The New Dad’s Guide to Surviving Your Wife

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baby_and_parent_with_hands_up

1. If you’re going to be late coming home don’t wait until the last minute to tell her. Remember when you’d have to do chin ups and you knew you had to do 20? You’d get to 18 and think “I only have two more to go, I can make it” then some asshat comes along and says “Gimme 10 more”. How much do you like that guy? Not so much. 

2. Come home and get in the house. When you get home this is not the time to chit chat with the neighbor over the fence about how it’s going with the new baby. Assume that it is always Lord of the Rings orc war in the house and get inside to relieve the day shift because your wife has probably been walking around with that baby thinking “I only have to hang in there 30 more minutes….29…..28.” (see point above).

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3. Get excited about the baby. I know, I know, you love that little weeble more that anything, but most new mothers are wired with this demented sense of responsibility so even if their baby is screaming like a rabid howler monkey they don’t want to leave it. So if you go in and say something like “take a shower, I’ve missed him all day and I can’t wait to hold him” she will be more willing to go bathe, eat or generally reset to be less crazy. It’s win-win.

4. Don’t ask “What’s for Dinner” If everyone in the house is alive when you get home that’s a successful day. My friend’s husband asked her why dinner wasn’t ready because “she’d been sitting at home all day doing nothing”. Aw, Buddy, c’mon. If you ask “What’s for dinner?” the answer may very well be “Your left testicle”. Eat cereal, order take-out or drink pumped breastmilk. Wing it.

5. Don’t go on about how hard your day was. Even if your day consisted of being gang raped by angry silver back gorillas, she can probably trump you. Not only can she trump you but it may include details that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about and don’t want to hear. You’re tired. You’re stressed. But it will just open Pandora’s box and it ain’t worth it. Also consider that this is someone who is up all night looking at your peaceful, sleeping vulnerable body. Don’t give her a reason to smother you with a nursing pillow. She’s probably already plotted your death a couple of times by now so don’t push her over the edge.

6. Don’t say you’re babysitting. The mother of your child may be too tired to catch this slip but any woman who has had more than 20 minutes of consecutive sleep is going to do a slow, Chucky-head-turn and hiss “You’re not babysitting. You’re parenting.” In your defense, I totally understand this statement. If you’re not the primary caregiver and you’re stepping in to take care of the baby then you are technically babysitting. Terms like “Daddy Duty”, “On call” and “At the helm” are always safer alternatives.

7. Don’t lie on your back and hold the baby above your head facing you. They puke. It’s the infant equivalent of the Funny Home Video guy pitching to the kid with the baseball bat and getting squared in the pills. Everybody likes lying on their backs, holding the baby in the air and fly them over their face. Babies LOVE this and this joy often sends a surge of yak right into your who’s-daddy’s-airplane-open-mouth. They give no warning. They are vomit grenades.

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8. Be CIA guy. Too often I think fathers get shoved to the side and it’s all about the baby, and to a lesser extent, the mom. Don’t worry about it and just be a gazelle in the grassland because you’re in the trenches, and there’s no glory in the trenches. Be like those awesome CIA guys with the silly putty in their ear who silently, seamlessly gets the odd glass of water, loads the dishwasher and does that slow motion body block when your dirty cousin with the cold sores tries to stick her finger in the baby’s mouth. Your work will go unnoticed at first but when the dust settles you’ll be revered and adored.

Your job at this time is really important. Some guys totally get it right of the bat, and to you I say, “right on”. You’re the voice of reason, the pillar of strength and the cavalry wrapped in to one. You need to be there for your partner because she’s probably like Newt when Ripley first finds her in Aliens – terrified, tired, dirty and overwhelmed and the worst time is mostly at night. Mostly.

It takes a great guy to step up and dig in during those first few months. But a guy who says “I’ll be home early, I’m bringing dinner and I want to take the baby for a walk as soon as I get home”, now that’s a fucking man. Be a man, dude.

