I know you are feeling more proud, more love, and more joy than you have ever felt in your life. I also know when there is even the tiniest of breaks in the day, you are feeling the most dread you have ever felt in your life. What to do, how to do it right, when to do it, should you do it, why do you even do it, and what does it cost to hire someone else to do it. :-)
There are many books on the topic of new fatherhood and you should read them . But I wanted to put together a short list of the immediate bits of knowledge that you will need to help you through the next month in your efforts to keep another human being alive.
SLEEP. NOW. That little 30 minute nap will make you such a better person and allow you to get through the rest of your day. Everything else can wait.
But first you have to change it's diaper.
Those little legs can be everywhere in an instant and so can the contents of the diaper when they kick it all around.
The best method is to take one hand and grab both their ankles and lift up raising their butt off the changing mat. Now you can use your other hand to remove the diaper and wipe them down. You'll be a pro at it in no time. It's a simple trick, but it prevents you from have THAT story.
- Change the baby. (diaper and outfit, if needed)
- Feed the baby.
- Comfort the baby. (swaddle, rocking, holding, carry)
- Whatever specific task your child may require.
- If you have done everything to make sure the child is fed, clean and comfortable, then you may just need to let them cry it out.
Put them down where they sleep and let them be. Come back in 30 minutes and try the list again.
Here is the number to the Hoag Hospital Babyline. (PST) You can call and leave a message and they will call you right back.
Whatever you need to do to give yourself even just 20 minutes of focused YOU time built around relaxing and calming your body and mind DO IT! Let your partner have that time and they will give it to you.
Keeping a human being alive is immensely stressful and it will get the better of you on more than one occasion. You must find a way to manage your anger, exhaustion, depression and frustrations in an effective way. It is not the child's fault that they cannot take care of themselves or even know what they need. It is your task as a parent to take the higher ground and put the child's needs first while caring for your own well being in a positive way.
Here are some good online resources:
10 minute Yoga Flow
20 minute workout
Anything helps and you will be surprised how efficient you become at all of these tasks. You can get a lot done in 20 minutes of focused effort.
Become the man you know you can be - all capable, all caring, all powerful.