Becoming a father will most certainly change more about you, your relationships and perspectives than nearly any other event in your life. As my seventh child has just joined our merry band I will attempt to share a bit of brotherly advice on how to make it all about growth and glory and not stress and worry.
Firstly understand that you, your wife and those around the new one will function as an emotional and spiritual metronome. Experience has shown me that children and especially newborns pick up on more than they see. If those caring for the wee one are anxious, fearful, and unsure or generally stressed so will the baby mostly likely be also. Seek the peace of Christ, claim it, speak it over the home and all in it and dwell in it. Purpose to act and project a calm, loving presence. In the first few days you will be bonding and imprinting with the little newbie. Warmth, assurance and peace will flow out of a loving, even tempered and nurturing environment that you can set the tempo for.
Secondly get on a schedule. When we had our Quads we would have sent up flairs and settled beneath the waves with out this steady float around us. Take note of the clock. Figure out how often the little bundle is waking, eating and making diaper fillings. Do not graph or trend towards the neurotic.(See tip #1!) Plan out your feedings and changing. Make sure you have all your supplies. Diapers, wipers, bibs, bottles, butt balm, nursing supplies, changes of clothes, toys and bedding must be handy. Rushing after these in a panic is disturbing the peace. Check your supplies and keep stocked, prepare ahead of time.
Thirdly, fit visits to your schedual. Everyone wants to see the little cherub but a constant flow of calls and visitors will break down your healthy peaceful environments effectiveness. Resulting in unhappy baby and tired unhappy parents. Give out times to people for visits. Use the visits of those you know and trust the most to give mom and yourself a break. Let them take a shift and handle one change, feed and snuggle cycle. This lets them visit and truly bond a bit as well as conveys your trust and inclusion of them so as to enhance relationships while you rest and restock or take care of needed business.
Fourthly, make time for mom. See to it that as soon as possible you and the Mrs. Get some time together. Between nap cycles do something special. Go out on the patio. If someone has your back for a feed or two and mom is up to it get her out of the house. You may not see it now as young parents but one day this little blessing and others who may come after will grow and slowly go their own way. God, your marriage and your parenting are all primary and priority relationships but do try to keep them in the order stated. You will thank me!
Fifthly, realize that this whole process is not about you, your family of origin or your wife and hers. Roles can arise as we become dads and moms. Expectations and comparisons with parents, siblings, neighbors and such can blur your focus and steal the true joy of what God has done and where he has placed you in it
As a Husband and Dad you are a steward. We need not be hindered by nor pass on the hurts of our own childhoods or have our efforts over shadowed by the accomplishments of anyone else real or imagined in the fathering department. This is a special point in your life and walk with Christ. Whatever over the years has been stolen from or aimed with malice towards your soul can come full circle as you purpose to be a Christian Dad of purpose. Your little cherubs are arrows in your quiver and your adversary owes you a seven fold return on his mischief. Reach deep inside and high above for all the wisdom and love Jesus will give you and make each arrow a piercing blow of restoration and Glory to God and His purpose for you and yours!
Copyright 2006 Mike Poff
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