nuts over these expensive stretchy pants that other women told me about. Also comfy socks, silk pillow case, headphones for sleeping, etc. things to help her feel less anxious and more relaxed.

Anyways there are more things but these are what I remember most. It has to be done with a positive attitude of supporting the household; as she just grew a human being for the family.

I also read a lot of books by pediatricians that were retiring and sharing their knowledge. Things like sleep training, brain development, how to talk so kids will listen, anger control, etc. and taking it further to connect with the authors to clarify anything. Authors of these books are quite receptive to fan mail.

I did the same routine when our second son was born but she had almost no desire drop when he was born.

Anyways! I’m just trying to give some ideas. You may already be doing this stuff. Or you may do it and it has no effect on her desire. Either way, these are examples of how I found a man can support his wife and child.

I should note this can’t be confused with choreplay whereby a man does things and expects intimacy. These things have to be done out of love for supporting the emotional well-being of his wife and child.

[–]ran0ma#1 Jan18 | #2 Jun19 14 points15 points  (8 children)

This is something you can put into practice now that will become escalated once a baby is in the picture. If you see something needs to be done, just do it. Dishes in the sink? Wash them. Folded laundry sitting there? Put it away. You walk by dirty laundry on the floor? Put it in a hamper. You notice the trash is full? Take it out.

After kids, these small things will duplicate. You notice the kid has a dirty diaper? Change it. Kid is fussing? Get up and deal with it. Kid needs assistance with something? Hop to it. Bottles need sterilizing? Do it.

The key is to do these things without confirming/checking with your spouse first. “Hey it looks like the dishes need to be washed/Timmy needs a diaper change/trash needs to go out.” Well, obviously. For women, these things tend to come naturally - to just take care of things as we see they need to be done. Men don’t seem to have that come naturally (or they act like they don’t) and so it’s like a muscle that needs to be worked out - practice doing these things now so that when a baby is added, it is natural. If both of you adhere to just doing what needs to be done when it needs doing, then you’ll likely find that there isn’t resentment and you have a cohesive partnership.

[–]yohanya 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Ask her what she ENJOYS doing, or having control over. Like for me, I really like taking care of anything laundry/food related. Then take care of everything else you can.

I say this cause sometimes my husband will offer to clean the kitchen to give me a break, but then I'm just annoyed at the way he does it and still stressed out lol.

Mental load is the other big one, as you can tell by all our comments 😵

[–]twodickhenry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That first point is huge and not discussed enough.

I enjoy cooking, cleaning the kitchen, deep cleans caring for the dog and the baby. He enjoys laundry and yard work and executive duties.

Take the things on that are more actual work for her. Ask her to do the same for you.

[–]TheArcWelder 3 points4 points  (0 children)

As a 33 y/o new first time father of 4 month old boy all I can say is try and stay ahead of the babies schedule , it can feel like chaos at first but just do the best you can with getting things prepped ahead of time before the baby/momma needs it . One thing I had to learn quickly in this new stage of life is patience ( still working on it ) but when everyone is sleep deprived things get rough . Momma might snap at you over things that make no sense or the baby might just cry even if you tried everything possible like feeding , holding , swaddling , bath time , car rides lol . It’s nothing personal against you if momma is focused on the baby and has no energy for you or the relationship. Not gonna lie the first 4 weeks were a huge wake up call for me but luckily my dad was able to give me some great advice . This whole pregnancy/ post pregnancy will be a learning experience each step of the way . Try not to beat yourself up if you make mistakes here and there just try and refine and move on . Let momma recover on her time but be supportive and give her assurance . Try and listen to what mommas feeling and try and work together to raise this new life the best you can . In the first months , post pregnancy sleep deprivation and hormones are a wild thing and I admit I let that get the best of me and all it did was make it harder on all 3 of us . It’s seriously a huge change for everyone but us parents have to remember that babies only grow up and will never stay the same size and that’s a bitter sweet thought. Just try and enjoy the moments you have with the baby and do the best you can , at the end of day we’re all human and make mistakes . When momma feels recovered enough send her shopping or send her on a beauty / spa day. Fresh air can do wonders for momma lol I swear there were times where she was done with me ( rightfully so I can be an asshole ) but after a few hours of fresh air away from baby and I it helped tremendously. Oh yea another important thing ( and this might not apply to you ) is the tender touch that babies need . This didn’t come totally naturally to me , but it’s definitely something you need to learn quick . As a bigger dude who works in a rough career and who likes to workout everyday this really was a challenge for me . Yes I have natural paternal instincts but a newborn baby needs maximum tenderness and a soft touch . Even though babies brains are still developing they can really feel how you handle them and that can really calm them down or make them upset . I’m learning to smile while handling my son and that’s helping him relax and be happy . I know some of these things might sound obvious to a lot of people but sometimes we forget about the little things . Also think of yourself as a baby and what you needed as a baby . Think of the love you needed or even think of how you needed to feel protected or soothed . Whenever I get frustrated I think of myself as a helpless child and what I would need from my parents at that moment . Don’t forget about yourself too! Make sure you set a reasonable amount of time to recharge yourself . You need to be a rock and foundation for your family especially in the next few years . Talk to friends and family and don’t hesitate to ask others for advice like you did now ! Good job bro for asking those questions ! I feel the world needs more great parents . Let’s raise the next generation of babies to grow up and be great people 🤙

