Preparing for the exams rings a familiar bell in all our minds. But preparing for fatherhood? Well, this sounds a bell of another kind! This however, is the new normal. Parenting as a joint endeavour pleasure or compulsion as an accepted normal is a thing of the past. Days have changed changing with it our perspectives about lot of things: of love, relationships, marriage, success and finally happiness. Hence parenting and co-parenting is an experience that is no longer, un-planned, sudden or neutral. Nowadays, both parents find ways and means to better the journey of being a parent as a learning, loving and fulfilling co-parent.
Father as a separate entity and a very important factor in co-parenting is being given value and adding lot of weight to this new concept. Today he has become more than just Vicky the donor! Hence the various responsibilities and necessary planning to live up to this role with a flourish.
First things first
From the thought behind the desire to be a father to the actual pregnancy the journey to fatherhood has begun. This leads to the desired and inevitable visits to the doctor for the well-being of the wife who has conceived to the mother to be. Regular check-ups, diet management and the overall health status of the expectant mother through the progressing stages of the growing fetus needs to be closely monitored. The new age father-to-be, can play the role of a silent and sometimes active observer in being a part of the process. Development in the field of medicine and holistic living offers a multitude of help and exercise regiments, yoga classes, pre-natal and post-natal counselling sessions that can be attended by the co-parents.
Redecorating living space
Getting the walls painted to putting up the pink curtains, the joy of selection and imagining the arrival of the baby as the rightful member of the house has well begun. Those with the option of a room, separate and exclusive for the new born can go for the whole process of decoration from buying a baby cot to designing the interiors best suited to the new member. Those parents having to accommodate their new one in their lives without a separate room for the baby, needs to plan and upgrade and accommodate more. Maximum utilization of space by removal or addition of furniture and re-creating the living space is a must! And much before the actual birth of the child.
Personal habits upgradation
Nothing better than Now to go in for the gym, from the cutting down of bad habits, on obesity, and other life-style diseases and an overall uphauling of his health, the father can get busy too. Sometimes accompanying the wife in her clinical visits, to the various prenatal therapies, the father -to-be can enroll to one best suited to himself. The most common and harmful habit that needs to be changed and can be addressed now is that of smoking. Considering the current and impending harm it can and may cause to the mother to be and the new born, nothing could be a better life style change than this.
Developing new skills
Probably there is no other and can be no other greater skill to learn than learning to hold the head of the new born in the right way. “Undoubtedly” as would be the response of a new mother and a father to be. It takes several attempts under the expert guidance to actually master this, along with few other basic skills related to the baby. Feeding the baby right by holding it in the right angle at the time of breast and or bottle feeding, and something as simple yet important like burping the baby plays a crucial role in the overall health of the new born; and needs to be learnt. The learning extends to the changing of diapers, giving the baby its bath without drowning him, and understanding the various nuances of the infant.
Probably the most important and necessary thing to think, plan and sort out much before the baby is born is planning and regulating the Finance. Leaving aside the medical expenses during the time of birth to that for the first few months, there is a need for planning the future financial expenses of the baby. Insurance policies catering to the health issues as in medical insurances and insurances for education of the baby are being offered by various insurance companies. Now is the best time to get hold of an agent to get the best possible option for the child and start planning the safety and surety of the future of the child.
Also, something that needs a tentative planning and checking up on is a preliminary discussion with the center for extra service staffs and nanny’s. Some addition in the car with a seat for the new born, buying of prams and the basic toys and other such child related essentials needs to be arranged beforehand.
Spending some more of the quality time with the partner comes to be appreciated more later on once the baby is born when the couple hardly gets time to themselves. Like the mother to be engages herself with reading up of almost all kinds of books, journals and manuals online or offline on baby and everything related to it, the father to-be can do the same. No harm in knowing the extra few things about the bundle of joy soon to arrive in their lives.
Attending the parenting classes with the co-parent and or going for the ones specially designed for the fathers, can become very beneficial in learning many new skills, getting necessary tips and other related help from their support team.
Guy’s time with the fathers to be…
A very valuable past time it can turn up to be in terms of sharing bonding and gathering of information. Yes, hanging out with the Boys! The once weekend activity can be used as a very productive activity now. The much-needed beer or whiskey break can turn into something more than just the fuzzy chilly comfort in the company of old buddies. It can be an essential part in the life of a new father-to-be and be a huge psychological support.
More together-time but less sex!
Yes, this too! Mentally getting used to the idea of less physical intimacy between the couple who are now also the co-parents. Less sex! Oh yes sad but true, at least for the first year or so. As undeniably it is an essential part of marriage and in building the family, abstinence from it now is also very important keeping in view the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of the new and lactating mother. And the good news in all these long and regimented and sometimes tired and sleepless nights is that the waiting creates a great longing. A longing that not only sexually fulfilling but goes a long way in creating a deeper and more loving bond between the couple, who now also a proud parent.
In the end nothing that you do, to learn and try to be, in order to prepare yourself for fatherhood can ever be enough because it’s your own baby that you are going to be blessed with. A new life that is coming through you to live with you, play with you, laugh and cry…a beautiful new image of you and your wife, in new form. There can be innumerable ways you can improve yourself, better your current life situation and they may be enough by normal standards going by the books, but who best to know, feel and do the thing best suited for your child, but you and your love!
Wishing you a very Happy Fatherhood!