Related post: 10 Things New Moms Want to Tell New Dads

Comments

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      • 3

        Amanda says

        When you push a baby out of your vagina, care for it all day, go to work, come home and care for the baby at night on top of the rest of your family, the dog, and clean the house you can complain about “hard work”. My husband works 60 hours a week and tells me my job is 20 times harder than his. I have 2 full time jobs. I not only take care of my child during the day, I am a dispatch manager at night. I get home at 3:00am, go to bed and get up at 7:00am to start the day all over. You don’t know hard work until your night consists of only 4 hours of sleep. My husband is with our daughter for a couple hours a night. He gets home at 7PM and she is in bed at 8:30PM and sleeps until 8:00am which is when I take over. He gets a nice 9 hours of sleep a night. Like I said, you don’t know hard work until you actually have kids and because you have a name like “hater of cunts” I’m pretty sure you don’t have kids much less a girlfriend for that matter.

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  1. 6

    Michael Lombardi says

    Ah, more daddy bashing. Well, I mean, you did say at the end some guys aren’t like this, so it wasn’t all bashing.

    Listen if your husband is like this, he shouldn’t be your husband. You may not be able to change the fact that you now have a baby with him, but for Christ’s sake don’t make another baby with him. Tell him to step his game up or step his shit out. You deserve better and your kid deserves better.

    To those of you without kids or husbands, don’t ever think getting married or having a kid will change a guy into what you want him to be. It’s better to be alone than with the wrong person–especially when raising a kid.

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    • 7

      carmabella says

      Well, to be fair, I think the author was going on the assumption that new dads need a little guidance because, for most, this will not be second nature. To some men, yourself obviously, these things are a no brainer and shouldn’t have to be told. To you I say, bravo! But c’mon, I think a new dad deserves at least a trial run and some educating before you kick him to the curb. If he doesn’t get it after that, I agree, out with the trash.

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      • 8

        Lili says

        It’s not second nature to women, either. Do you think I spent my childhood playing dollies and helping my mother raise 12 children? I went to school, I took swim lessons, I rode a bike, I drew in my notebook, I went to high school, played an instrument, went to college, had a job as a professional.

        I learned to be a mom by reading and paying attention. I READ about breastfeeding. I expected it to be hard and I worked hard.

        I resent the implication that this is all easy for mothers. Most of us were not raised on a farm or something.

        When we act like somehow this is all easy for moms we fall into the trap of the Feminine Mystique: women *mysteriously* can do all this stuff, not because they are hard workers, intelligent problem solvers, and ethical people who remain dedicated to their families when it’s hard.

        No, it’s some magical female ability that men can’t do because they don’t have a vagina.

        I call bullcrap.

        No, men cannot breastfeed (not usually–I know there are some random exceptions but you guys know what I mean, we get the boobies in this dimorphism). But they are also intelligent, ethical, driven people and they can do this stuff just as well as any other woman who grew up just like they did, going from pre-school to school to college to the office.

        “I think a new dad deserves at least a trial run and some educating before you kick him to the curb.”

        Then you’d better give mom the same benefit of the doubt.
        Although I disagree that it’s grounds for divorce, ultimately I agree that this kind of portrayal of men is insulting and totally unfair to both sexes. At the very least, mom *or* dad should be able to take the whole “Oh I work outside the home so I’m not qualified to be a parent” excuse as grounds for going to marital or family counseling.

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      • 9

        Arthur Wensleydale says

        New dads are not likely to read a blog called scarymommy for advice on parenting or on being a husband is my guess. This is a blog for moms and this particular article was meant as a catharsis more than actual advice to anyone given its tone.

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    • 10

      Kelly says

      I agree with you, sir! Needing to learn the ropes is one thing, being a selfish piece of crap is another. Asking why a new mom didn’t make dinner when she’s been “sitting around all day” is grounds for divorce (and maybe even the sign of a sociopath, seriously, who says that??). I’ve seen too many friends and acquaintances suffer through the “babysitting” types of fathers to support giving any more than one chance to get it right. Not knowing HOW to change a diaper is one thing. Refusing to do it or underhandedly trying to avoid it is unacceptable. My dad was an actual secret agent man tough guy, and he happily changed diapers, bottle fed us, played with us and was a consistently great dad from day one. No excuses.