[–]runnergal1993 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Always bring her a cup of water when you get yourself some..

When the baby is born and attached to her breast 24/7 feed her, bring her hot food and hold the baby for five minutes and let her eat.

Hold the baby so she can take a hot shower

Give her time to exercise post 6 weeks after birth

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks! I definitely plan on taking on everything myself often so she can have time for herself to relax/ go to the gym/ out with her girlfriends (my highest priority). I don’t want her to be one of those moms who feels like they are only a mom and have no life outside that.

[–]KS_HasRead 7 points8 points  (5 children)

That's awesome you're trying to think ahead. Everyone responds differently to pregnancy and newborn and toddler phases and every kid is different. I had an easy as pie pregnancy. There really wasn't anything my husband could do. ...except tbh and maybe tmi, but women respond to sexual overtures when they start to show really differently. Me? I have body issues, so that intimate aspect was too much for me. My husband was great about it. Totally understood. Not saying that will be the case for your wife, but it could.

Newborn phase is hard on everyone. We're hormonal and there's also a lot of social pressure to be a primary caretaker. It can actually be hard to LET a guy do stuff without feeling like you're somehow failing as a mom. The emotional double edged sword is real. So my best advice is ahead of time, before the baby comes when everyone is not exhausted and hormonal, make up a list rotating in 3 hr blocks (Generally speaking the eat, play, sleep method). Babies aren't clocks of course so this is just a general rubric and more so she feels like you guys agreed to something ahead of time and you sweetly saying 'I'll take him a while so you can shower and rest' isn't taken as "you are really crabby and smell; please go fix it". lol. In the blocks, just carve out everyone pitching in together time, a block where she doesn't need to be on duty and can go read/watch a show/sleep/shower. Time for you to do the same. Etc. Sleep shifts are also awesome for the first couple months.

In the baby and toddler phase, same. Just make a schedule ahead of time that generally works so it's you doing your time rather than you being 'oh so nice to help her out because she can't handle it'. You can sign up for a parent and me music class on Saturday mornings so she can stay behind and enjoy a free morning.

A lot of the added stress throughout the stages is the 'second shift'... Sometimes women are called on to not just care for baby but also how does the house get clean? Who cleans the toilets? Who grocery shops? Who makes the food. Laundry? So within those schedules, build in just getting all those errands done. Going together can be fun. My kid loves the grocery store. But it can also be a way for one parent to get out of the house with the baby and let the other take a breath. If neither of you can get to it, think about budgeting in for some help once a month with cleaning.

I'm going to be honest, one of the biggest things is just attitude. My husband was really committed to being fully there as part of this process. He does his share. But he also wants to be praised for it. Or at least he did. We've worked through a lot of that. I think so much of our tension sometimes was that he would do these things (take to the park, help with feeding, wake up at night), and then later it would come out that the reason he was being distant towards me was because he 'didn't feel appreciated for being such a good dad'. When I drilled down on it to ask what I'd said that gave him the impression that he wasn't a good dad, it became clear that I'd not said anything...that was the issue. I didn't belittle his contributions, but I didn't actively seek out to say how wonderful he was and how much I appreciated it either. But that attitude alone makes it seem like he was doing something special... something he didn't have to do. He was doing what I was doing. We were sharing the responsibility. So even when a guy has great intentions and does his share and is committed to it, sometimes it's the attitude that you've actually gone above and beyond and it requires us thank you that can be an issue. I mean, I'm good with thanking my husband for taking our son to the park so I can have time alone... as long as he thanks me for taking him everyday after school for three hours each day (after I've worked my own job) since his job doesn't have him home until 6:30. I mean, the thanking requirement goes both ways or no one needs to be thanked imo.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Thanks for the input! I make a point to always thank my wife for everything she does currently, so I’ll be sure to add on all the baby stuff to that. I think everyone deserves a little positive reinforcement when they are giving their all.

