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Dad support

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  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    Not gonna offer advice (yet) but just wanted to remind you all to give yourselves a pat on the back from time to time.

    You can fall into a habit of everyone lauding the mother for her excellent baby-wrangling, but I look back and I don't think I could have done it without my OH walking the floor with our colicky son. He had loads of patience when the crying really stressed me out. I helpfully timed his paternity leave to coincide with the European Championships so he was on the rocking chair with the baby on his chest and explaining the rules of the game to him for hours on end.

    10 years on, those early months are a hazy fuzzy memory and they've graduated to talking about football and other sports, watching sports, endlessly kicking a ball about in the garden, going to training, going to matches, and all the other stuff and the bond they have is incredible.

    My only mantra was "this too shall pass" and found it to be true. The colic, the teething, the toddler years and every happy yet terrifying stage in between goes by like a flash. And just when you've got that stage nailed and acting like a pro, it's time for the next one 😀.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,210 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    No truer words said. 😂

    Have 2 boys 8 & 11 who still need hugs, a bit of tlc and an occasional shout.

    Still checking in on them every night on my way to bed and pulling the duvet over them. Some things remain. 😁



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,556 ✭✭✭✭AckwelFoley


    I have 4. Eldest 21 years. Youngest..21 months.


    1 bit of advice I can give. It may feel hard, and it sure is, but, it will pass in the blink of an eye. Try appreciate their early years because they don't last long and you'll spend years recounting it. Don't regret not spending enough time with them. It can be hard because the time of your life requires alot of $$$ and one needs to develop their career or work extra, but you need to see wood from the trees and find balance



  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭Still stihl waters 3


    Expectant father here, I'm wondering what I've let myself in for reading this thread lol, I'm sure it'll be fine tho 🤦‍♂️🤣



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,210 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    Your life will never be the same again.

    Just remember this when you're pacing the floor at 3 in the morning and the baby won't tell you what's wrong 😂.


    P. S shouting at it won't help (though it will help when it's a bit older) 😩



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,885 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty


    "This too shall pass".

    That's the mantra at 3am.🙃



  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    My OH was the first to hold our baby while I was getting patched back together. So for that full hour, the two of them stared at each other and OH will tell you that was the single, best moment of his life.

    Parenthood can busy and messy and tough at times, but it's also magical, hilarious, happy and fulfilling. It will be fine. Better than fine. 😊



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,556 ✭✭✭✭AckwelFoley


    My wife gave birth to number 3 in the front seat of the car while I was doing 100 on the motorway.

    10 mins later at the hospital as i looked through the window of the car, her white t shirt covered in blood, holding the baby in her arm, tecmxting her mother in the other, It's at that point the respect I had for her because ironclad. A woman not to be fucked with



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭bad2thebone


    My son was born in the year 2001 , I was 23 myself. So he's nearly the same age as me when I became a dad.

    There's no easy way to say this but you'll experience a lot of emotions both you as a dad,the mum and baby. The father has to take the mum as she is, even if you think she hates your every effort and is undermining your ability to share the responsibility or you're not doing enough. It's nothing personal, just take it on the chin. And never show any weakness or feel sorry for yourself because you're feeling like you're not the apple in her eye any more. Which is far from the truth, you're parents now and it's a new chapter. You take the good with the bad. Man up and be understanding and go along with it. You'll adapt quick quickly if you don't resist. A mother puts the child first and the father puts the mother and the child first, he's going to have to be strong. Encouraging her to go out for a walk or meet a friend for a few hours is always good, while you'll sit in with the baby. Baby's love when dad lies back on the couch, and they're just lying on your chest, they'll feel your heart beating and it'll settle them down. My son used to fall asleep that way. Or take the baby out for a walk while mum gets a nap.

    Another pointer is grab a brush, clean up the kitchen even do some dusting, folding clothes, ironing, hang out a wash, clean the bathroom. Be useful when she's looking after the baby and you feel like there's nothing you can do. Distract yourself, because you're picking up the bits left behind that won't be going through her head as something that has to be done, just so you're not useless. She'll be delighted that you can do the household chores instead of tapping on the smart phone.

