Thank you to Pampers Pure and Walmart for sponsoring today’s post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
17 months ago, my husband became a dad. Was he really ready for it? Heck no! But honestly, who is? Being a parent is one of the scariest things in the whole world, but it’s also the most rewarding. It’s a lot of trial and error, and I hate to break it to you – perfection straight up doesn’t exist.
So with Father’s day around the corner, I thought I’d put together a really basic guide for new dads. These are all things that my husband has learned over the past year and a half – things that I love and appreciate so much.
Riley and I are pretty darn lucky to have my husband Joe around, so here are a few of the things he does on the regular that I’d certainly include in a new dad handbook.
Be as hands-on as possible
I don’t know how much of this I’ve shared before here on the blog, but Joe works a very demanding full-time job, while I stay at home with Riley. I think it’d be really easy for Joe to come home from work and want to lock himself in a room the rest of the night, but that’s not what he does. He’s an incredibly hands-on dad and wants to spend as much time as he can with Riley – something that I love so much about him.
He’s very much a partner in that sense. He doesn’t just expect me to handle all things having to do with our toddler. On the weekends we take turns waking up early in the morning to grab Riley out of the crib and get her breakfast ready, and every night, we alternate tasks. If he feeds her dinner, then I bathe her and get her ready for bed, and vice versa. He really does try to help as much as he can with her, and in today’s super busy hectic world, it’s such a blessing.
Help your partner run errands
Despite the fact that Joe works around the clock, he still finds time to help me run errands – another reason why I absolutely adore him. See, running errands with a toddler is one of the most stressful things in the world, and it’s one of my least favorite things to do. Joe seems to have a little more patience than I do, so he’s always happy to run to the store for me and pick up whatever it is that we need that day. Even better – when he sees that I’m really stressed out, he’ll offer to take Riley with him on a daddy/daughter errand date, and that’s the most helpful thing of life.
Since he’s always taking her places and will inevitably have to change her diaper in a public space, this Father’s Day I put together a #LoveTheChange kit for him with some help from Pampers Pure at Walmart, that way he’s always prepared when he’s out and about with her.
I got him his own diaper bag and filled it with the essentials – Pampers Pure diapers (our favorite because they provide pure protection that works, plus they are hypoallergenic and gentle for Riley’s delicate skin), Pampers wipes and a few toys to keep Riley entertained – that way he doesn’t have have to worry about grabbing things from my normal diaper bag. He loved it, btw, and if I can make getting out of the house easier for him, I’m all for it!
A little side note for ya: Walmart Online grocery pick up is a huge help as far as running errands goes! Order your groceries and diapers online and then have them loaded in your car. Saves time, saves money, and makes things so much easier!
Spend lots of quality time with your little one
There are few things that I love more than seeing Joe spend quality one-on-one time with Riley. Whether it’s doing a puzzle, or reading a book, I love that he’s a great teacher and really enjoys teaching Riley new things. Since he’s got a lot more patience than I do, he’s a huge help in terms of teaching Riley different things. He introduces her to new foods, takes her outside on walks and points things out to her, and he’ll sit and color with her for the longest time. It’s so cute!
But he teaches me things too, and I think that’s so important in a partner. He’s taught me to relax, take things one day at a time, and that I need to do a better job at prioritizing my workload. Sometimes I want to do it all and the overachiever in me wants to make it happen, but it’s not always feasible. He’s constantly reminding me of what’s really important – and that’s spending time as a family. I’ve definitely got me a winner.
Have a great sense of humor – you’ll need it!
This one might not seem like a super important thing, but to me, it’s huge. Joe makes me laugh all the time, and it’s so refreshing after a long day at home with a toddler. As parents and as adults, some days are rough. Some days are filled with taxes and deadlines and work responsibilities, and it can get overwhelming. But having a partner that knows how to make you laugh and that can just be downright silly sometimes is the best thing ever. I don’t take that for granted one bit.
Prioritize family time
As much as Joe loves his job, he always makes it a point to remind me that our family will always come first. Sure, he has to work late sometimes, and he really works hard to provide for his family, but he’s not afraid to turn down opportunities that take him away from spending time with us. On his days off, we really do make an effort to spend time together – whether that’s going for a walk as a family, going to the pet store so Riley can see the fish, or just hanging out together in the family room catching up on TV shows – we’re together, and that’s all that matters.
You know, according to a 2018 Pew Research Study, dads are much more involved in child care than they were 50 years ago – tripling the hours they spend a week with their kids in 2016 vs. 1965. But even with that increase, 63% of dads still say they don’t spend enough time with their kids each week and that makes me really sad.
Kids want their dads around. And as the study shows, dads want to be around their kids. So if that means that dads need to cut themselves some slack every once in a while in terms of their work, then they should try doing that if it’s possible.
But at the very least, whenever some free time exists, I think it’s a great idea to make the most of it. Get outside, turn on a bubble machine, and make some memories. Those are the moments I’m most grateful for.
We love you, dada and Happy Father’s Day!
This Father’s Day, create your own #LoveTheChange kit for the man in your life with Pampers at Walmart. All the essentials they need to care for the little ones in their lives is available at Walmart.com.