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What can a new Dad do to ensure his wife’s health and well-being right after childbirth? This is an important and apt topic for discussion.
As a father, let me dare to offer my two cents. I am assuming love already exists between the couple who have just added a member to their family. What the woman needs most after childbirth is CARE.
There are two approaches possible. One, in which a father attempts to guess what his wife ‘MIGHT’ need. He assumes, that it is…
He goes ahead and does all of this. It is not natural for him (considering he is your average Indian man), yet, out of love, he does it.
Now, can you imagine the husband, out of love, stretching himself, getting tired yet making no complaints? Maybe she can do some of these things on her own, or does not want him to do some things, or has help from elsewhere for those things. Can you imagine, the woman sees her husband stretching himself, getting tired, yet does not know how to communicate, I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP in many of these places? She feels that she might end up offending him. What happens then? Both are tired, both are a little sad, and it takes a toll.
There is another approach. The new Dad asks his wife (the Mom), what to do that will make her feel cared for. Maybe, she will need help for all the above points. Maybe, she will need help for only two of the above points, and in some areas, she needs the help of her mother-in-law or her mother and definitely NOT her husband.
The way a woman sees her needs and the way the man sees the woman having her needs can never be the same. Therefore, assuming is dangerous.
The new Dad asks his wife, “Is there a way, I can help you transition from childbirth to regular life, a little more comfortably?” (or something along similar lines). Let the list of needs evolve over multiple dialogues. Let the need list go through editing and iterations over a few months.
Let the needs be divided into five parts.
We husbands are tigers in the world outside. But then, (please keep this as a secret), we have a lot of help and fall back options. At home, we are not used to getting things done all by ourselves. Hence, you will find us more clumsy than you expect. You may also doubt our ability to do office work so much so, that you might feel insecure about we losing our jobs. This is when you see us making mistakes that you did NOT EXPECT at all from mature looking, macho-sounding, corporate leaders.
Please please please, bear with us in this trying (for us) times, We are actually doing our best. As we attempt to help you, we desperately need YOUR HELP and compassion.
And yes, for the world outside, we will keep pretending we are chilled out and everything is in our control. Deal? Thanks!
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