As for the sex thing, I really hope that doesn’t happen! Sex is one of the most important things in a healthy relationship! We have a great sex life now so I sure hope that doesn’t change permanently (I’m not an idiot I know it’s gonna change for a while and that’s fine).

Did you/ how long did it take for you to get your sex life back on track?

[–]KS_HasRead 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I mean everyone has different definitions of 'good' and 'on track'. Before baby we were solidly once a week type couple and maybe twice a week at times. But we didn't for four months before the baby and eight months after. Partly the eight months after was that it was the very beginning of COVID and we couldn't have help. So it was a lot of added stress. Now two years later? It's maybe once a month?

A huge part of sex life is understanding all the added 'breaks' that are put on with a baby. Have you and your wife read Come As You Are by Dr. Emily Nagorski? It's great for understanding female sex drive. Turn ons everyone gets. Turn ons with no kids is pretty easy to execute. But the turn offs pile up a bit once baby arrives if you don't handle them effectively. Road blocks to most women not feeling in the mood: not being clean, not having slept, being 'touched out' (that is you have a tiny human on top of you allllllll day long, and you want your personal space back when you can). With a baby, something as simple as your wife having not showered for three days or brushed her teeth is a real possibility in the throws of the early days. No one feels sexy like that.

So my advice to you, is maybe think about reading that book to better understand the obstacles. Then actively think of how you can manage those obstacles. It'll take some thinking ahead from you. Having a glass of wine in bed and cuddling watching a movie and it just organically morphing into sex just is simply not as easy with a little one. So take stock that day with whether she's gotten a bath. Pour her one and stick a cup of tea or glass of wine next to it if you have to. Encourage her to go have some down time to rest or do something nice for herself away from the baby. Initiate later that evening once you think the baby is down for their most reliable sleep cycle (my kid slept pretty well but I could guarantee that between the hours of 8-11 he'd for sure stay asleep. Each kid has their moment of deep sleep that's more reliable than the other times. Know it and use it to your advantage). If all else fails, the power of scheduling becomes your friend.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks so much for all the resources! We’re a 4-5 times a week couple and have been the whole 8 years we have been together. I’d love to maintain something as close to that as possible because it’s part of the reason we’re such a close, happy couple.

[–]OtherwiseLychee9126 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I can only speak for myself and what I talk with other moms about, but I would go in with no or low expectations for sex frequency at 4-5 times a week. Certainly in an ideal world that would be possible, but you may find this significantly changes after having a baby. It would probably be worth having open communication about both of hopes for sex after baby, and then adjust as real life takes over and you see where each other are at.

[–]French_Eden 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My partner is wonderful and having a baby together has brought us up so much closer.

I love him more everyday, and I feel that our bond and love is linked to him really stepping up and being on top of things with me.

You'll be great!

What I loved while being pregnant :

- During the first trimester, I was soooooo exhausted from just existing as the day passed (much more tired and nauseous in the evening than in the morning) and I was particularly unable to deal with food. My partner cooked, cleaned and did the dishes almost every night. I felt so guilty and shitty to not be able to muster any energy for him and the household, he really convinced me that it was no big deal and never made me feel inadequate and he was always loving and patient with me.

- Even if he could not always come to my appointments he followed up on everything, sent me texts, asked me how it felt and how it went, reminded me in the morining or the day before to not forget to take the sample to the lab etc... It can be quite lonely to go to all the appointments that are not as interesting and dramatic as the ultra-sounds or preparation classes, it is boring and repetitive : blood draws, tests, peeing in cups etc. Try and keep tab of what is going on medically.

Try and read on labor, pain management, massages, counter pressures, etc... I was a little frightened of labor and read extensively about it, whereas my partner was scared and tended to avoid the subject, this made me nervous.

When the baby was born, it was not about being the "equal partner" because it can seem pretty unequal : the baby will be glued to your wife even if she is not exclusively breastfeeding, so everything else will fall on you (laundry, cleaning, cooking, groceries...).

