When it comes to life with a new baby, men can be a bit slow on the uptake. So fellas, if your wife just pegged a pair of balled up socks at your head in a blind rage, take a squiz down this list and see if you have been doing any of these no-nos since the baby came.
The first year of a new baby’s life is intense. Women are forced to submit to the new order simply because they have no choice. Some men, (#notallmen) take a little longer to get the memo. So as a heads up to those who have not yet twigged, here are some things dads of new babies should never do.
1. Ask your wife why she’s crying in a way that suggests crying is a weird reaction to whatever just happened
Maybe her biscuit broke off in her cup of tea, maybe her Birkenstock came off while she was walking down the hall, maybe she just sneezed and wet herself. All of these things are valid reasons to cry when you have a baby. Actually, all of these things are valid reasons to cry anytime. Fellas, here’s the thing: when a woman cries you are not expected to ‘fix it’. You are just expected to lie her down on the couch and fan her with a palm frond until the moment passes.
2. Sleep in on Sundays
Unless there is some sort of equitable quid-pro-quo arrangement in place, sleeping in is no longer an option for a while. By all means, negotiate a reciprocal deal with your wife, but do not assume that Sundays is still a laze-in-bed-all-day scenario for you.
3. Play golf on the weekend
Sailing is also off the dance card for a while. There are a few male pursuits that really grind the gears of wives. Golf and sailing are probably top of the list because participation in these ‘sports’ seems to be an all-day commitment.
Guys, we know you’ve been working all week and you want to unwind, but similar to the sleep-in thing, if you want to continue to do this, have the common decency to negotiate a quid-pro-quo with your wife. Don’t just assume it’s ‘See-ya-later-suckers-Sunday’ from now on.
4. Assume your wife is now the designated driver
Yes, if she’s breastfeeding she’s probably not drinking. But that doesn’t make her your tee-totalling chauffeur for the next 12 months. There’s nothing as un-fun as going to dinner parties and being Sober Sue in the corner while your husband boozes on like the most fun guy ever. Dial it down for a while.
5. Accept invitations for long boozy lunches on your wife’s behalf
One thing that flummoxed me in the baby years was a friend of ours who was constantly trying to pin us down for a long, boozy restaurant lunch on a weekend. The person in question had a wife and a 12-month-old baby and to be clear, he was not planning to hire a babysitter. He just expected that life would go on as he knew it, with baby and wife in tow. No. Just no.
6. Start keeping track of sex regularity and mention it unrelentingly to your wife like that will make her want to have sex with you
Rest assured, we are also keeping track. We are painfully aware of the fact that the regular ‘bed sports’ have gone a bit bye-bye and we feel bad about it. But just a tip: telling your wife how long it’s been since you last had sex is not an effective aphrodisiac. Changing baby’s nappies, making dinner and doing the dishes, however are all very erotic.
7. Answer the question: does my bum look big in this?
Just pretend you didn’t hear the question and walk — no run — out of the room. Leave the premises if necessary and don’t come back until your wife has forgotten she asked the question. It won’t take long, she’s got baby brain and she’s currently operating at goldfish capacity.
8. Buy your wife a vacuum cleaner as a birthday present
I know it seems practical and I agree, that if it’s super-dooper it will make her life easier. But … might I suggest jewellery instead? It’s not as practical, but nothing says, ‘you have become your mother’ like a vacuum cleaner as a gift.
9. Suggest it’s time to get a puppy
It’s not time to get a puppy until she says it’s time to get a puppy.
10. Suggest trying for another baby
To those of us who are being woken at regular intervals by a crying baby, snoring is the ultimate ‘f*** you.’ In fact, your Chelmsford-style deep-sleep slumbering no longer makes us gaze lovingly at you, it makes us want to tip a bucket of cold water on your head.
Top tip: tape your mouth closed when you go to bed. It works wonders for snoring. Not even joking.
12. Stay late for Friday work drinks
Friday work drinks are like golf and sailing: off the table for a while. And don’t try to convince us that it’s part of your job or essential for ‘getting ahead’. We’ve all worked for a living, we know what Friday work drinks are.
13. Have a hangover as a result of 12
See also again, numbers 2 and 11.