Cheat Sheet for New Dads and Expectant Fathers

As a new dad, your time is going to be at a premium. At Newborncourse.com, we understand that. So let’s get to it.

 

  • Consider FMLA

In the United States, the Family Medical Leave Act entitles you to take unpaid leave without risk of losing your job. Some forward-thinking companies offer paid paternity leave. If yours does, take advantage of that without a second thought. The time frame when your child first enters the world is one you can never get back. If at all possible take the time off work to be there 24/7 with your partner and child in the beginning. It’s important for bonding with baby, for your relationship with your partner, and for your own mental health.

  • Ask for and accept help from friends/family

Recognize that there will be times when the demands outweigh the possibilities. You may become overwhelmed, particularly in the beginning. This is a time to lean on family and friends, many of whom want nothing more than to be there for you. Allow them to do that. You’ll be a better man for it.

  • Forgive yourself

No one walks in to the fatherhood game knowing everything they need to know. Building your skill set as a new dad parallels learning a new skill set for any job or hobby. It takes time. And along the way, when you’re just getting your feet, you will drop the ball. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn from it and move forward.

  • Connect with other new dads

There is no need to feel alone. Whether online or in real life, connecting with other men who are experiencing the same things you are is incredibly helpful. Seek them out. You’ll be glad you did.

  • Enlist the help of a professional

When you have a newborn with special physical needs, an adopted child with psychological issues, or a blended family where one or more members are not coping well with the change, waste no time in enlisting the help of a professional. Depending on your situation, that may mean family counseling, guidance from faith leaders in your own spiritual community, individual psychotherapy for one or more family members, or an entire cadre of specialist physicians. The key is to know when you’re out of your league as far as physical or psychiatric issues. 

To get the basics covered, educate yourself before baby even comes home. Our courses will ensure that you’re equipped to deal with the common challenges that come with caring for the newest addition to your family.

  • Make your relationship with your significant other a top priority

Your relationship with your significant other can take a major hit when a new child enters the picture. Don’t let it happen. Make regular “dates” and keep them. Understand that one of the greatest favors you can do for your child is to demonstrate for them when a healthy, loving, adult relationship looks like.

  • Take a step back when you need a break

Don’t be afraid to step away for a few minutes when you need it. That might mean getting out of the house for a few hours while your spouse or responsible older child cares for baby. Take yourself to lunch or a movie, meet for coffee with your best friend, go shoot some hoops at the park. A change of scenery, even for a short time, can rejuvenate you and leave you feeling better equipped to be the great new dad you know you can be.

Expectant Fathers visit www.Newborncourse.com

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