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Male Postpartum Loneliness

I saw an article this morning on Male postpartum loneliness.  Among other things it suggested that men frequently found themselves more lonely after the birth of their child, and that they could and should seek support groups as a resource.  That’s good.  The article also mentioned that the loneliness might be a result of said men’s spouses spending more time with the baby and less with their husband  What the article failed to mention is how easy it is to remedy that situation.  Miss your partner?  Jump into what she’s doing.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Wipe the kid’s ass.  If you’re not the primary diaperer on a particular diaper change then at least take on getting rid of the dirty diaper duties
  2. Take bottles to the fridge during pumping.
  3. Clean said bottles after they’re used.
  4. Co-sleep.  Take shifts with your spouse getting the tike to bed at night.  Does your wife like to get to sleep early or does she perfer having uninterrupted sleep just before waking up?  Be sure to take that shift.
  5. Clean diapers/baby clothes/dishes/pump parts.  Put briefly, “Clean!”
  6. Hold the kid.  Hold the kid more.  Get a wrap, plop the kid in it.
    (A brief not on this: I've heard from a variety of moms—and it just makes sense—that when you’re cuddling a kid all day every day, when that person even has their mouth on you a large portion of the day,  you know, for food, that you don’t necessarily want to cuddle any more with anyone.  But… if the dad’s holding the kid, guess who’s not?  Just thinking out loud here.)
  7. Take the kid with you everywhere you go.

Let's focus on that last point a bit more.  Turns out you didn’t lose a friend when the kid was born; you gained a new one.  Take the kid everywhere.  They sleep a lot. It’ll be OK.  You’ll meet new people, the kid will see new things and get a wider view of the world.  If you need inspiration for where to take the kid with you, here’s one more list

  1. Grocery shopping—they love the brightly colored packaging and people-watching 
  2. The feed store—lots of people to talk to, plus bunnies and chicks
  3. The pub—lots of people to talk to again, and things going on all the time.  Also, usually a nice cozy temperature and the perfect din for napping too.
  4. The library—The libraries here in San Francisco are chock full of toys and other kids! 

Loneliness sucks.  Fix it.


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