Everyone knows that new mums need support. A lot of support. And we all know that new dad’s are usually the ones best placed to give it. But that doesn’t always mean they know what to do.
And that’s OK! It’s not easy being a new dad. There’s a lot of focus on mum’s but not enough information out there to help dad’s learn just how they can be a great dad and a great partner.
So to make things a little easier, here is a list of 5 supportive questions that all new dad’s should be asking their partners daily.
Question #1 – How was the baby today?
Sometimes the baby will be a dream. They’ll eat well, sleep long and smile lots! Sometimes though the baby will be a brat. They’ll fuss with food, refuse to sleep and scream the house down all day.
How the baby has been will most likely have a big impact on how your partner is feeling. By asking this question you’ll be able to find out whether she’s had a good or difficult day. That way you’ll know if she needs a bit of extra TLC and support or not.
Question #2 – How is she feeling?
Tiredness, hormones, the emotional overwhelm of being a new mum – it’s a roller coaster ride! If you only ask one question make sure it’s this one.
The wording is important. Don’t ask if she’s OK. She’ll say yes even if she isn’t. Don’t ask her how her day went. You’ll just get a list of things she’s done.
Ask her how she is feeling. Invite her to open up to you and share if she’s got any concerns or worries. Unless she’s a robot there will be days when she feels like she can’t cope or is just so tired she wants to sit in a corner and cry. Making this question a routine one will mean that on those days she can talk about it and you can support her.
Question #3 – Has she taken care of herself?
This sounds a bit obvious but don’t underestimate just how much time and attention a baby takes up. Things that you take for granted can be somewhat elusive to a new mum. Showering, eating, napping or getting the simple stuff done is challenging.
So ask her if she’s had time for herself. Does she need you to watch the baby whilst she showers? Can you make her something to eat? And don’t, under any circumstances, make any comment about why she hasn’t been able to do this already!
Question #4 – Does she need a break?
Yes, you might have had a hard day at work and feel tired when you get in but suck it up. Whether you think so or not, you’ve had a break away from looking after the baby. So when you walk through the door ask your partner if she needs one too.
Sometimes the best gift you can give your partner is that of some time to herself! It doesn’t have to be for very long, even 15 mins can be enough for your partner to feel a little recharged and able to do the simple things. Like have a wee…
Question #5 – Is there anything you can do for her?
If asking her how she is feeling is the most important question, this one is the nicest. By asking her what she needs you to do for her, you are showing that you support her. That you’ll be a true partner, that you care for her and how she is.
And I’m sure you won’t, but don’t make it conditional. Don’t say you’ll do the cooking if she does the washing up. Do both! Don’t say that you’ll look after the baby whilst she does the hoovering. Tell her to run a bath and let you do whatever she needs. It’s not forever. When baby starts to get a bit older then she won’t feel as drained or run ragged. In the meantime, take some of the load for her and get her to look after herself when she can.
So there it is. 5 simple questions that will make all the difference in the world to your partner. Ask them. Daily.
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