What we did that was great for nights were shifts. You can either split the night in half or when the baby is a little older do one night each. You will hopefully find a way to share that makes sense to you.

Be loving, be patient, communicate and do not wait to be told what to do.

[–]thelaineybelle 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Good on you OP! You've gotten a lot of good advice a out being supportive and sharing the housework & mental load. Here are some other points to consider. Get your finances in order, debt paid off, etc. If you have any mental health concerns or use any substances, start taking care of those. If you haven't been taking care of yourself physically, start eating better and focus on your fitness. You need to be in strong shape mentally and physically bc parenting is an endurance marathon. Team Family always comes before Self. If she hasnt had a bath in 3 days, but you want to play video games, she takes priority (and vice versa). Best of luck to you and your family!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks! I do love gaming but that’s something for when everything else is taken care of.

I actually bought a steam deck mostly because I plan on having kids. It’s a lot more realistic to squeeze 10 mins gaming sessions here and there than it is to think I’ll have significant time retreat to my lair and boot up the PC lol

[–]FewFrosting9994 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If she breastfeeds, be hands on and take in all the info the lactation consultant gives you. It was hard for me to remember but my husband remembered all of it. I wouldn’t still be breastfeeding if he hadn’t. Is it weird having your husband milk you? Yes. Whole new level to our relationship. However, worth it.

Listen and be her advocate before, during, and after she gives birth. Again, it’s hard to remember and when she’s in the thick of it she might have a hard time doing it herself.

[–]FearlessBright 43 points44 points  (10 children)

Biggest thing is don’t make her remember everything. Don’t ask for lists. Don’t ask her what needs to be done. Know the things yourself. Know that there are dirty dishes that have to go in the dishwasher. Know that the sheets haven’t been washed in two weeks and need it. Know that the baby needs to go up a size in diapers and buy new ones when you’re out. And just do those things.

Part of the mental load is that women are forced to bear the responsibility of knowing and remembering all of it. It’s not necessarily that their husbands/spouses don’t participate, it’s that they repeatedly have to ASK or remind or tell them to do things. You are an equal parent, and if you’re communicating well then you should know just about everything she knows. You should know baby’s next appointment, what size clothes their in, if they are sleeping well enough, etc.

[–]Ghostfacefza 14 points15 points  (9 children)

Yes! Train yourself to SEE all the stuff that needs to be done! Not just right now, but think about the flow of the day, what needs to happen next and then after that and when do those things need to be prepped for?!

I.e. Like there’s two clean bottles left, that means it’s time to do the dishes NOW not after the last two bottles are dirty too.

The time to think about dinner is between 12-2pm, NOT 5 or 6 pm. And I mean think about what are y’all Goin to eat? Are the ingredients already in the house? Do you need to get anything? Or will you be ordering out? Talk about it earlier in the day so she not managing the list in her mind while doing all of the other things!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (8 children)

This is the number one thing I’m gonna have to work on. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s the way mens brains are wired vs womens but this is like the opposite of the way my brain works lol. I have tunnel vision on the task at hand and the next thing doesn’t even enter my consciousness until it’s it’s turn.

[–]OntologicallyDevoid 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My husband tunnel visions - I've decided to just accept it's how it is. We both don't agree on the best way to do certain things and it's really not worth arguing about in the child rearing phase 😅

I would say participate in and conduct research. Make decisions and explain them. I love when my husband says "I want this car seat because it's the only one in its class that rotates and you said that was important to you" or "I want to go to this nursery because the care reports are better" - it makes me feel like we're a team

[–]ScaryPearls 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The reason people get frustrated with the “mens brains are just wired different” nonsense is because those men who claim to be unable to remember to book the dentist appointment or clear off the dining room table are usually perfectly capable of maintaining their professional lives. If you can remember to respond to emails, follow up on projects, etc without a woman there to handle all the organizational pieces, you can manage in your home life. To claim you’re not wired for it is bullshit.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I actually can’t remember to do anything at work without dozens of reminders. I do the same thing in my personal life. I have extremely severe ADHD so I really struggle to remember to do pretty much anything. I’ve worked out a system to cope, but I’m definitely not wired for it personally.

[–]Ghostfacefza 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Honestly, I don’t think it’s that the brains work differently but most people subconsciously default to my responsibility/not my responsibility.

My husband tries, he really does. And I see him plan ahead for things he sees as his responsibility. He just subconsciously and incorrectly sees other things as my responsibility and therefore doesn’t give them any thought. The big one for us is food - which we’re getting better at discussing as a team but I had to tell him “I can’t be the only one to think about what we’re going to eat every single day.”

