As a dad you may not always feel like you can help out with caring for the children in the same way as their mother can. She may be breast feeding, for example and you cannot help with that. However, that is probably the only thing that you will not be able to do, although you can do other helpful things while the mother is feeding the baby. There are lots of useful things you can do.
Ask Where You Can Help
It can be worth asking what you can do that would be most helpful. The mother may really appreciate the offer and give you a list of tasks that she needs help with. Make sure that you get her to prioritise the list and be specific and it can be frustrating if they are done incorrectly or if you get carried away doing something when there is another task which needs doing immediately. Try to do the things quickly as well. It can be irritating if someone is asked to do a job and they spend half the time looking at their phone or watching Tv rather than just getting on with it, particularly if it is urgent.
Get on With Tasks
If the mother is not around to ask or you would rather just get on with tasks to help without asking, then you might want some ideas of things to do.
Change nappies when needed – When babies are small then one of the most pressing jobs that crop up is nappy changing. If a baby needs changing and you notice then immediately go and change the nappy and the clothing if necessary. Do not expect it to be done by someone else and do not delay as the child will get nappy rash if they are left too long which is not nice for them.
Help with homework – Older children may need guidance when it comes to homework. It may not just be help with actually doing it but also with organising their time. Make sure that there is a time each day or at the weekends when they have to do homework. If it is part of your routine then it will be easier for them. Make sure that you respect that time and do not plan other things in it so that you are available to help them. Provide them with a quiet and relaxed working environment and give them food and drinks if they need it, while they study.
Do washing – Washing is something which always seems to need doing. Whether it is putting things in the wash, emptying the machine and hanging things up to dry, seeing if things are dry and putting them away or ironing It is a job that needs constant thought and attention and if you keep on top of it then this can be a really welcome help.
Do dishes – Washing up can often be something that couples can fall out over. Whether there is a dishwasher or not, dishes will still need to be cleaned and put away. Leaving them around the place is not a good habit to get into. Get the children clearing the table as soon as they are old enough and helping with cleaning them to. You can also take responsibility for making sure that they are always put away or cleaned.
Vacuum and tidy – Vacuuming can make a big difference to a home and if you have young children it will need to be done regularly as they will pick up everything from the floor and put it in their mouths. Therefore, make sure that there are no precious items within reach and that things are tidied away. Also make sure that the floor is cleaned very regularly.
Make beds – Getting into a bed that has been made is much more inviting than one that is a mess. It is also nice to have sheets cleaned regularly. This is a luxury that there is not always time to do when you have small children and so doing it can be really nice. It can also make the bed more comfortable and mean that you get a better sleep.
Go shopping – It is important to have enough groceries in to feed everyone as well as toiletries and other household essentials. Shopping with kids though, can sometimes be pretty tricky. Therefore, if you can do the shopping and help out with that, it can be a huge benefit.
Cook meals – Eating nutritious food can make a big difference to mood and energy levels. Therefore, having some homecooked meals can be great. Batch cooking and freezing some meals as well as just cooking for a specific meal time can be a really valued thing to do and very helpful. As children are weaned cooking food that they like can be difficult and so having help with cooking as well as coaxing them to eat can be a huge benefit.