How to Deal with Dad-Demotion

You’re finally a father. It’s probably the happiest and scariest experience you’ve ever had, all wrapped up into one amazing feeling. 

Everyone’s happy and healthy and yet, something seems a little off. Something missing perhaps? In fact, it almost feels like you’ve been pushed to the side, doesn’t it?

If this feels familiar, don’t worry. You’re probably just going through what I call ‘Dad-demotion’. 

What is Dad-demotion?

Essentially, you’ve been demoted and you’ve fallen a few rungs down the ladder of importance. 

In those first few weeks your house will be full of visitors. Everyone’s crowded around Mum and bub and nobody’s particularly interested in you or sympathetic to the fact that you also haven’t slept for days. And they’re certainly not captivated by your stories about how the baby’s feeding…

There might be a few mates hovering around to keep you company. But these guys are either already fathers who feel your pain, or guys without kids trying to force conversation to mask their own terror. (I’ve been both of these guys on several occasions.)

Believe it or not, this is you actually becoming a father. And coming to the realisation that you need to put mum and bub first. 
 
This is your own personal labour. It’s exhausting and unpleasant, but there’s happiness waiting for you at the end.  

What Are Your New Responsibilities?

You are now your partner’s rock and you are there to carry out any task needed at any given moment. 

If Mum can’t settle the bub, you’re there. 

If Mum needs a nap, a shower, a cup of tea, a hug you’re there. 

Anything. You’re there! 

The one thing however you must absolutely not do however is say you feel underappreciated. It can be very easy to start thinking “where’s my pat on the back?” or “where’s my cup of tea?”
 
Just try to understand one thing. Just because you don’t always get a “thank you” doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate you. She does, trust me. She’s just absolutely knackered and needs a damn break.
father with daughter

The Big Promotion arrives!

You’ve worked hard, you’ve hardly ever faltered and you’ve kept going even when the going gets tough. Then one day, you’ll walk into the room and your baby will see you and smile for the very first time. 

Congratulations, you’ve just been promoted to Daddy.

You might have felt like you were in the background, but your bond was getting stronger every day. It won’t be long before your baby starts waving off Mummy and reaching out for Daddy. Try to keep it to yourself how much you absolutely love it when this happens, because Mummy won’t be too impressed.

…. maybe that might explain why she suddenly wants another one.
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