This is something that Americans scream at sports teams, where half understand the meaning. It means “good defence”, relevant in most sports and in my case, the early days of parenthood.
So why important? Because as Dad you need “Good D”. Mum is breastfeeding, baby is screaming and won’t latch, you’re surviving on two hours sleep and Aunt Doris arrives to see the baby and have a cup of tea. Put baby, Mum and Doris in a room and fireworks will fly, feelings will be hurt and tea could become the weapon of choice.
It sounds dramatic and it is. If you’re a Dad you learn at NCT about “Day 3”. It’s the day that typically the “milk comes in”, the day the amazement that is birth has vanished, you’re normally out of hospital and on your own, sleep is limited and Mum is drained, physically and mentally. NCT warn you that Mum will be ’emotional’ or in male terms…head for the hills, don’t look back. Pass go and keep on going.
However as Dad it is time to fight that flight reflex as Mum and Baby need you. In those early days you have three main jobs… help with baby, feed Mum and manage friends and relatives.
As I said in a previous post, I highly recommend coming home alone and settling before the hordes descend.
It is exciting for everyone and you as parents need the family and friends to help out (never say “No” to a helping hand), but as Dad you need to maintain the balance between excited family and overwhelmed Mum and baby.
I have seen many attempts to manage the early visitor filled days. One friend hid the baby away for three weeks. Another held a BBQ on day three. We had the conversation up front and had parents to the hospital and then friends in time slots between feeds and sleeps when we got home and for us, this worked.
All I suggest is, have a plan. The early days are tough… people will totally understand.