In response to some comments added to this post (see end) I’d like to add some clarification regarding the article under discussion. It was written by the Dating Divas in response to “a lot of emails from women who wanted ideas for after the baby came. They wanted to know how to make the father feel more included as well as creative sex ideas”. Evidently there is a demand for this and I am sorry for failing to acknowledge it (I nevertheless believe the response that was offered by the Divas still leaves much to be desired).

New mums! Have you noticed that, at the end of practically every guide to pregnancy and birth, you’ll find a section on “Daddy’s role” in all of this. This is because fatherhood is really important and needs, ooh, at least three pages of coverage to set against the four hundred that Mummy has had to wade through. Admittedly it’s still actually Mummy who’s meant to be reading the Daddy pages – after all, men are busy, aren’t they? So Mummy might as well read up on how to manage Daddy. She’s got sod all else to do.

I have always found these “Daddy’s role” sections profoundly irritating, for two main reasons:

  1. the author tends to assume that you are married to the father of your baby
  2. the author then assumes that your husband is in fact a self-centred knob

Time and again we are told that the arrival of a new baby can make Daddy feel “left out”. If you are anything like me, you will read this and think “sod off. I am too tired to deal with a grown adult feeling ‘left out’. We all feel ‘left out’. That’s because babies are really shit when it comes to empathy”. And then you will look at your partner and feel glad that he (or she) isn’t one of those self-centred knobs that the book describes. At least, that’s what you’ll think. But hey, you might be wrong. Daddy might just be hiding his true feelings from you.

This is the claim being made by the self-appointed Dating Divas in this extra-special piece on making Daddy feel valued following the birth of a new baby, at a time when you, sore of cunt and leaking of milk, may be getting a little “selfish”. After all, your partner may be facing the prospect of a whole six weeks without a shag, and there’s you, “exhausted all the time” and failing to be “interested in what’s going on with him” (what the fuck is wrong with you?). Obviously no one wants the people they love to feel “a bit neglected”, even if said people are doing so for completely idiotic reasons, hence the divas have put together a list of things that you – yes, you, new mummy – should be doing. These include the following (pay attention, you sleep-deprived slackers!):

Email pictures of the baby throughout the day to ‘Daddy’. Print off cute signs and lay them by the baby saying things like, “I love my Daddy!”, or “Thanks for working hard for me!”, or even “I can’t wait to see you tonight.”

This is because you’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to have a real job and have no idea how hard it is. Plus you’ve also forgotten that back in the days when you did go out to earn money, you were constantly using your work email to send your partner bizarre, insincere emails about how much you totally adored him and couldn’t survive without “Hubby”.

When Daddy is making an effort to help with the baby especially in the middle of the night, NEVER OVERLOOK IT! Verbally say “thank you,” say it with your eyes and smile, hug him… you will never regret showing as much appreciation as you can. It will help him feel included and loved.

This is because if you’re a man, feeding, soothing, changing and clothing your own baby is not remotely rewarding in and of itself. Indeed, it’s not even your duty. It’s just a pain in the arse, really. You ought at least to get a hug out of it, although ideally you’d want a blow job, which brings us on to…

Use your mouth and be creative with it! He’ll definitely be happy and your lady region can stay on vacation!

That’s one of the best things about giving birth – it gives the ol’ lady region time off from all that laborious shagging. But it’s never a good idea to take such “holidays” for granted – you could think of blow jobs as a bit like taking your Blackberry with you, just to ensure you don’t lose touch.

Lay out your husband’s pj’s, pull the covers back on his side of the bed, and put his favorite book on his pillow so he can relax before going to bed.

To be honest, in our house Daddy relaxes before bed with some wine and the occasional fag. I have never tried this slightly weird, Stepford-wife-meets-Sleeping-With-The-Enemy approach. It would be difficult to start now, since Daddy wears boxers in bed and reads a Kindle. I’ll just have to offer more blow jobs instead.

Sing songs like, “I’m so glad when Daddy comes home” to your baby when Daddy can hear you.

Is this an actual song? I don’t know, and the divas don’t give any indication of what tune it should go to. I have, however, worked out that it scans quite well to Smells Like Teen Spirit, Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter and Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End). My preference is for the latter (I haven’t asked Daddy; for some reason, he pretends not to hear).

Once all of the kiddos are in bed, get dressed in something that is a little more risque and try dusting the T.V. while he’s trying to watch it…or mop the floor on your hands and knees while he’s eating a late night snack.

Alas, we both try to get any household tasks out of the way before Daddy settles down in from of Newsnight with a Muller Rice. I suppose an alternative way to mix sex and household servitude might be to stick a broom up your arse and sweep the floor as you go along.

This is just a small taster of what features on the list. It is a long list, but it is worth reading, if only because as a new mother, you need to be told exactly what to do all the fucking time. One more thing: don’t ever assume this applies to your baby’s father. As the piece says, “Allow your husband to help out in any way that he wants, even if it isn’t how you would do it”. After all, being a father is personal. On the other hand, being a grown woman, negotiating your own relationships with your baby and his or her father, is everybody else’s business, so you might as well “use your mouth” and suck it up.