This post is in response to the ridiculousness that came from the sports world a few weeks ago. I meant to get it out right away, but alas, I've been a little busy on my own maternity leave.
In case you hadn't heard, NY Mets player Daniel Murphy took his allotted 3 days paternity leave to be there for the birth of his child during his wife's cesarean. However this overlapped with the opening game and therefore caused some people to question Mr. Murphy's priorities and choices. Really? The comments shared in this post had me fuming from the ears Paternity Leave is Unnecessary.
Go on and read it and enjoy the chauvinism. Vomit.
Now, being that I'm a mother of 2 out of 3 of my children's birthdays planned by induction, I can understand perhaps the choice and/or necessity to plan for your child's introduction to the world. My post is not going to be discussing the elective cesareans/inductions. What I want to address though is that those commentators in the sports world failed to recognize the simple point that Yes, dammit, babies do need their daddies. Not to mention the wives might like them there too.
Some stats from fatherless homes indicate that there are increases in suicides, runaways, high school dropouts, and abusing substances by those children left behind. Knowing this, I'd say that a child's first few days in the world are a little too soon to be excusing the father from the picture already.
I get that this is a new way of thinking and men of prior generations might scoff at the idea of them needing to be around for the birth and first days home. I'm a lover of Mad Men and I love me some Don Draper, but would never stand for my husband being called at work when I gave birth with his only duty to pass around the cigars. I am one of those crazy liberated moms though where I expect my husband to play a role in the rearing of our children and change a diaper (Gasp!). This list below proves I'm a liberated diva, but hopefully can shed light on what the dad can do besides heading back to the office.
How Daddy can Bond and Help with Newborn & Mommy:
- Help Mom prepare to nurse (get pillows, water, burp rags, etc) these little things might seem mundane but they are a lifesaver to a mom right after birth and they help the father appreciate just how much work and energy goes into it.
- Feed baby while mommy sleeps if using bottles
- Entertain older kids if they are around
- Manage guests and when the need to leave
- Change Diapers
- Run Errands
- Bathe the baby
- Take the night shift (or one of them at least if that's how baby rolls)
- Hold and Rock baby-- The newborn stage feels like an eternity when you are experiencing it, but poof, it's gone just like that all the itty bittiness that went with it.
Marriage is the foundation established by the parents, and children add to that; they don't replace it. You can't just add the children and tear up half the foundation because you're the man.
Now I'm not all bad and demanding. My husband has can even testify that holding a newborn and a PS3 controller is very doable. Good luck Daddy's and enjoy the time with your newborn.
Here's another article that responds to the situation in a more positive light showing just how far we've come in the patriarchal approach to a baby. Lesson Learned