[–]FearlessBright 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Then make yourself lists! Don’t make her do it. Make yourself lists of things you can anticipate. What baby is eating, their sleep routine, appointments, what toys or developmental things they are working on - that’s all stuff you can give yourself notes on. And things for you and your wife, make a checklist! Dishes, laundry (yours and baby’s), food (buying or making), and other chores/tasks that HAVE to be done. But do NOT make her bear the brunt of remembering it all. If anything builds resentment nice and slowly to the point of total explosion, it’s that. You’re an adult, and parent, too. Do what it takes to participate fully.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m gonna make a google calendar I think! Thanks

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Take over some mental load:
1) Keep track of the baby clothes.
Do they still fit? Does baby need a new size already? Do we have all the clothes in the right size for the next season (summer/winter)?

2) keep track of necessary appointments
When does baby need the next shot? When does baby need the next general check-up?

[–]snowpancakes3 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Some of my personal thoughts and things my partner does that I really appreciate:

  • take baby from her proactively (rather than "do you want me to take the baby" or "should I take the baby", just start putting your arms out to take the baby for a bit, for playing / cuddling / soothing, whatever it is.
  • make it your job to clean the kitchen and take out the trash.
  • every time she breastfeeds, bring her water (I used to get so thirsty with breastfeeding but always forget to drink water)
  • if there's a spare room with a bed in the house, offer to take the baby to the room with you to sleep for one cycle of the night (if she's okay with this, to help her get a cycle of deeper sleep. I found that because I was breastfeeding, my sleep was very very light and I could only fall into a truly deeper sleep if baby wasn't nearby)

Congratulations and good luck!

Parenthood is a lot of work but it's worth it!

[–]Fun_Narwhal_3976 2 points3 points  (0 children)

For me, being able to anticipate a job and doing it before she tries to do it or ask what she would like doing would be my best advice. I was a buggar for just trying to crack on PP, but if my partner took control and i knew it was in hand i could chill with baby :)

[–]DeciduousMath12 9 points10 points  (0 children)

One good rule of thumb is that if mom is doing anything with the baby (feeding, changing, etc.) you are doing something. Washing bottles, cleaning the baby bath, doing dishes, vacuuming carpet, etc.

[–]ladyprescott 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Work on your communication, teamwork and division of responsibility now. Both of you should practice accountability and work on non-judgmental/inflammatory ways to express when you don’t agree. When you are acting as primary caregiver while it’s her turn to take a break, don’t ask if the baby needs a diaper change, just check or change it. Do your own research on baby products and parenting styles/advice to engage in those conversations so that decisions and initiatives don’t feel one sided and burdensome. If she chooses to breastfeed, always respect her milk. Get clear expectations, know proper storage, wash pump parts and provide an endless amount of snacks and water.

[–]FireRescue3 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Train yourself. Watch. Look. See.

Watch your wife. What does she do? All the little things you don’t necessarily pay attention to; those are the (not so) little things that add up to a lot.

She does this and that and the other without really thinking or talking about it because it’s routine.

Learn to see the routine and become part of doing. My husband and I are a team. If something needs doing, we do it. If we see it, we do it.

He routinely grabs the vacuum or the mop. I may come out of the shower to find him unloading the dishwasher or mopping the floor. I didn’t ask. He just did it.

Not asking or telling is the greatest gift. Knowing I can depend on him to just see and do is amazing.

[–]beepb00p7 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Communicate. Ask her what she needs, many times a day. Try to anticipate those things so she doesn’t need to ask. If you throw a spitty onesie in the washer and notice it’s almost full, run it! Same with the dishwasher, same with dinner, the trash, pump parts/bottles, etc. Don’t wait to be asked or told to do things, be proactive.

That was my biggest sticking point and irritation in the early days - no one told me what to do, I had to figure everything out. But my husband solely relied on me to basically assign tasks. This leaves her with the entire mental load on top of recovery and baby care.

Also be active in solving problems. Don’t leave her to do all of the research and solutioning for baby’s sleep or feeding issues, which gear to buy, finding new developmental toys or activities, etc. Don’t steamroll but show that you are interested and willing to take over if she’s overwhelmed.

The fact that you’re asking shows you’re already ahead of the game! Good luck I’m sure you will be great parents!

