Four Things New Dads Need to Hear When a new baby comes, sometimes dads inadvertently take a backseat. New parents and therapists Vincent & Laura Ketchie discuss four things wives can do to encourage their husbands during this challenging time.

036 Marriage: 4 Things New Dads Need To Hear


It seems that the moment junior is born, the doctors and nurses slip a pair of “mommy goggles” on the recovering mama because from that moment on, mama is different.

How she sees the world is different.  Often the world is a more threatening place and she is in constant pursuit of keeping her tiny new human alive.  But these mommy goggles also impact other things, too.  Home life drastically changes. 

If you’re not careful, those piles of dirty laundry may supersede your husband’s need to connect with you at the end of the day.  Marriages take a hit from welcoming a new child into the world, but they do not have to be destroyed.

It’s important for new moms to put a few things into perspective. Remember that the child you’ve birthed will (hopefully) move out and pursue adulthood on their own someday.  Because of this, the nest you built needs to stand beyond the short eighteen years your child lived with you. 

In other words, when junior grows up, you’re left with Papa Bird. It’s important how you treat him while you are navigating motherhood. Don’t expect a free pass from being a good wife because “motherhood is hard.” You’re still married to the man who found you sexy when you dated. *knock, knock*  He’s still in there.

I understand that most mothers feel overwhelmed.  The idea of having to add more things onto a running list of to-do’s can seem laughable, but doing these things can save you heartache (and possibly the need for marriage counseling or a divorce lawyer) later on. 

As vocal as we women can be, there are things that we sometimes aren’t good at saying.  Here are four things that your man need to hear from you:

1.) I’m proud of you.

As overwhelmed as women feel trying to care for a newborn, a new father feels an incredible drive to succeed in making sure that he is providing for his family. Just because he may be away from the family for periods of time does not mean that he does not care.

It’s important that wives show their husbands how grateful they are for all that they have done for them. Countless times in self-help literature we are told that men need to be shown respect.

It doesn’t hurt to be specific in your praise.  For example,  I know that getting up so early in the morning to drive an hour to work and deal with your demanding boss and then driving back with an hour of traffic wears on you.  I appreciate how hard you work for us.  I’m proud of you!

2.) We make a great team. 

Many men feel left out when a new baby enters the scene.  Mom may seem scattered, distant and quite possibly demanding during this time. 

If she’s not careful, she’s excluding her husband from being a part of being the family. Often resentment can build between parents developing a you vs. me mentality. 

It’s important that the new mom give him messages that he is important to the family.  This could mean involving him in some of the care of the baby and praising his efforts by telling him that you make a good team. 

3) I want to spend time with you too.

In addition to involving the father in the care of the baby, it is important to plan time for just the mother and father.

This is intentional time set aside, marked on the calendar, that you spend together – a date. This would entail going out to eat and then spending some alone time afterwards relaxing together.

You could say something like, “I got a babysitter for this Saturday. Let’s plan a date together.”

4) You’re an awesome dad.

Words of affirmation go a long way.  You’re just as much a new mom as he is a new dad.  He needs to hear from you that you are acknowledging how special he is and what he means to your family. 

Sometimes married moms feel like they are going at it alone, when a lack of communication is keeping the parents from feeling close and appreciated. Telling your husband why he is an awesome dad shows that you are paying attention.

Starting a new family is challenging.  Days seem to run into each other.  Sometimes you may feel that you need off the crazy train.

Wives, to prevent things from getting more difficult, remember the four things you can say to your husbands.  If you do nothing else but keep that new baby alive and say these things to the new dad in your life, imagine what family life could be!

Four Things New Dads Need to Hear When a new baby comes, sometimes dads inadvertently take a backseat. New parents and therapists Vincent & Laura Ketchie discuss four things wives can do to encourage their husbands during this challenging time.

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Vincent & Laura Ketchie

Vincent Ketchie, LPC and Laura Ketchie, LPC are the hosts of Relationship Helpers, a podcast where they discuss family issues and interview relationship experts. Vincent and Laura are licensed marriage counselors.

4 thoughts on “036 Marriage: 4 Things New Dads Need To Hear”

  1. Yes I totally agreee with this, we need to be more proactive in telling our husbands how awesome they are and how much we appreciate them rather than focusing on the kids all the time! Gotta share this!

  2. This post is so sweet. My husband and I are thinking about starting a family soon, and the one thing we’re nervous about is parenthood getting in the way of marriage. You make great points in being intentional with our words. Thanks for sharing!

    Sydney Meek |

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