Monday, November 21, 2016


New fatherhood is a matter of focus. What matters the most in any marriage? The love of husband and wife. It goes without saying, but when it goes unsaid, it's easy to forget. And that doesn't change when baby #1 arrives. It becomes more important.

The role of a new father is to serve his wife. That's it. You may think "I can't do anything, she has to do all of these things, all I can do is change diapers, etc." Yes--there is truth there. Mother Nature is sexist. Mothers dominate when it comes to breastfeeding, nurturing, and emotionally attaching. Fathers tend to think that they are relegated to support duty in many areas. And while that is true, it's a destructive perspective that leads many husbands to lazily refuse to do all that they are able to do.

You can change diapers. You can get your wife a cup of water with a straw when she is breastfeeding. You can learn different ways of holding your baby so that you can help to calm it when it is upset. You can learn to use the 5 S's of calming a baby for naps and nighttime put-downs: shush, suckle, swaddle, shake (jiggle, for everyone who just rended their garments over the term), and side-turn.

You can take the baby for a walk so that your wife can take a nap.

If your wife uses a breast pump, you can clean all of the pump parts. In fact, you SHOULD clean all of the breast pump parts--pumps may be awesome in terms of the flexibility that they offer to breastfeeding moms, but they are inconvenient, cumbersome, and deserve to be hated by those who must use them on a daily basis. Your wife has to use the pump to fill the bottles--she should never have to clean any of those damn parts. That's like having the same person do the dishes after cooking every meal--it's an unfair arrangement. Be a man, not a male: make it fair.

In fact, that's the point. Your job, as a husband and new father, is to make everything as fair as possible. Don't take a defeatist, self-loathing approach--that's what quitters do. You're a man. Your wife had to carry the kid for 9 months. She's going to be its primary care giver for far longer than that. If she's breastfeeding, she'll be its main source of nutrition for many months. Your job is to take a very unbalance equation and make it as balanced as you possibly can. That's what men were created to do--we were built for impossible situations, righting that which cannot be moved, and overcoming obstacles.

If your wife tells you that you're doing something wrong, don't shrink away and make her do it for the rest of the kid's life. Don't take anything personally. Give without end. Pray. And when you pray, don't ask God to make the baby stop crying, make the baby sleep, or for peace in your house. People pray for miracles; men pray for resolve. Don't ask God to do anything that you can learn to do--the baby will continue to cry if you do nothing but pray about it. If the baby is crying, learn to calm it. If the baby won't sleep, get out of bed and keep trying new things until you find what works. If your house is a dark place for you or your wife, flood it with whatever light is needed to drown the depression.

You are a fist. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Nothing of substance was ever born out of easy times; it is the difficult times that make us who we are. Prepare yourself; rise up, serve, and give selflessly. Do everything that we are told "men don't do." Most men aren't men, and our feminist generation needs men to be men more than ever. This is your chance to be all that you can be, for both this generation and the next.

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