{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Planning to have kids soon\n\nHow to be a good husband during/after your wife’s pregnancy and good father (especially while balancing consulting and Mon-Thurs travel)?", "post_id": "60df295b34265d0022b635e7", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 14, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Planning to have kids soon How to be a good husband during/after your wife’s pregnancy and good father (especially while balancing consulting and Mon-Thurs travel)?

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Your job is now the Operations Department. Be proactive and prepared to do everything as pregnancy is brutal both physically and emotionally. Don't ask,, how can I help.. figure out what needs to be done and do it.. my wife had tough 1st trimesters and the first couple of months are tough for moms with the physical and emotional recovery. As guys, we once we contribute our DNA, nature does not need us. Wife's body has to do it all. So, step up and step in.... cook, clean, do laundry, rub her feet, whatever, try to anticipate what she wants. Also, take as much leave as you can. Everyone at your firm will understand. If they don't, it's time for a new firm.

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Also, we did this thing where we traded up-at-nights. On my night, I’d wake up with baby and take care of feedings, changings, rocking, etc. He wore earplugs and slept. On his night, I’d wear earplugs. He would change the baby, bring her me to nurse so I didn’t have to even sit up in bed, and when she was done, he’d rock and put back to sleep. It was amazing to never have to go more than 1 night on bad sleep. Maybe on the off days you can figure out a schedule that gives her three days of whatever it is she’d like. While you’re traveling, say no to the late nights out, and get good rest. Also, keep in mind, things change weekly with babies. One week you’re home and baby is sleeping through the night; the next week they are a raging maniac who never sleeps. Expect the big swings and don’t get frustrated with your wife when what you planned for the weekend isn’t happening.

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Damn can't believe there are people out there who genuinely want kids. I am too selfish for that kind of responsibility. Best of luck!

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Find a new job that doesn’t make you leave your wife and kid 50% of its childhood.

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Lukewarm take: being gone 4 of 7 days a week makes you a mediocre to bad parent

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Ask her if she is ok with being a single mom for four days a week. I can’t imagine being alone without my spouse for four days with the baby. Also, is there a way to reduce travel and be home with your family? I’d consider that too if it’s an option.

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Family first, always. We’re all a row in an excel workbook. Get a local project, transfer to an internal function. Highly recommend not traveling extensively those early years, especially the first year.

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Take paternity leave early on, and do night shifts where necessary. Use that salary to your advantage and pay for extra support- a night nurse has been a GAME changer for us. Be okay with in-laws coming for extended stays if that's what she'd want.

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Also I've found the book "The New Father" (Armin A. Brott) to be quite helpful- breaks down what you should expect from baby/partner in terms of needs, month by month. The birth partner is a good reference guide for approaching labor/delivery, but I tried reading cover to cover and it was a snooze. Skim through it to know what info exists in there and have it available for reference when she is starting to go I to labor

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Try to be more proactive than reactive. A mother’s instinct is to jump and take care of everything. Try to be ahead of the needs and it will go a long way.

likehelpful

Totally agree. I think mom’s will always have that motherly instinct but you can’t defer to them. Taking 4 months off from work to be with our daughter was a huge growth opportunity for me in that regard. Really felt night and day more comfortable after that.

My wife would rank the difficulty of these things as follows: 3) Labor & delivery (least difficult) 2) Physical recovery after birth 1) Emotional ups & downs of first 6-8 weeks Postpartum can hit hard. I’m glad I took my full paternity leave upfront (for our situation) so we could lean on each other through the hardest days (and nights).

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Take the full paternity leave and then some. Do night feedings and dishes and all diapers. Realize even when you do all that, she’s doing way more. Great question new father!

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Be supportive and understanding - she may get sick/nauseous a lot at the start or not at all and it may linger til the end. She may also be super tired early on, so helping without being asked will always be appreciated. For me, it was also entertaining me when I wanted to set up the nursery early (like 5 months) and going with the flow and listening to my concerns and anxiety. If there’s things you can outsource that would help her while you’re traveling, like cleaners or meal prep etc that helps. I’d also say at least trying to FT into appts if you can’t make them Generally, just be a good husband and you’ll be off to a good start!

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For after the baby's here, give her time on the weekends. Get up with the baby at least one of the mornings. Take baby out for a bit so she can get a break (if she wants, she may also prefer you go out to all do stuff together).

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SM1 - great advice on the parent thing. Didn’t handle that well and has really hurt the relationship (with parents) as a result.

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The best advice I can give - you’ll make mistakes and you’ll feel like you’re not ready and it’s OK to feel that. Be supportive and do the best you can in any given situation and you’ll be just fine. Good luck!

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You have to make sacrifices

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Be calm and easygoing. Don’t stress. Don’t make a big stink out of staying up with the baby, just do it and enjoy it. Don’t browse your phone or the tv while you’re home; be present for the baby (and that is SO hard with #1, as so few of us have the skills to disconnect and be present). And most importantly, truly love the time you spend with your family. Never refer to watching your kid as babysitting.

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I did night shifts Thursday, Friday & Saturday. Also she was returning to work after 8 weeks so I delayed my 12 weeks of leave until her leave ended and the 20 weeks will cover us until we get the little guy into daycare. Most companies allow you to have reduced travel the first year and close to the delivery date. Make sure you are local at least the last month of pregnancy and the first couple of months post birth. If you do have to travel, own parenting on the weekends; your hardest project is significantly easier than being a full time parent.

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A billion fathers have come before you - look to some you admire and follow their lead. Be present, be loving, be patient, help them become the best version of themselves (not who you want them to be), and remember this will all be done in a flash. You’ll do great :)

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Don’t treat it as a project schedule. Milestones for eating, sleeping and movement can vary significantly.

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My husband hired a night nurse for my first 2 weeks back home. Wasn’t crazy about the idea at first but I’m so glad he did! Two of his coworkers recommended her. I never even heard of a night nurse. Bonus is now we love her and she became our go to babysitter when we need one.

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