You may have heard about the ‘crimes’ new fathers commit in the first few months of parenthood by the seemingly innocent things that they say to their wives. Here, we look at twelve things that one should avoid saying, at all costs. Or risk a woman’s wrath. You have been warned.
1. You look fat
For the completely uninitiated, a woman’s tummy does not miraculously shrink into four pack abs the moment the baby is out. Nor does the extra weight that had been gained during the pregnancy slide off within weeks. Yes, some lucky ones may lose their extra kilos without much effort on their part, but it does not happen for most women. AND, yes your wife is more aware than anyone else! This is one thing that she does not need reminder of. Now go get her a sweet treat to make up for telling her that she looks fat.
2. When/how are you going to start losing some weight?
Really?? Trust me, new mums may entertain this thought ever so fleetingly, but the needs and demands of their baby will almost always outweigh that of losing weight. And surely, you still love your wife even if she doesn’t lose those extra kilos, right?
3. Are you sure that’s the correct way to do it?
This seemingly innocent question places a lot of doubt in a new mum, in a time during which she (silently) craves and needs encouragement that she is doing her job well. Instil confidence in her by acknowledging her for a job well done. Trust me, your wife will appreciate that small little help in caring for the baby as she handles other tasks or get a short rest.
Learn to care for the baby and be an involved dad. Your wife will definitely feel glad that she is not left to deal with the difficult situations on her own all the time.
4. You should learn from so-and-so, she’s doing a pretty good job
As much as this may come from good intentions, this can sound very different if your wife has had a particularly bad day. In fact, it could simply sound like she is being compared to another mother, and indirectly telling her that she is doing a pretty bad job. Bring your parenting suggestions to the table as a form of discussion, in how you both could improve, rather than interrogating and doubting her as if parenting was the wife’s job.
5. Why do you look tired all the time?
If you are guilty of saying this, we definitely feel sorry for your wife. You probably wouldn’t aware of the amount of sleep that your wife (doesn’t) receives on a daily basis. Motherhood is not quite similar to the mums who grace magazine covers because the reality and time does not permit so. Instead of asking this question, pitch in on the household chores and parenting duties so that your wife can catch up on some rest.
6. When are we going to have sex again?
After having a baby, the frequency of intimacy usually takes a huge dive and it is a common problem faced by couples! There are so many reasons why you wife is not having the mood and time for sex! She may be exhausted from caring for the baby all day long or she may be still feeling sore after childbirth or even, she is not feeling confident about the body she now has. Be there to lessen her load by caring for the baby, helping with the household chores and showing that you care by pampering her and giving her a good massage. Lastly, not forgetting to give her a little more time, when she is ready, you will definitely have sex again.
Related article: Will Sex Feel The Same Again After Childbirth?
7. So what have you been doing all day?
Let’s see, between feeding the baby, going through 8-10 diaper changes throughout the day, pacifying the baby, napping the baby (successfully, or not) 4-5times a day, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, getting meals on the table, trying to get a shower…nothing much really!?
8. Why didn’t you….?
Whatever it is that you want to ask, always think of the fact that you now have a new member in the family. There are ton of reasons why your wife did not do what she has been doing before the baby comes along. The main reason is the same – the baby came first. Be a little more understanding alright.
9. My mum thinks/says…..
Although we really do respect your parents and the experience they have, we hope that you really understand that the different kind of facial expressions and crude remarks are really not supportive at all. The times has change and we really wish to raise a child our way.
10. Why isn’t the baby sleeping through the night yet?
Assuming that this question was not asked within the first month of your baby’s life, the answer to this question has many factors involved in it. Putting baby to sleep through the night is possible if you would be willing to pitch in to help in sleep-training the baby. Discuss this openly and work out a solution together. This may involve many trial and error, be patient and things will work out eventually or seek professional help.
11. Stop worrying
Honestly, this is hard. From the moment the baby was born, or even before, your wife has probably had her mind filled with concerns about the child. Instead of telling her not to worry, try the positive route instead. “He’ll be okay”, “She’s stronger than you think”, etc. Think positive, speak positive.
12. So, when are we going to have the next kid?
This is not a good question to ask especially during the first six months after childbirth. We strongly advise not uttering this question too, especially after seeing how your wife has had a very rough day with the kid. We’re not talking abstinence here, just avoiding procreation for a sane period of time. And ‘sane’ is determined by the wife.
Related article: Keeping The Flame Alive Even With A New Baby
By Ruth Mak and Crystal Tan