EX­PERT SPEAK

Part­ners in par­ent­ing

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

There is a lot of in­for­ma­tion out there about how you should pre­pare for ma­ter­nity leave dur­ing preg­nancy, plan in the post-na­tal pe­riod and fi­nally re­turn to work. But what about the role of the dad when the mum re­turns to work? Our cul­ture has placed the wo­man in the nur­tur­ing and car­ing role. This can put a lot of phys­i­cal and emo­tional strain on the mother. Work pres­sures, as well as home and par­ent­ing pres­sures, can make a wo­man feel over­whelmed and many times also un­ap­pre­ci­ated. This is the time for dads to step in and take over some of the chores which will give the mum some breath­ing space and also feel that she is loved and cared for. Here are some ideas on how dads can help make the back to work tran­si­tion a smooth one for the mother. • Ev­ery wo­man has ap­pre­hen­sions about leav­ing her baby at home and be­ing away at work. Ad­dress her fears and ac­knowl­edge them. Make her com­fort­able and help her re­lieve the guilt. It may seem like mul­ti­ple, nev­erend­ing, and very il­log­i­cal dis­cus­sions, but for her, the fears are very real. • Take some leave if pos­si­ble. If you have some ad­di­tional leave avail­able then you can take the same when your part­ner re­sumes work. This will make her feel com­fort­able about leav­ing the baby and get­ting back to her work life. • Help with the house­hold chores as much as pos­si­ble. With the baby and her back to work rou­tine, she is not go­ing to have as much time to com­plete all her house­hold du­ties. Help­ing with gro­ceries or by clear­ing the house or even do­ing a lit­tle cook­ing can help her feel much more re­laxed. • A baby is a 24 by 7 job which means that they need a lot of at­ten­tion. Help­ing with feed­ing, di­a­per­ing, bathing or rock­ing her to sleep can take some of the bur­dens of the mum. This can also help you to bond with your new­born and spend some qual­ity fa­ther-child time. • A new mum faces a lot of fam­ily pres­sures es­pe­cially when it comes to tak­ing care of the baby. She will be fac­ing some flak from fam­ily on her de­ci­sion to re­sume work and leave the baby be­hind. Sup­port her and stand up for her in front of the fam­ily which will make her feel that she is not alone in this de­ci­sion. • Many pre­fer to have a dou­ble in­come fam­ily as this can help with main­tain­ing a good life­style and also en­sure the best care for the child. If this is a de­ci­sion that you have taken to­gether, she will need con­stant re­as­sur­ance and sup­port that she is on the right track. At any time if she feels that she needs to take a short sab­bat­i­cal to be with her child be sure to sup­port her in this de­ci­sion as well.

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