This post may contain affiliate links and/or it may have been a partnership. Please view our policy page for more details.
I have already written 16 Top Advice for First Time Moms. I decided it was past time to write a top advice for first time Dads post too. After all, Dad is just as important as the mother is in their kids lives. Often, society makes them feel inferior to mothers. I don’t ever want to come across that way, hence, why I’m writing this article. My husband and I have raised three kids that are now ages 16, 12, and 8. We also have two other daughters who both live up north. As with ALL advice I give, read it and take to heart what you think fits well for your life.
Discuss parenting expectations EARLY!
Everyone is raised differently in life. Each of you has your own viewpoints about how kids should be raised. It’s vital that you discuss these viewpoints prior to having kids. It’s hard to raise them when you’re not in agreement on the BIG key things.
You’re going to find there are going to be MANY times throughout your parenting journey where you disagree. In our home, my husband has the FINAL say on all things. He has NEVER abused that right and has always listened to my input and given me freedom in many ways to raise the kids as I see fit. However, he does use his trump card when it’s needed. I feel every couple should have one person who has the final say for that reason.
If you disagree with your spouse, never show in front of the kids because believe me they will use it to their advantage and play you against each other OFTEN! It will lead to tons more issues. Discuss it in private and stand together on issues.
Learn about postpartum depression!
With my first daughter, I had postpartum depression and didn’t even know it. As a result, I ended up in an unnecessary divorce because my ex and I had no clue why I went literally insane.
Postpartum depression could have led me down a more dangerous path than it did. I HIGHLY recommend everybody learn about it. Men, I urge you to learn the signs. This very well may save your wife and child’s lives. Not to mention your relationship!
Shower the baby’s mother with love and remind her how beautiful she is daily.
Even without postpartum depression, your wife is going to be full of emotions and feelings she doesn’t fully understand. She’s going to see her body for the first time without the growing baby inside her. Her world is totally altered both physically, emotionally, and as a human. We know your world is forever changed, but it’s different for women because our bodies are totally transformed.
We worry about not being beautiful enough for you. We worry about you still finding us desirable. We do need the 3-6 weeks to heal and be ready for sex. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to feel your love physically in other ways.
Remember how you view your wife’s looks will help determine what your kids will classify the definition of beautiful is for them. As we all know, our appearances DO change as we grow older.
We need to hear from YOU that YOU think we’re beautiful and sexy for YOU.Remind her she's beautiful to you still and see how much she blooms for you. #marriageadvice #advicefordads #sharinglifesmoments #parentingadvice Click To Tweet
Enjoy every moment!
I can’t say this enough! Kids grow up QUICKLY! When they are babies it feels like 18 years is so far away, but I promise you that it’s NOT. Eighteen years as a parent goes by faster than any other time.
Savor those moments when you’re stuck getting up feeding a baby at 2 AM. Instead of gripping about having to lose sleep over it, snuggle more that precious baby. Remember every detail of how your baby looks at you with total admiration, trust, and love.
Teenagers typically don’t want anything to do with their parents. They become hermit crabs in their rooms. Nothing parents say or do is right in their mind’s eye. We are often accused of not understanding what they are going through. Those precious memories of holding them as a baby or a young child cuddled in your arms is going to be what helps you get through the teenage years. It’s also going to be the tool that helps you help them!
Make time for your family, your wife, and yourself.
There are a time and a place for everything in your life. Finding that happy balance is never easy. I am a firm believer that if you’re a man financially supporting your family that this is even harder for you! (I’ve been the stay at home wife, and I’ve been the breadwinner for my family. So, I get it!)
You need to ensure that you set aside date time with your wife. Despite the common, the kids need to come to the first mentality, I disagree with this logic. Your relationship with your wife is FOREVER! Your kids gain far more from seeing a healthy marriage thrive than seeing you go through a divorce because you didn’t make time for each other.Make time for your significant other. A house needs a foundation to remain strong and last. The rest will all fall into place! #marriage #parenting #lifeadvice #sharinglifesmoments #advicefordad Click To Tweet
Help as much as possible!
Make sure that help her around the home especially when the kids are young (below age 10.) I know you’re tired of working long hours at work, but she’s tired of taking care of demanding kids. You helped create the kid(s), you need to help run the home. You live there too. You also need to start installing chores for kids early in life for EVERYONE’s sake!
Breathe Before You Speak
Your life is going to be more intense than it’s ever been. You will function on two hours’ worth of sleep IF you’re lucky for DAYS on end unless you and your spouse work out an amazing routine to ensure you both gain quality sleep. Of course, I have a hard time sleeping without my husband in the bed with me and he’s the same way, so we always ended up together through it all.
As a result, you’re going to notice EVERYTHING more. Things that typically don’t bother you suddenly get under your skin.Please BREATHE BEFORE YOU SPEAK! What is sad can’t be unsaid, and it can lead to lasting damage. #parentingadvice #lifegoals #parenting #advicefordad #sharinglifesmomens Click To Tweet
Buy What You Need ONLY
You’re going to see all kinds of things that make you want to get them for your baby. Trust me when I say, you don’t need a thousand toys to entertain your baby. The biggest thing they need is your attention and love. I do recommend getting some baby toys to entertain them, but don’t go overboard.
I highly recommend that you get baby clothes with zippers rather than buttons! When you’re having to dress them in a sleepy state, you’ll be thrilled that you went that route. Not to mention, babies love to squirm a lot!
Take lots of pictures.
Life happens in the blink of an eye. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words, but they can warm a heart more than you may realize. Be sure you’re in the pictures as much as possible too. Memories are worth recording.
Above else, remember each child and scenario is different. What may have worked for me or your other well-meaning friends and family, may not work for you. You’re going to have to find out what works for your family. All my advice is nothing more than a guide to get you started.
Join the conversation:
What advice for first time dads would you add to this list?