What does "love" really mean to new Dads?
We asked new dads across the DaddiLife community about what “love” really means for them this Valentine’s Day. Dads see love in a new light as a father, and they’re re-thinking the gifts and day itself too!
1. A CHANGE OF HEART
Remember those days before children dominated your life and mention of Valentine’s Day would have you scurrying down the shops to peruse the variety of chocolates, teddy bears, flowers and champagne? Well, those days are sort of over now, right? As soon as the kids arrive, Valentine’s Day in that traditional sense seems to be for couples in the very beginning of their relationships. Do you really have the time to buy your partner a tacky teddy bear – when chances are your kids will end up using it as a weapon or something of a new play thing?
For our new dads, Valentine’s Day has a whole new meaning. Sure, you’ve got to step up and show your partner that she’s still a big deal in your life, but dads think about love differently to non-dads.
2. MOTHERLY LOVE
You once loved your partner as a brilliant woman who looked amazing, made you laugh, and was someone you genuinely loved spending time with. Well, that love still remains deep down, but now you see her in a whole new way. She is still your partner, but now she’s your fellow member of staff in this never-ending, terribly paid, recent new line of employment you’ve both picked up. It’s called being parents.
You’ve seen her lack of sleep, watched her feeding the little darlings at all hours and seen her anxiety about her body but what’s most important is that you have a new found love for her as the mother of your children. The kids might be too young to tell their mum that they love and appreciate her, but a card written from them this Valentine’s Day can mean so much – and even better, if they’re old enough to know what to do with a crayon, get them to make a simple homemade card. It may well bring a tear to her eyes.
3. SPREAD YOUR LOVE, BUT NOT EQUALLY
New dads know that magical first feeling of love you have for your children. It's not instant in many cases, but as the days, weeks, or months pass, something clicks inside you and that feeling of love is cemented.
Dads certainly find it a challenge to actually spread their love around. You still adore your partner as you did before but now you've got to find a whole new set of emotions and attach them to each of your children. The trick is not to spread your love too thinly. You may need to devote deliberate time to your partner and to your children to ensure they all get their quality daddy time. But if it all proves too much, who doesn't love a big family cuddle on the sofa?
4. A DAD CELEBRATION
With small children around, you are the man about the house, the top dog (though at times it can feel like the children are!). Your partner respects you for all your hard work and she loves you even more for the dad you've become. Celebrate that!
The kids think the same, although they don't always show it, you are their role model, their idol, their hero. It's not just because they are small that they look up to you, they won't know any other adult man as well as you, so let them enjoy loving you too.
Valentine’s day for new dads is also about rewarding them, praising them and encouraging them. But don't let them think it's all about you loving them, they can start to work out in their own little minds that they can actually love you right back. Encourage that expression in them, and not just because you sometimes buy them sweets…
5 ONE DAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR
Being a dad is great and at a time of year where love is all around, it's time to take stock at the little champions you've produced. Be proud and know you are doing a great job.
You've probably found that since having children you've had to really adapt and streamline your own life. You've ditched certain hobbies and interests, and given up watching what you want on the TV. And sure, perhaps Valentine’s Day might be about getting a bit of dad-time too.
But really for dads, it’s just a part of being a great dad every day of the year, and that means keeping that bond with your children. Love isn’t measured on gifts, but on stocks of cuddles and tickles topped up. Take pleasure in those simple daily rituals that only you can provide, such as reading to the children, bathing them, playing with them on the Tuff Tray, or walking them to school or nursery.
Over to you
Looking for a Valentine's Gift that could really help your partner with parenting? The MORI Onesie is the perfect way to show her you care. You can also share your #MORImoments with us on social media for a chance to win £150!
From building healthy bonds no matter the weather to potty training toddlers to dad jokes; Daddilife curate the very best Dad content for everything you need to know. You can read more stories over on their website.