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New dad holding a babyDear moms, if you are already irritated by the heading, please stop reading now, you are not going to like the rest of this post. This time I decided to shift the focus and put new dads in the spot light.

Sometimes new dads feel a little bit pushed aside by the gatekeeper moms. Sometimes new moms are too stressed out to appreciate the special kind of help new dads can offer – provided you give them the chance to do so. What I’m about to say is not a universal truth, but in many cases new dads are better than new moms in quite a few things:

1. Taking pictures

I can’t tell you how many times in our daily routine life Rob would go and get his camera and start taking pictures of Eric. For no reason, no special occasion, just because he felt like doing it. If the photography in our family would be left up to me, we’d have a dozen of photos for the whole year. What more, I often got mad at him for taking photos of me not looking my best. What a fool I was – now, 18 months after Eric was born, looking at the collection of pictures that we have, I regret that we don’t have more.

Somehow, to me taking care of Eric, washing dishes, doing the laundry and all kinds of chores were always a higher priority than taking photos. But then it means that I don’t have any time left for taking photos, because there is always something to clean, prepare, manage or be otherwise busy with the housekeeping tasks. Life goes on and there is no second chance to take the same photo, the moment is gone and will never return, and we (moms) either need to remind ourselves of that – or we need a dad with a camera who loves taking pictures of his kid.

2. Changing diapers

I can’t believe I am writing this because even to me it sounds strange – but it’s a fact. Men that do change diapers, do it better and faster than women.

3. Trimming baby’s fingernails

During the first few weeks Eric’s fingernails were growing unbelievably fast and he kept scratching himself. I was shaking like a leaf every time I had to trim them, the picture of me cutting his tiny little finger just wouldn’t leave my head. Rob didn’t have any problem doing it, he would just take Eric’s little hands, hold them tight and calmly cut nail by nail, as if he didn’t hear Eric screaming at the top of his lungs.

4. Removing splinters

We have a wooden fence around the house and Eric was holding on to it, trying to walk. We returned from our stroll outside and washing his hands I discovered that the palm of his hand was all red and swollen. I looked closer and there is was, his first splinter. I couldn’t bring myself to cause Eric any pain and this job looked like a massive torture. Rob acted as if he was doing it every day. He sterilized a needle and a pair of tweezers and in a minute that splinter was history.

5. Putting baby before housework

Dirty house bugs me. Sink full of dishes makes me feel sick. I can’t enjoy spending time with my baby if the house is not clean. I mean reasonably clean, not sparkling or anything – but still, even that takes my time and my attention away from Eric. Rob doesn’t have this problem of an urge to clean. No matter what tornado just left our living room looking the way it does, he can sit in the middle of it all and play with Eric. Unlike me, he doesn’t try to do 2 things at once, keep Eric busy and wash the floor and as a result he doesn’t get frustrated by this mission impossible. He concentrates on just one thing at a time and I find that amazing.

6. Dipping baby’s head under water for the first time.

We were taking Eric to swim ever since he was 3 months old and both of us were keen to teach him swimming under water. But even though it is a known fact that babies can hold their breath under water, I was still terrified of the dunk. Rob, on the other hand, had full faith in Eric’s instincts – if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have the courage to make Eric go underwater.

7. Protecting the mom from unwelcome parenting advice.

Some people just offer advice – they are easy to deal with. Others insist that you follow and do as they say – these need to be dealt with by someone who’s not afraid to hurt their feelings. New dads are the best at guarding new moms at their fragile, hormonal, emotional state, they take their job seriously and show the kind of support that is a lifeline to new moms.

And now let me hear from you – what else should be on this list? Dads, what else do you think that you do better than moms?