The transition to motherhood is a huge one, and what it’s like after having a baby is a topic we hear a lot about. But why don’t we see much written about new fathers? New dads also have their lives completely transformed when their first child is born, yet the father’s perspective is rarely the focus.
I reached out to a pool of men to find out what new dads wish their wives understood about becoming a father.
Here is what they had to say.
“I was scared out of my mind about being a primary caretaker of another being, especially one so tiny and needy. It took me a while to figure out how to love our new addition. I was grateful my wife was sympathetic to my feelings even though she felt a strong bond with the baby from the beginning.”
-Phillip Thomas, Saving Talents
We should have an equal vote.
Sex is still important to us.
“One thing I really wish my wife understood is that sex- no, FREQUENT sex, is important to maintaining a good relationship. That shouldn’t just stop when a child enters the picture.”
New dads get depressed too.
“My world just completely changed overnight. The transition has been difficult and I’ve been struggling with worry and depression. But I have a hard time opening up about it because I feel like I need to be the strong one.”
Fact check: This is entirely TRUE. Studies show 1 in 10 men suffer from postpartum depression.
We want to help, but don’t always know how.
“When we brought home our first baby, I desperately wanted to help but I felt so out of my element and didn’t know where to start. It all seemed to come naturally to my wife. I wish she understood that I want to be involved and help, but I don’t always know how to. Be patient with me and explain what needs to be done.”
Dad guilt is real.
“Working parent guilt applies to both parents. My wife stays at home and I work. Working parent guilt can be crushing, particularly with a high stress job. Since my daughter was born, I’ve never stopped feeling guilty for:
- Working too much and missing “family time”
- Not working enough and bringing more money home
- Having “me time”
- Not supporting my wife in every way I can
- Being tired/grumpy with my daughter on occasion
- Missing “firsts” because I’m at work
Working parent guilt sucks. Thankfully my wife gets it.”
Sometimes we miss being your number one.
“Help us out by letting us know how to help you emotionally, as it’s a ton of feelings we are both experiencing. In those moments we need to be able to be honest about how we feel and when we need support, as it’s a change for us as well. As new dads we went from being your number one to number two and it takes some time for us to adjust to that.”
-David, Dad Life Lessons
We need breaks too.
“My wife acts like going to work is my break, but work is really stressful. Coming home and helping with the kids is stressful too. But if I ask for time to myself, it’s like I’m a jerk because any time I’m not working should be spent with my kids. Seems like there are no breaks after fatherhood.”
We miss spending time with you.
“We used to have so much fun together, but now my wife is constantly worried and stressed. She is a great mother but I wish she’d let go a little bit. Leaving our son for a night to reconnect as a couple wouldn’t hurt him. But she doesn’t want to leave him so date nights don’t happen.”
You amaze us.
“I am in awe of my wife and how naturally she turned into a mother. Everything she’s done since the birth of our daughter has blown me away. I hope she understands how wonderful she’s doing at this, even though I probably don’t tell her enough.”
You heard it here first Moms- you’re amazing!
New Dads: We Want To Hear From You!
Share what you’d like us women to know about your transition to fatherhood.