Surprise Them With the Gift of Time
Flowers, teddy bears, and chocolate are just static noise for a brand new parent. Sure they are all great to get, but trust me I've been around the block a few times on this (4 to be exact) and if you really want to impress your significant other who is your baby's primary carer, give them the gift of time.
Time to take a nap. Time to catch up on social media. Time to catch up on their favorite show. Time to watch a new movie. Time to just catch up with friends and family. Just plain time. And not the "Hey, the baby sleeps a lot so you have plenty of time to do what you want then," time. Real time. Besides, those moments when the baby is resting is probably some of the most stressful time in a given day. It is a literal race against the clock to get everything done before the little bundle of now wee and/or poo awakes with the all too familiar and thunderous "WAAAAAAAAA!!!!"
Those precious moments when the baby is down seem like Khachaturian's
Sabre Dance. You know the one, the Pee Wee's Big Adventure Breakfast Machine song... There is any amount of straightening up, eating, staying hydrated, if you are nursing there is the pumping, and taking a shower, by God A SHOWER!!!! This alone could be a full day for some, but primary carers have to do all this in the span of a baby sleeping, which, if you don't already know is more unpredictable than the Mega Millions numbers. (Again, believe me I have grabbed my share of quick picks.) So many factors play into a baby sleeping that it should be a master's level course. A phone ringing, a doorbell, a toilet flush, a dropped spoon, a commercial on TV (why the sound goes up for a commercial is one of the great wonders of the world right next to the Bermuda Triangle), a strongly pitched whisper or any random noise can all be cause for baby to wake up. So not only is your new parent doing 80 things all at once they are also doing them with the quiet precision of a cat burglar. It is exhusting. Full Stop.
That is why it is important for new parents to make sure they have time for themselves to decompress and recoup. Of course there are several ways to do this as our guest blogger Dr. Andrew Brams covered but sometimes, easiest way to do this is take over for the primary carer once in a while. Go ahead, change that diaper/nappy, feed the baby, rock them to sleep, do some of the chores that need to get done when baby is asleep, take time and celebrate a daily occurrence or milestone (hint, hint), or just be ready to help.
This is a pro tip that will pay dividends in the long run because, "Happy partner makes life less harder." (It's a thing I'm trying to make happen... Maybe, "Happy companion leaves you out of a canyon"? I'll continue to workshop it.)