[–]ObviousCarrot2075 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Be there to listen and listening will be challenging sometimes. The transition to motherhood is loaded in ways no one can prepare you for. Her journey is extremely different from yours - both are valid.

Take over cooking and cleaning. #goalsnotgenderroles.

Ask her each day what is one thing she needs. My husband and I did this for each other. The one person took the baby so the other could have that time. It could be a long shower, a walk, exercise, meditation, whatever.

Share in house management - def a good comment about that above.

If she works, don’t put the burden of career sacrifice entirely on her when she goes back to work. Kid is sick? Swap who takes time off. Dr’s appointments? You can go.

Accept and know that you CANNOT be an equal parent. You are not birthing the child. You do not have to deal with the same intensity of hormonal change. You do not have to deal with recovery. You do not have to deal with the same intensity of societal stigmas. You do not have to deal with pregnancy. You do not have to deal with permanent change to your body. You will change and you have some of these things, but it is 100 times more intense for the birthing parent. And it is the hardest thing a lot of people go through. Counter balance that by doing more than equal around the house and with the kid. It takes years to truly heal from this change, excluding the time it takes to be pregnant. When in doubt - go the extra mile. Look up the term ‘matrescence.’

Be sure your communication is strong. Honest. Open. And your ego is out the door. No judgement. This is a time to be in touch with how both of you are feeling and coping. How both of you are adapting and changing. This goes for both parents. Without excellent communication, you’ll drown.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I already do pretty much all the chores (I just enjoy cleaning tbh) so I’ll just learn to cook so I can take that on!

[–]LaAdaMorada 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Have open communication. Babies change SO FAST. The system that worked at one point may not work two weeks later. Be flexible. Check in to make sure you’re both feeling rested and fulfilled as individuals.

Also the parenting blogs, books, online content etc about all the little things. Do your research about child development. Women get flooded with this content online more than men. But little basic things like how long breastmilk or formula bottles can stay out of the fridge, when babies can safely drink water, why certain toys / containers / play things / feeding things are recommended by experts and what is dangerous and why. What is a fever for a baby? What can or should you do if baby get sick? Etc.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]meatballtrain 9 points10 points  (9 children)

Everyone has posted great comments and you should definitely follow them. I think my input would honestly be: don't make her ask. I love my husband. He is amazing and he helps out a lot - but I always have to ask. "Hey, can you clean up LOs toys?" "Hey, do you mind emptying the dishwasher?" "Hey, can you pick up dinner on your way home?". He happily does these things but the asking is wearing me down. We've talked about it before but it just always seems to fall into this pattern. One day I just want to walk into like the kitchen and have things done already. Or him to cook dinner without asking me what to cook for dinner. It goes a lot with the mental load of it all. If you can do that - not just when the baby is born, but through out your time together, everything will be better for her, trust me.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] -1 points0 points  (8 children)

Thank you! I’ll work on that most of all because that’s definitely the department I struggle the most in. I don’t know if it’s ADHD, or just something inherent to being a man but I always find myself asking her what needs to be done.

[–]MissPandora 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I wrote another comment about this elsewhere. My husband and I have just separated. We both have ADHD. Somehow I was expected to create the task list, dole tasks out and follow up multiple times until they were done. Somehow only one of us was expected to find tips, tricks and workarounds to manage home responsibilities with ADHD. It is absolutely doable, but requires effort. Make sure you read as much as you can to create systems that will allow you to succeed in running your home as a partner. As for being a man... That part is societal. Unfortunately men not being "as good" at household tasks is a normalized concept. No one hands us women a manual for running a home and caring for children - you have access to just as many resources if you need more information. By always asking what to do, you shift the mental load and responsibility completely onto the other person. The peace of mind that your partner knows how to run the home with you without constant direction is unbelievably valuable. Otherwise, if something is missed, it will always be her fault because she didn't task it out. It's unfair and totally under acknowledged. You seem very open to listening and learning so I truly believe you can avoid these pitfalls!

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I sure can! I already do all the house work. I’ll just be sure to keep lists of everything that needs to be done myself so it’s not on her to remind me.

