This month, we’re focusing on sharing facts and research to support dads developing healthy relationships. One of the biggest life transitions is becoming a parent, and without a doubt, it creates a lot challenges. When left unchecked they can put a lot of strain on the relationship with your partner.
Many dads enter parenthood with a combination of excitement and fear. Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum, there will come a time when most will begin asking questions like:
Why did becoming a dad have to change OUR relationship so much?
Here are some things that all new dads should know:
You have an amazing opportunity to show your child what a healthy
relationship looks like.
Children learn a lot from their fathers. One of the most important lessons is how to be in a close, intimate relationship. Children are very aware of love, affection, tension, conflict and compromise in their parents’ relationship. They learn lifelong lessons from what you and your partner show them.
The first year of parenthood can be challenging for partners.
Babies are a lot of work. They create new responsibilities and new expenses for Dads and Moms. Most likely, you will get less sleep, have less money to spend, and have less free time for yourself and with your partner. It is no wonder that the first year is associated with a drop in couple’s satisfaction with their relationship! (Don’t worry, it gets better as the kids get older).
It may take you a bit longer to feel comfortable about being a parent.
Mothers get a “head start” in parenting due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and lots of early hands-on baby care experience. Dads
sometimes take longer to feel comfortable and connected. Time and experience with your baby will help.
The things you like (and dislike) about your partner might change.
Remember how you used to find it cute that she could sometimes be a bit scatterbrained? Maybe not anymore. Some of the differences
between you and your partner that you used to love might start to feel like problems. On the other hand, you will likely find new strengths in your partner that you love.
Competing with Mom is a losing game for everyone. Although you do need Dad and baby time, it is important to become involved in a way that supports the mom-baby connection too. Moms
sometimes feel like that they have all the responsibilities for parenting, and it can take some time to work out roles and responsibilities for both of you.
Your sex life will probably change.
Early parenthood is a time when less frequent sex is normal. Even after she has recovered from childbirth, her body is different. She might feel “all touched out” and she may take awhile to feel sexy again.
If you’re a new dad, or you work with new dads – we have an amazing resource to support this transition:
Filled with informative videos, articles, and insights, this is a site created by dads for new dads. It’s the one stop shop for ways to make the transition easier, and elements to support developing healthy relationships.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page this month for daily posts on tools and tips focussed on healthy relationships.
You can also check out our store at www.store.dadcentral.ca to get hard copies of the 24 Hour Cribside Assistance Manual, or a variety of booklets, fact-marks, or literacy bookmarks to support dads in their parenting journey.