>Important advice: Never criticize your wife’s parenting techniques. She already has one mother.
The Fear You’ll Lose Your Freedom
“I travel on business and had a chance to go to one of the hottest parties in Vegas—at Baby’s Nightclub at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for a Girls Gone Wild video release party,” says James, an ad-sales guy. “I had a choice of staying over or getting back to my family. I took the red-eye back. I never thought I’d say this, but there was a better baby waiting for me at home.”
Your world will be split between two types of friends: those with kids and those without. Soon you will distance yourself from childless bachelors faster than George W. Bush ran from the Enron crowd. And you’ll be so slap-happy you just won’t care. When you have a child, you actually gain freedom because your priorities have been established for you.
>Important advice: Those dreams you never acted on but don’t want to let go of? It’s put-up-or-shut-up time.
The Fear You’ll Never Have Sex Again
Most guys are obsessed with How much sex am I going to get after the baby’s born? How much you get during the pregnancy can be a good indication. The same hormonal rushes that make your partner’s love rockets crash and burn in months two and three—and then flare up again later on—will continue after she gives birth.
Make the most of the six weeks of no sex after childbirth to help her regain her spirit. If you encourage her to do things that make her feel better about herself, she’ll feel better about making you feel better. Let her rest; she’ll come to you when she feels ready.
Especially if she’s breastfeeding, get ready to deal with vaginal dryness (the remedy: Astroglide). But think twice before asking her to stop breastfeeding, which burns calories and puts her in a good mood. Remember: You will have enormous influence over her decision to breastfeed or not (read The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S.).
In fact, given time and a show of patience, your partner will want to have sex as much as you do. Never insist she spend less time with the kid. Don’t banish Junior to Siberia, either—even Cinemax and Viagra are powerless against a plaintive cry from a far-off room. Soon both of you will be talking about whether you’re in the mood for a special or a plain vanilla. And that’s when you’ll really know your life has changed for the better.
>Important advice: Want to put her in the mood? Talk about the baby.