Ah, a new baby. That can only mean one thing: change. Good change. But unexpected change too.
Since your life of Jager shots and Halo nights might not have prepared you as well as you would expect for this new chapter in your life, I’ve compiled a list to help you avoid a few of the less obvious landmines.
The Woman You Love
Say ‘goodbye’ to the young, carefree girl you fell in love with, and ‘hello’ to her mother.
You know how when you come back from holidays and you’ve got all those fantastic memories but now the next holiday won’t roll around for what seems like a lifetime? That’s the current state of your sex life. I hope you took lots of happy snaps to look back on.
All the funny things your wife loved about you when you were courting will now be the very things she hates most about you. You’ll try your one-liners out on strangers in cafes just to make sure they still work, but meanwhile, your partner will be standing beside you rolling her eyes and all but apologising for your behaviour. “But you used to laugh at my jokes,” you’ll want to say. Yes, well she also used to have the energy to sleep with you. If you really want to make her laugh, stub your toe on the cot. I guarantee she’ll think that’s hilarious.
The lady in your life will now cry for no apparent reason and it’s all your fault (because you got her pregnant). It doesn’t matter if she just dropped a bottle of milk in the kitchen and hasn’t picked it up, you must treat it like it’s your fault. She’s probably so exhausted she feels her time would be much better spent staring at the mess glugging out on the tiles and crying rather than bending all the way down there. You must now fix her tears with love, hugs, apologies, grovelling, kindness and understanding. Even if it kills you inside. Even if it was the last of the milk and you really badly needed a coffee. Yep, this is more important than coffee.
Yes, they look fantastic. No, you cannot touch them.
After your baby arrives you may notice some changes in your wife’s wardrobe. Chances are fashion won’t exist for her anymore beyond comfortable tracky dacks and dressing gowns. Say anything and you won’t exist anymore either. The good news is, when her energy comes back she’ll want to dress nice again. The bad news is her clothes may not fit (see 4. CRYING, apologise because it’s all your fault and up your credit limit). Of course, if you’re planning on having more than one child, you must adapt. Trust me, the more kids you have the sexier flannel pyjamas become.
There will be days when you come home from work and she feeds you toast. Understand this – toast is a meal. And say thank you! It still took every last scrap of her give-a-shitness to burn that sucker for you.
She’s home all day now so the house should look immaculate, right? Wrong. Furthermore, although housework has always been shared equally between you, your ‘half’ of the housework will now require more than taking the wheely bin to the curb once a week. Unless it stinks or moves, doing anything other than lifting her feet to walk over it is optional for your wife until her brain wakes up again. You don’t have this excuse so grab a mop, sunshine – it’s the long stick with a wig on the end.
Don’t Say Things Like This
“The baby slept through!” is a phrase to avoid. Unless your partner says this, it didn’t happen. If you accidentally say it and she doesn’t immediately agree, duck and run – if she hasn’t thrown something at you it’s only because she’s looking for something heavier, sharper or with better range.
The Best Advice
Although they look interchangeable, all babies are in fact different. They do things at different times. So therefore, every parent’s experience with their little loved one will be slightly different. For example, unlike your mate whose wife might complain of having to wake their baby up in the morning, your experience might be one of three night feeds broken up by banshee-like-screaming and the start of a migraine. Do not under any circumstances ask your mate for advice to pass on when you get home. Just spit in his coffee and tell your wife about it. She’ll love you for it.
This is your chance to shine. Go with the flow. Her flow. “What can I do to help?” is now the sexiest thing you can say.
Bruce started his blog because friends and family kept wanting to know how he managed to feed and clothe such a large family while still having fun and being able to afford holidays and beer. He had no idea, but thought if he started writing things down some sort of pattern might emerge. When not at work Bruce enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies. He’s recently taken up the cycling challenge with a view to surviving long enough to see all his kids out the door so he can finally sleep in.