We at the Bub Hub are making a concerted effort to match the large amount of resources we provide for parents and mums with specific stuff for the dads as well; from support from other dads in the forum, information and resources, to tipping competitions.
I am the co-founder of the Bub Hub. The Bub Hub is a rarity among parenting websites in having males highly involved in the day to day running of the site. We set up the Bub Hub to help parents and, we hope you agree, we have successfully achieved that result.
The team here agrees that we need to do more for our dads!
I suppose that since most women insist on reading the instruction manual (we men all know that's a waste of paper) and many feel the need to ask for directions, it is only natural that almost all the feedback we had for developing the site over the last six years has come from females. So, whilst a lot of the resources apply universally to parents there are also a lot of bits just for mums, basically, because they asked for it!
As a dad of three great kids and having worked in the parenting space for seven odd years, I have some personal tips for Dad's to keep in mind:
- Having a baby is a huge change of life for both parents so DO SOME RESEARCH and don't be afraid to ask for advice or assistance from friends and family. If you leave the research to your partner, you cannot be unhappy if your perspective is overlooked! The experience can seem scary if you are not well-informed. You do not have to be an expert but the more you know, the calmer and more fun the journey will be. Trust me when I tell you that a small amount of research compared to being pregnant and having the baby is an AWESOME trade off for us blokes AND normally earns big brownie points!
- This may sound contradictory to my first point but it is crucial to understand that every birth and baby is different! So, while you get advice from lots of sources, only keep what works for you as a couple and your baby and remember that what worked for baby one may not work for baby number 2, number 3 etc. Having babies is a very natural process so try not to overcomplicate it.
- While we boys basically stand around being blamed for the pain (tip do NOT argue with them about that during the birth) we can and, in my opinion, should be prepared to help with the birth and not just with the breathing. Make sure you have a Hospital Bag packed and ready two weeks or so prior to the birth. Be prepared to do anything to help make your partner feel better during the birth, from fetching ice chips to taking abuse to back rubs to cutting the cord. Most important is to be involved in deciding the birthing plan and help to ensure that it happens (some hospitals are great with this and others not so good). The feeling when you look down at your newborn is indescribable but sooooooo worth it.
- In my opinion, it is crucial for Dads to be aware that while their partner may not be working after the birth, this does not mean that life is easy! A woman's body goes through some pretty significant changes for a natural birth, not to mention the major surgery involved with a Caesarean. Do yourself a favour and take the mindset that going to work is a LOT easier than staying at home and that you should be prepared to help prior to and after work.
- I realise that we are all very busy these days but I cannot stress the importance of being involved with your kids. Be a coach, attend the Kindy function, go to swimming lessons, play in the park or just read a story. Thirty minutes of one-on-one time is good for you! Yes, your kids will love it but small children do not understand stress and are joyful, happy beings. Trust me when I tell you that spending time with small kids is better than a tonic (most of the time!).
- This last point is a biggie! Kids are great - no question - but you did not marry your kids and it is crucial for parents to have some alone time. I strongly recommend having a date night 1-2 times per month once baby is old enough to be left with someone so the parents can reconnect. Once the baby is 18 months+ you can even consider a weekend away! Even if the weekend is the kids going to the grandparents so you can have the house to yourselves! Sleeping in, not watching the wiggles 24/7, adult conversations for 48 hours recharges the batteries. I strongly recommend it.
I know that dads often prefer to learn through experience which, while making the journey interesting, can also cause unnecessary anguish. So I encourage all dads to grab the bull by the horns and take advantage of the following features:
Dad's Info Hub
The Bub Hub has a number of info hubs catering to various topics. Each acts as a central repository for all of the pages and features on the Bub Hub that relate to that topic. A popular section of the site is our Dad's Info Hub. This is a good page for all the dads to add to their 'favorites' and all the mums to send to their partners!
Dad's Chat Forum
The Dad's Chat section of one of Australia's fastest growing forums (73,000+ members and climbing) is there for dads to get online support from other dads and even feedback from the mums! I have been lured back to join the team of Moderators specifically to look after this section (aptly due to my maleness) and I'm keen to encourage more dads to join. Membership is free and the forum is a great place to share, research, ask questions and even vent (within reason) 24/7, particularly for first time dads.
Provided by Brad Lauder