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    • 11

      Bob says

      To be fair, the article starts by calling the author “the Canadian asshat” so one can assume you’re supposed to look at this “advice” as a total joke.

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    • 12

      Talia Gamble says

      I am one of the blessed ones in that department, and you sir are of the same school. It’s a shame so many women have to put up with a guy who doesn’t pull their load when the little one shows up!

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    • 13

      Mrspk3 says

      Good point Michael….my husband is hit an miss. Some days, I adore what he’s doing…and then BAM! Suddenly he disappears and showers and goes to bed BEFORE the kids are even in bed. I get it, he’s tired, he’s in the army, and he’s been up since 5 am. But, when I look back at our children’s lives, I have most definitely handled the brunt of it. Ok, yes, I am a SAHM, but when our 2nd child was born, we fought tooth and nail about how he thought he shouldn’t have to get up at night because he had to get up to go to PT. My thought was ‘I will be with this baby ALL day tomorrow. The least you can do is take care of him right now while you are home.’ Our youngest is 2 1/2 now, and the fights about who should get up when are long gone, but it still angers me when I think back to that time.

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  2. 15

    jasbeeray says

    Hahahahaha…no 4 & 5 cracked me up.
    I used to be a lot like that but lately I have eased up on daddy dearest because he never gets a break :p

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  3. 16

    Kbee says

    This post is fantastic. Fan. Tastic. I’m really excited to do my part to ensure it is seen far and wide, but first, one question –CAFFEINATED COFFEE WHAT!??!??!

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  4. 18

    Momchalant says

    If only I could get my boyfriend to be home early, bring dinner, and take the little one for a walk once he gets home.. now THAT would be the life.

    …. One can always dream.

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    • 19

      Anjie says

      Wow! I have an amazing boyfriend. My Ex-Husband (of 13 years) yourself to say he was “babysitting!” It is the ultimate in disrespect, both from what your wife does all day (even working Mother’s don’t say such a thing), and to your child! You don’t “babysit” your own kids! My boyfriend of four years has never used that terminology! He says something like “I’m spending time with the kids.” I’m lucky! Finally! I got two great kids from him but most of the 13 years that I was married ,was a waste of time with a narcissistic creep!

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  5. 20

    Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense says

    This is NOT man-bashing, Michael Lombardi! IT IS HELPFUL ADVICE FOR MEN ON HOW TO KEEP THEIR TESTICLES INTACT. (See number 4)

    My husband is pretty much the most awesome dream-boat hard-working provider yada yada… but he did make several of these mistakes, and on numerous occasions. We had a bit of a learning curve. He barely made it out of our kids’ baby years with both testicles, and I still feel a little guilty for all those “suffocate him with a pillow” fantasies. He really is a peach, I swear. And so am I, kind of. =/

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    • 27

      fukkoff says

      I love how when a woman states something that implies serious physical violence to a male (“do what I want or your testicles will not remain intact”), it’s acceptable in the discourse.

      If a man said something in a blog like “Do this or get your nipples bitten off” then of course it would be misogyny, horrors…

      You feminist pigs are complete hypocrites.

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  6. 28

    Caley says

    Where was this post a year ago?? Seriously, SO. SPOT. ON. I thank you for all the soon-to-be-moms out there. This is quality advice, and could reduce the amount of fighting if heeded. Great work.

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      • 32

        fukkoff says

        No, it’s a “bitch blog” for some deluded, entitled womyns who are using the excuse “But I’m a mommy!!!! That makes my grotesque level of unearned entitlement rise to Galactus-level proportions!” to spew their anti-male hatred and venom without any filters.

        Madame, my testicles will be completely safe from the likes of a woman like you because anyone who remotely had an attitude like you would shortly find their ass on the curb.

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  7. 34

    Katie says

    My only addition to this: don’t tell your wife “Nothing has to change” when it comes to scheduling social events around a new baby. TRUST ME. It will not end well for you.

    Great job! You really seemed to have summed it up well!

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