Advice for new fathers- Coping with a newborn baby!My partner and I have a 7-month-old baby girl called Isabella. I recently edited our first DVD of our baby and it brought some memories flooding back. I remember at the time not believing all the advise we received saying how much easier it gets but it is so true - and so hard to remember now how hard it was for those first 3 months now that they have passed. Our baby suffered from colic and for the first 3 months she screamed pretty much constantly - we got very little sleep!
For more information on Colic see the Bupa Website
I was working for a graphic design company as their Sales and Account Manager. It was a great opportunity for me, a job I really enjoyed and got stuck into to begin with but with our baby due we had to move to a larger flat and all we could afford was out of town. I ended up spending between 2 and 3 hours a day travelling and inevitably arrived home to find Isabella already in bed and my partner crying and exhausted. It drove me nearly crazy knowing I was wasting all that time travelling to a job that I just wasn't interested in now that I had this beautiful baby that I was barely seeing.
Our baby was born in November and by the beginning of February I had reached breaking point and left the graphic design company to find work closer to home. It was enormously heartbreaking to return to work after my statutory paternity leave, leaving my family in difficult times.
My job and my baby
I can't tell you how much happier I was after I found a job that allowed me to be home in time to bath my baby and see her to bed. The extra hour or so made so much difference to my sanity! The irony of it was that around that time the colic was starting to become history, Isabella started settling into a routine, her mother started to find easy ways to cope and we all started to enjoy our little family.
It is only after the experience that I can see that if, perhaps, I had stuck it out at the graphic design company things would have turned out good eventually. But I am of the opinion that we shouldn't regret decisions - we can only make a decision based on the best of our knowledge at the time and if we decide later that that information was misguided then... well, we couldn't have known that at the time.
In my fatherhood experience, in the first few months of parenthood you are bombarded with peoples advice and the truth of it is that very little of other peoples experiences or opinions will be relevant to you. Every child is an individual, it seems like a silly little thing to point out but we need to remember it. Every child develops in its own way and we learnt this the hard way. Yes, of course you must take all the advice that is offered because you never can tell which advise will be relevant to your child and your experiences. For what it is worth, my advice for new fathers is;
- To stick out at least the first 3 months - they will be difficult in ways you had never imagined
- Try pay every attention to your wife or partner - and try to put aside any feelings of alienation or isolation you may feel by the distance going back to work may bring and concentrate on her immediate feelings, things will balance out... and
- To enjoy every moment because no matter how difficult they seem, they will pass all too quickly! The first moment your baby smiles at you is the greatest joy, your life will change completely from the difficult times before but they will also start to slip away so quickly you won't believe.
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