Ted Gonder is a 29-year-old father of three, and he has some advice for new dads out there who are trying to figure out the whole fatherhood thing. In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Gonder lays out the wisdom he would impart to his younger self about what it takes to be a supportive partner.
In this post, he urges fellow dads to do everything they can to help moms during the critical newborn phase, including changing as many diapers as possible, carrying the baby around, telling mom she’s beautiful, making her coffee and taking her “sharp tongue” in stride:
“I’m now 29 and have 3 kids with my wife Franziska who carried and birthed them all like a pro,” he writes alongside a photo of himself carrying one his children. “Here’s what I would tell my childless 24-year-old self about how to be a supportive partner during the ‘becoming parents’ phase.”
He goes on to write about how men should “wear” their babies on their bellies to make up for the nine months their partners carried them.
“Wifey carried baby IN her belly for 9 months,” he writes. “So you carry baby ON your belly for 9 months every chance you get. Not only does it help her recover but it bonds you to your kid more than imaginable.”
Next, he says dads should be on diaper duty the majority of the time:
“Wifey is breastfeeding–while beautiful and fulfilling for her–it’s exhausting,” he writes. “So you should change EVERY diaper you can.”
He says this will earn you major brownie points with your partner, who will be the envy of all her friends complaining about their own husbands who aren’t supportive enough.
His third point is about how small gestures can go a long way. For example, make your wife coffee every morning, “even if she leaves it cold and forgets to drink it most mornings while you’re working or (later) taking the kids to school.”
He also says dads should make new moms feel beautiful, taking every opportunity to “help her see past her body image issues and stay focused on a positive goal, one day at a time.”
Lastly, Gonder says that new dads should be prepared to put up with some less than super-nice treatment from their wives, as it’s all part of the pressure that comes with adjusting to motherhood.
“Take the heat,” he writes. “Hormones are crazy, both pre and post birth. She won’t seem like herself every day and sometimes she will say things she wouldn’t say if she didn’t feel like she was hungover, caffeinated, and on steroids every day. Remember your job is to be her rock through all of this, so toughen up and keep perspective when her tongue is sharper than you know her best self intends.”
Here’s another photo of Gonder and his baby, which he shared on Facebook along with a post about the importance of paternity leave.
Gonder’s post has been shared more than 54,000 times and has received more than 67,000 reactions and more than 230 comments.
What do you think of his perspective?