My wife and I just welcomed our fourth child, Joel, to our family. He is now a little over 6 months old and he is such a joy. He is happy and he is getting to the stage where he is beginning to interact with us. It is so much fun!
Our other three kids have adjusted well too. Sam, Victoria, and Charlie love on him and jump in to help whenever mommy or daddy needs it. They kiss him and want to hold him constantly. They are GREAT big brothers and sister!
Having a newborn in the family has had it's ups and downs. For me, it has caused me to reflect on our first three children. The times when I did great as a dad and husband and the times where I failed. I try to be sensitive to my wife Consuela's needs, but that can often be a big task. Especially when you're a new dad -- figuring everything out can be tricky.
So, here are four ways that I've found you can best help your wife after you've had a baby... whether it's your first or fourth!
1. Find ways to serve her. This includes taking your turn changing diapers and getting up in the middle of the night with the baby. But, it also means other ways too. Stopping on the way home from work to grab her favorite Starbucks coffee or going out of your way to pick up milk for the kiddos. A husband that excels at serving his wife during these weeks and months after having a baby will be the one who listens and looks for the hidden cues and clues for what his wife is needing most. Pay attention and surprise your wife by serving her today!
2. Create moments for her to feel "normal." Being a mom of a newborn can put a halt to everything that she previously had going on outside of your home. That tiny baby takes all that she has -- physically, relationally, and emotionally. A mom of a newborn can feel like all she does is nurse/feed the baby, change diapers, and sleep. It can be a very difficult time for moms. As a father, it is our responsibility to create moments for her to feel "normal." This can be a date night or a moms night out. It can also be you staying home with the kids while she heads out to run some errands. Whatever it is, find it and help her feel "normal" even if only for a few minutes.
3. Help her regain a positive self-image. After having a baby, many moms struggle to bounce back and have the confidence in their bodies that they once did. Of course, some moms bounce back with no problem at all. But, I think far more struggle with this. There's stretch marks and post-baby belly that can make them feel unattractive and poorly about how they look. And, the one person that they want to look good for is YOU, their husband. You have a lot of control and influence over how they feel about how they look. So, compliment her often. Help her know that you still find her attractive...and sexy! Romance her and re-affirm your love for her!
4. Keep your struggles in perspective. Although I struggle with all of these, I probably fail on this one the most. Especially because my wife stays at home and I head off to work each day. Being a mom is hard...being a mom of a newborn is even harder. Their days are full of unpredictable behavior, poopy diapers, lots of crying (mostly the baby), lack of sleep, and the list goes on. Those things are much harder to deal with than anything that happened to you or around you at work today. It's not that those things aren't important, just keep it in perspective. And, if you're day was harder than those things, just keep it to yourself and sympathize with what your wife went through that day.
This article originally appeared on timandconsuela.com.