    Nothing worse than a man standing there feeling useless, a quivering wreck because he's not getting as much attention as the baby lol I've seen big burley men pussing because their wife let off a few roars, or is in bad form. Take it on the chin.

    Now and again just tell your partner she's a great mum, and don't expect her to tell you you're a great Dad, validation is just not cool.

    And if you have hobbies like golf, fishing, gaa games etc you'll have to knock that on the head. Don't worry you'll get to do all that stuff again.

    Life ain't easy, but it's worth it if you want to be a family man . Just put your kid and partner first and don't react if it's feeling like you're second best now. It's not a feeling it's the truth.

    Would I do it all again, definitely not but I made mistakes too by feeling left out or useless. My dad gave me similar pointer's and he's nearly always right. Make yourself useful he'd say.

    Oh and don't expect the mother in law to be all about you or thinking she's a bossy one, her main concern is her daughter and grandkid. They kind of take on a roll as a secondary mother, that's nothing personal either. They just want to be useful. After the second or third you'll be dam glad that the mother in law wants to help out...

    Enjoy



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,309 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers


    And ironically you were in that situation because you had.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,309 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers


    You have left yourself in for a massive change in life, a turn on a the road that you dont see exactly whats around the corner.

    The people that dont embrace it have the most problems, you have to put yourself down the list of priorities a fair bit for a while.

    An example, the christmas after my first was born i didnt have one pint in a pub, the christmas before i didn't have one night at home except for Christmas day.

    Overall the first year is just constant work, and it gets easier from then on, for me the best part is when they start walking and talking, that can be a lot of fun!



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,309 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers


    Its something that is far more common than is widely acknowledged or at least talked about, we had one also and people dont realize how high the chances are, its probably easier to process if you have had baby already because you know “it” works and you can go again, as opposed to the first pregnancy resulting in miscarriage creates constant uncertainty for the duration of the next pregnancy that something could go wrong.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,876 ✭✭✭Borzoi


    That happened to me. Did he tell you it was the scariest moment of his life too, it was for me.


    But all good, 2 small men in the house, 5 & 7.


    To the OP, yep, parenthood is strange, worrying, tiring, frequently inexplicable, expensive, wonderful, awesome, loving - I could go on, but I think you get the gist.


    It does get easier, and different too! With smallies, all parents basically put their life on hold, and resort to existing. It can be hard , and frequently dad isnt really noticed, thats the way it is. Just as Mum is stepping up, Dad has to as well, and you may not get the plaudits, but you'll get the love, and is worth it.

    Long game though, so stick with it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 230 ✭✭elgicko


    I was in your position 4.5 years ago. First time dad on my 40's, with baby twins in 2018.


    I remember the first 3 months, my OH was getting 30 mins sleep every 3 hours, she was breastfeeding the pair of them, was tough going.


    People used to say to me, the 1st month is the hardest, I would get to the first month, was still hard, then they would say first 3 months are the hardest :), etc...


    The 1st year was tough, really tough but it passes. Hang in there man, you will be ok, support each other, as best you can. Take help from anywhere you can, we had family around us, which helped immensely.


    Sleep deprivation and the fact that your life has been turned upside down, can be a strain on any relationship. When we look back we said, if we can get through the first few months when the lads arrived, we can get through anything. It made us stronger in the long run, but there were arguements, lots of them! Not so much now :)

    As time goes on, you will be able to take them out for walk, drive them around, you will both start to get your life back slowly. Right now you are in the weeds, a simple thing like a shower is amazing!!


    Right now there are so many bottles, so many nappies, it will pass. I tell you what, they will be great friends, my lads play together all the time. The effort you are putting now, you will get it back in spades, as they have an instant best friend.


    Long days and short years..., Hang in there you are doing great!! Your not the first to do this and you won't be the last. People who have twins get what your going through, try not despair, you are both doing your best and that's all you can do.

    Good luck to you!!


    Things that really helped us:

    We still use this!! Served us from newborn to now!


    These are the best... Expensive but so worth it!!

    throw all the bottles in here, life saver!! So easy


    if breast feeding, get this, trust me


    When they are a bit older, These are great for food, I used to do loads of cooking on a Saturday morning, tray of melon, tray of pear, 2 X trays of spag bol, 2 X trays of chicken stew, 2 trays of mixed veg, etc... Blend everything in a food processor, would have it all done in a couple of hours, and had food for the lads for the week! Took a lot of pressure off, as food had to just be heated up for dinner.