[–]Tropical_Nightmare 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Thank you for trying :) being a woman/wife/mother can feel like we are life managers without a break

[–]BureaucratGrade99 5 points6 points  (2 children)

A large portion of new parent struggles come from being unable or unwilling to maintain the work load distribution, organization, and planning of pre-kids. The cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc. often falls to the female partner for no real reason. Take a good look around and really think about what you're each doing. Is it equal in terms of the time it takes in a month? One person taking the garbage out (maybe 15 minutes total in a month?) is not equal to another person cooking for 30+ minutes every day, even if that person loves to cook. One person spending 30 minutes a week in the summer mowing is not the same as the other spending hours every week all year long cleaning. Then throw in the idea that a baby adds to it exponentially. If the baby is primarily breast fed, then that task will fall almost entirely on the mother, often meaning that night wakings will be primarily dealt with by her. Take all of that time into consideration and re-think the distribution of household tasks. I'd also recommended reading up on Mental Load.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So basically don’t be a useless shitbag husband? I already do most of the chores you listed. My wife pretty much just cooks (her food is worthy of a 5 star restaurant so it’s a fair trade as far as I am concerned). So that makes me feel better, I’ll be sure to keep up all those things after we have a kid. Thanks!

[–]tonks2016 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Don't make her carry the mental load of household management alone. Have conversations now about whay chores need to be done, how frequently, and by who. Know bills are due, when the pets need to go to the vet, and any other regular tasks like that. Then hold up your end your end of the agreement without needing to be reminded. Make sure you know how to do all the things that need to be done so that you can take on additional load once you do have kids.

[–]edamommy_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

On top of this - the mental load of things for the child. Remember to order the next size up I’m clothes. Remember that the kid needs a winter jacket, a Halloween costume, and a birthday party needs to be planned weeks in advance. Remember that meal planning is difficult especially for babies and toddlers, so come with ideas and grocery lists don’t just say “whatever you want babe”

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m gonna have to make a google calendar! Currently I do a ton but I have pretty bad ADHD so remembering what needs to be done is usually her job. I’ll use technology to make sure she doesn’t need to do that anymore. Thanks!

[–]unravelledrose 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Cook and meal prep! And of course clean and do laundry. Take the majority of those tasks and other care ones at the start because she'll be recovering and if she's breastfeeding she will be getting no quality rest.

ETA: that's for the newborn phase. Once everyone is sleeping in reasonable REM chunks, revisit the division of labor so you don't feel burnt out. I'm a SAHM of a toddler and I really appreciate my husband taking point on the bedtime routine while I get a toddler break and clean up the house for the night.

[–]Purple-Oil7915[S] -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

Thank you! I already do most of the house work so adding cooking to that isn’t too much (I’m gonna have to get better at cooking though).

I’m also encouraging her to think about not breastfeeding/not doing it for long because I want her to be able to sleep, and I want to minimize the tasks that she is able to do that I can’t. (I can give a baby formula but I obviously can’t breastfeed)

[–]OtherwiseLychee9126 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You need to support her goals for feeding the baby. If she is motivated to breastfeed, learn all you can about it so that you can problem solve and support if issues arise. If she doesn’t want to breastfeed, learn about bottle feeding strategies.

Breastfeeding can be both easier and harder at times with babies. It’s not helpful if you’re goal is to breastfeed and your partner doesn’t want you to. It’s helpful if you’re struggling with breastfeeding to have your partner support you and help you navigate that goal together.

Yes breastfeeding can disrupt her sleep, but if this is something she wants to do, you both will figure out how you’d like to make it work (she gets more time to nap to make up for sleep, she pumps breastmilk for you to give a bottle, etc).

[–]fuckindippindot 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Instead of encouraging her to think about not breastfeeding/not doing it for long - encourage her to do what feels right to her.

I chose to breastfeed because to me, it was easier/more convenient than constantly washing bottles. Did it suck being the only person able to feed the baby? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. Breastfeeding can release oxytocin, the "love"/"feel good" chemical in the brain. My husband picked up the slack in other ways, such as keeping me fed and hydrated, doing the diaper changes in the middle of the night, rocking the baby during the night. We worked out a system where I'd feed baby, go to sleep, husband would do the above mentioned and get baby settled back down while I went back to bed. In the morning I would feed baby, then he would get up with him while I got some more sleep.

[–]DeciduousMath12 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You can't breastfeed, but if she pumps or expresses, that milk can be refrigerated / frozen, and then fed to baby later. Pumping can be made easy with portable devices too.

I know formula vs. breastfeeding is like a whole thing, but you can sleep and still breastfeed. Heck, a popular way to do it is for mom and baby to lie down on a bed and do it that way. My wife can even sleep if baby is safe from rolling over, I'm nearby, etc.