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Today’s guest contributor, Robert Nickell, offers advice and support for those working dads we love so much. Robert fathered his first four children more than 20 years ago. He remarried in 2007, and discovered he was about to be a father all over again in the fall of 2009.
Not wanting to deal with uncomfortable street clothes while comforting his laboring wife, Robert hatched the idea of creating doctor-like scrubs for himself. It seemed a natural thing for him to do — since Robert is a pharmacist by profession.
To eliminate the confusion between “who’s the doctor” and “who’s the daddy,” Robert fashioned the concept of “I’m The Daddy®” medical scrubs.
I asked him to share some gems of wisdom with our readers (and perhaps you could send the links to your partners…) Here are a few of them:
On Daddy Guilt
Daddy guilt exists as much as mommy guilt just in different ways. I believe most dads believe that they do not spend enough time with their kids. However, as with most guilt it is really an internal process, and the kids themselves are really quite content with the level of attention they are getting. After having 7 kids and 50 years of life, I am a little less concerned about my guilt nowadays, and if I feel even slightly remorse, I just sit down on the floor, and start playing with my kids. I like reading, building train track set ups, and just walking outside together and exploring our surroundings. So my advice is that if dad is feeling guilty, just jump in and spend time with the kids, it will only benefit everyone involved.
Quality Time with the Kiddos
A working dad, or a working mom, the key is undivided attention. When you have the time to be with your kids, do so, without the I-phone or smart phone nearby, put it away, and do not allow yourself to be distracted. 15 minutes of undivided attention is better than an hour of simply being in the same room with them. For quality time, sit quietly, ask questions, and listen to them. They will lead you to what they consider quality time, and you need to get on the band wagon. Engaging your children, using eye contact, and listening, is ten times stronger than force feeding activities, and trying to simply constantly entertain them.
How to Soothe a Crying Baby–the Manly Way
Why is your baby crying? How can you make a baby stop crying? Do not panic, I have a few solutions for you to try.
First and foremost, it is ok for the baby to cry. This is how they let you (the dad and parent) know they need something. They could be frightened by a loud noise, and they need to be held. They could be hungry, tired, have gas, want their diaper changed, or want to be picked up.
It is up to you, Daddy Sherlock, to discover the mystery behind the cry.
Hold your baby as often as possible as the daddy so that they learn and know your smell, your hold, your fingers, your hands, etc. This will help comfort them if they are around a lot of strangers, or they just need some security.
If you hear your baby crying and it is your job to help soothe the baby, this is what you do.
- If the baby is in the first 6 weeks of life they most likely are in need of security. Therefore holding the baby securely, walking around, patting on the bottom, using the “shhsssshhh” sound in their ear, and offering a pacifier if you and your wife agree to use them.
- After the first 6 weeks, you can start doing an assessment for diaper, food, gas or just being tired and wanting to sleep.
The bottom line is confidence. Be the man.
Look for more posts from “Daddy” Nickell to be featured soon on Working Moms Against Guilt. We simply couldn’t fit all his dad wisdom in one post!