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,061 ✭✭✭Uriel.


    Wr have a 2 year old, not too far off 3 now, and another on the way for Christmas. Pre arrival, no matter how much you reconcile that your life will change, the reality is far far greater (perhaps it's just the difference between a perception and the lived experience). But I wouldn't swap it for the world. I'm already starting to feel a little, I don't know, "sad" that our little fella is growing up. They grow and develop so quick and it's amazing watching it, but I'll also miss these times. It does seem to go in a blink as you're watching it unfold.

    For those in a relationship, I do think it's important to try maintain some opportunity to do things as a couple without the child(ren). Not always easy, especially in the first year. But if you can even get an inlaw or friend to mind the little one for 2 hours while you get out to a pub or restaurant for a quiet bite to eat together can be great.



  • Registered Users Posts: 993 ✭✭✭Jonnyc135




  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    Ah Christmas with kids is amazing. Our baby's first Christmas we got a fancy tree bauble, wrote the year on it on the underside and we've continued the tradition ever since. Nice to look at the tree years on and remember all those Christmases.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 32 alannoone


    Posting here just to try and get some thoughts out.

    Early 40's dad, two kids, a 5 year old and a 16 month old. Ever since having our first I experienced a relapse of an anxiety disorder. I lost all confidence & resented work as I felt I was spending 8+ hours working to pay someone else to mind them. We worked through that & although the anxiety is always there, I have a better understanding of it, so it doesn't take me down the way it once did.

    It does catch up with me at times however, now being one of those times.

    Life is just so busy. My job requires I am in the office 3-4 days per week & my partner has recently gone back from maternity leave. The 16 month old does not sleep well, and we are usually up at 6 after a poor nights sleep. its then a battle to get the kids fed, dressed and out to creche before we both head to jobs we both find stressful. Then its a race to get home in the evening to feed, bathe and spend some quality time with the kids before bed.

    Everything is just so busy and its getting to me. I know much of it comes down to stress management, being kind to ourselves, not taking work too seriously, but that is easier said than done.

    Right now, we're always rushing to be somewhere else, always trying to figure out what I can let slide as there simply is not enough time, never having time to breathe, trying to manage a career, stay up to date while still making time for the kids, but feeling like I'm not doing any of these things well, dreading that this is it for the next 20 years. I also feel guilty for feeling like this as my life is really good.

    Im sure this is not a new or uncommon circumstance for parents of young kids. It would be good to hear of difficult times others have been through and any words of wisdom you might have.

    Post edited by alannoone on


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,361 ✭✭✭✭Electric Nitwit


    Hey Alan

    I'm afraid I don't have much by the way of useful advice but I know how you feel, we were the same

    Our two (4 and 2) were terrible sleepers too. The sleep deprivation is horrific. Our youngest has only recently started sleeping through the night regularly and it is life changing! You will get there, hopefully soon, and it'll make a big difference



  • Registered Users Posts: 903 ✭✭✭Bassfish


    I could have written large chunks of that man. Balancing busy home and work lives is close to impossible and you're expected to be really good at both and one doesn't give a hoot how stressed you are about the other. I often find work far less stressful as its task-orientated and your role is clear whereas home is just non stop chaos. About a year ago after our third came along and a few unexpected occurances coupled with the increased cost of everything meant our finances started getting really out of control and we missed mortgage payments. I started having panic attacks which really messed me up. Doing much better now though. Nothing is going to make you more anxious than your family because there's nothing you care about more! I find mindfulness exercises helpful and things like gratitude journals and big picture thinking exercises. I really would not have been one for all that stuff a few years ago but it really does work.

    On a practical note, little things like planners for budgets or setting aside time for batch cooking so dinners are taken care of have been really useful for us.

    Other than that, all I can say is I hear ya, you have every right to be pissed off by it all and it will get better.



  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    We had a terrible sleeper as well. What we did was take turns in going in with him so at least one of us got a decent nights sleep half the week - it helped a lot.

    It'll pass. I've trouble dragging him out of the bed now!



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