How to be the new Dad your Partner needs you to be
Great British Papas, firstly we want you to know how much you are appreciated. We know that parenthood, whilst incredibly rewarding, is no easy feat and as a new papa you might be feeling overwhelmed to say the least. This is brand new territory, a role that certainly takes some getting used to. The arrival of your greatly anticipated bundle of joy has undoubtedly shifted the dynamic in your relationship and perhaps left you feeling a little in the shade, unsure of where you fit in the equation. Your role of papa is crucially important, and the first few weeks of baby’s arrival are your training ground. But think less military precision and more modern gentleman. Don’t worry, we will explain all!
Men are hard wired to operating from the left side of the brain which is practical, logical, analytical and solution focused. The complete opposite to women who operate from their intuition, feelings and emotions. So when it comes to really being there for your partner and child during the first few weeks in particular, it’s about tapping into the right side of the brain to meet your partner where she needs to be met. This will enable you to support her to your greatest capacity and be there for your family in the most heart centred and loving way possible.
This is the modern day equivalent of the ‘hunter gatherer’ masculine stereotype. These days women don’t need you to literally go out and hunt but they do need your protection, strength, love and ability to provide. So let’s look at some ways that you can offer your unique masculinity to provide for the needs of your new family.
Rather than hunting out in nature, do ensure that the family have food and nourishment. This could be taking over the grocery shopping duties, organizing the online food shop order and preparing home cooked healthy food. As a new mama your partner may forget to eat, as naturally she is putting her own needs last. Care for her and make her feel loved by preparing her favourite food or drinks. If mama is breastfeeding suggest a time each day where you can assist with nursing duties with expressed milk.
New mamas, in particular, are on high alert at all times, hard wired to provide for their baby’s needs. Take over the reigns and let your partner have some space to relax, take a bath or a really long nap. Your partner will be so grateful for this precious dose of ‘me’ time. This also allows you to develop the beautiful paternal connection with your baby. You may even like to sing your favourite childhood lullaby to him or her. That would be beautiful.
Provide a space for your partner to be heard. Becoming a new mother is a big adjustment, it’s as challenging as it is joyful. Hormones are amplified and your partner’s body is healing from a massive occurrence. Your natural instinct may be to tell her everything is okay and be solution focused but this really isn’t what she wants to hear. She wants you to listen, to validate her feelings, to be non-judgemental and accepting of all the emotions and feelings that are arising. Despite what your brain may be telling you, your job right now is not to ‘fix’ everything but just simply be loving, compassionate and understanding. She needs a man who can allow her to be vulnerable, emotional and afraid. Surely this is the most masculine male there is.
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