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Last month, as I was writing a review on For Women Only for the Gabby Mom’s, I realized that this was the second pregnancy in a row that I had read marriage books RIGHT before giving birth. And I realized that I really liked doing that.
Further more, I had just finished writing and scheduling a series called Prepping for Baby about getting ready for the arrival of a new family member. And I realized that none of those posts had anything to do with my husband. I’ve spent tons of time preparing the other children, home & nest for an impending birth and nowhere, did I prepare anything for hubby! So I thought, I’ll have to add that to my series and someone has to have some good ideas that I might not think of.
I found nothing. I searched Google and all I found were articles on what your husband can do for YOU and why women hate their husbands after they have a baby. I was so sad.
Have we really slipped so far that we can’t even have a spare thought for them, even in the sleep deprived newborn period? The man without whom we would not have this child or a roof over our heads? They would do anything for us and never complain once and we can’t even think to touch them before passing out? Really?
So here is my lonely voice on the subject.
Read a Good Book
First, I would read a good book on men’s needs. The postpartum period is all about the women but men have needs too — very basic ones that should be easy to fulfill with just a little bit of thought and awareness.
My favorites are:
Make a Plan
The key to this is not to overwhelm yourself with a huge project right now. But pick 3 things (one for each month post-partum), that you can do simply, easily, and/or prepare ahead of time.
Personally, one mine will be making a concerted effort to touch him more — it’s one of his love languages and I could probably go weeks without thinking about hugging, kissing, or even sitting close without noticing it. It’s just not my thing — but it is HIS. How hard would sitting next to him on the couch with the baby be instead of sitting alone in a recliner?
Here are some other ways that you might be able to care for him even when you are physically and mentally exhausted:
Words of Affirmation
– write love notes ahead of time…or have supplies ready to write them
– thank him for EVERY little thing he does – especially when not his job
– send him texts or emails with romantic or bible verses. Put them on your phone ahead of time if necessary. Schedule them even!
I have made these combined thank you’s with words of affirmation for hubby during the post-partum period. They are intended to be printed on business cards, but you could print on regular paper or cardstock and cut them out if you prefer.
– have his favorites in the pantry & freezer when you are planning your lists.
– make a set of gifts similar to the 12 days of Christmas gifting I’ve heard about, but for 12 weeks of baby
– pray for him while nursing in the middle of the night, or on his way to/from work — a novena, perhaps?
Acts of Service
– make sure he has all the toiletry items he needs
– if he needs anything (new shirts, shoes, office supplies, whatever), buy it before the baby comes
– provide anything that may help him, help you, since they are likely to do it anyway! Cleaning stuff, activities for other kids, coupons/menus for favorite take out places, anything you can think of!
– dates before baby comes, maybe even an overnight or marriage retreat
– try to get the rest you need during the day so you can spend 15-20 minutes just talking to him
– hug & kiss daily
– snuggle with hubby and baby during down time
– touch him before falling asleep or while nursing in the middle of the night
– make an extra effort to sit closer or hold his hand
How do you make sure your husband feels valued and cared for in the post-partum period?