My husband and I were out of college, and had been married for 2 years, we were ready to be parents, or so we thought. As a reader of all things I was, in theory, well prepared for everything that was getting ready to come my way. I knew how to change a diaper, and nursing was the most natural thing in the world and honestly, how difficult could it be to make someone who sleeps 20 hours a day sleep through the night, right? Well it was both worse and better than I feared and hoped.
The thing is, my husband had like, zero clues about what was going on.
He had never even been this close to a person this tiny. He had never changed a diaper, or fed a baby, or held one while it screamed it's tiny adorable head off. He loved us both and was willing to do anything I asked but when I told him to change her clothes, he looked at me like I had just given him a banana and told him to turn it into a minivan.
I went back to work after 8 weeks and he was the stay at home dad because daycare was not an option. I got calls every single day for the first 3 weeks.
"How much formula should I give her today"
"Her tush is red, what do I do?"
"Where is the pacifier?"
"There are no clean bottles, how do I clean a bottle?!?!"
"Why is she still crying?"
In my mad rush to prepare myself and make sure I knew the things I totally missed the fact that my husband not only didn't know what it meant to be a dad, but had no idea where to start learning. As we become women, many of us spend our teenage years babysitting and at least in my case even before I became a mother I was drawn to and experienced with newborns through family and friends.
Initially his clueless-ness bothered me, it took me awhile to be comfortable with the role of both momma to her and teacher to him. He has been the stay at home dad through 4 babies now and our children have been blessed by his daily presence in their lives, I'm glad we didn't give up on each other. As much as I have taught, I have also learned. Perhaps not knowing as much at the beginning made him a better daddy because he came into it without all the preconceived notions of how things should be.
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