Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Advice to New Fathers

Again, nobody asked my advice. But I received this piece of advice from my pediatrician and it was very helpful. I thought I would pass it along.
  • There are some things you can do that your wife/partner cannot.

Right after childbirth, she needs rest and support. You have strength, and can provide it. Maybe it's the calf strength necessary to bounce with the baby through the night. Maybe it's the back strength needed to clean the tub. Maybe she is spacey, but you can still remember things like when to eat (and how to cook). Even beyond childbirth, there will still be things you can do and your partner can't. Maybe they are trivial, maybe profound.

Women go through a lot during labor, and it is an amazingly empowering thing for them. (Sometimes it is not, and that's a shame.) They get lionized -- and get the lion's share of attention. Your respect and awe for your partner will go through the roof. But don't lose sight of self-respect and confidence in your own awesomeness.

It's important to remember that an empowered woman does not bring you down. (Quite the contrary.) Meanwhile, knowing that there are some things that only you can do helps you feel empowered yourself.

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