Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Ph.D.
Men prepare for parenthood
What can help men prepare for parenthood? Here is something for you men, for you new fathers. It is so common for new dads to be jealous of the baby. It’s the little secret no one talks about that, but I’ve never met anyone for whom this is not true. I mean here is this little person, whether your wife is breastfeeding or your partner is breastfeeding or not, caressing what is supposed to be yours. It’s gone. And here your wife is barely making eye contact with you and being with the baby all the time. You’re going to feel jealous and that’s very, very normal. Don’t be afraid to talk about husband jealousy as a couple.
The secret to help men prepare is taking away the power of that jealousy is simply to acknowledge it. All you need to do is acknowledge it, and it will dissipate. If you are afraid or in denial about your jealousy, it will become stronger, and there might be some natural resentment that will build between you and the baby. You might find yourself working later hours or just saying, “Well, the baby likes her better or I just, you know, just let her take care of it. I’ll just let her handle it.” It’s one of the most common things. Just know it’s healthy for you to feel jealous that things have changed. It’s healthy for you to feel some regret. Simply acknowledging that feeling it will dissipate, and very soon you’ll get your wife back, I promise.
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