8. Repeat after me: She’s the boss.
Your life has radically changed forever. You may struggle with your identity. Your sure-footed, decisive approach that’s served your career so well will not necessarily work at home. So try this: Defer to her. Yes, you’re holding it wrong—the baby, your head, the bottle. “Make her happy and you’ll be happy,” Callahan says.
Bonus tip: Revel in your new identity. Take pictures of your grizzled self, your belly low and impressive, the BabyBjörn riding up on your old sweater high and proud.
9. But you’ll always be Big Daddy.
Carve out a role for yourself by learning the skills that will make you a man among men. “Men get frustrated when they can’t master a situation,” Karp says. “Having a role makes them feel better.” For example, he says, “If you know what to do, your baby’s crying goes from something that grates to something you almost look forward to—you can fix it!”
Bonus tip: Your wife will have her doubts as a mom, too—particularly after a visit from her mother. Praise her excellent mommy skills (this doubles as a great new seduction technique, too).
10. Take a good look in the mirror—you’re not so sexy yourself.
Which is a good thing, believe it or not, because you’ll be in sync with your wife (stressed, tired, absorbed in the baby). Just because you can’t remember what sex feels like doesn’t mean you’re never going to have it again. “The intimacy comes back. It’s not as inventive, but we don’t appreciate it any less than the old gymnastic routines,” Carlen says. “Skip the last half-hour of whatever dumb TV show you’re watching and get to it.”
Bonus tip: Consider that your sexual frustration stems from something else. There’s a rival for your wife’s affection in the house, an interloper, and you may want physical assurance of her love. But even if sex is out, sometimes quiet moments and verbal expressions can work wonders.