Mothers who are all pregnant with their second children tell us what they would have liked their partners to have been a bit more conscious and sensitive about just after the birth of their child.
Change your lifestyle
Kemong Mopedi says that after a woman gives birth, her entire life changes – yet often, not a lot changes for the man.
“Obviously I can’t go back to my old life after giving birth, and to know that there’s someone who might help out every now and again would be great,” she says. “But life for the boys goes on: the Thursday night drinking sprees still happen, there’s still soccer with the boys. It just feels insensitive.”
“I think that’s why in the olden days elderly women would insist that a mom needs to be separated from their husband so they wouldn’t have this resentment bubbling over from seeing him carry on with his life while you’re stuck at home.”
Listen to her – let her vent
Tasneem van der Byl says that listening to her when you get back from work is important. She says it’s vital that he recognises that while on maternity leave, she sits at home for about four months all day, every day, with no adult interaction.
So while you might have spent your day interacting with people and are all talked out, give her some attention because this is when she gets to have some adult-to-adult interaction.
“I know I might overwhelm you, but be considerate that I’ve been craving that interaction all day and haven’t had it,” she says. “All a mother wants is to be listened to and engaged with.”
READ MORE: What to do if you are in a sexless marriage
Don’t be condescending
Mopedi says that while she understands that a new father might try to be helpful, he should also be wary of not sounding condescending in the process.
“When you get home, don’t ask me questions like: ‘Are you sure you washed the baby’s bottle properly?” or redo something I’ve done because you feel I might not have done it correctly. This can come across as very condescending. This is not to say you shouldn’t care, but don’t make it seem like I have no idea what I’m doing.”