Dad-Of-Three Tells His Childless 24-Year-Old Self How to Be a Better Partner During the “Becoming Parents” Phase

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Being a new parent is never easy.

Most of the weathered and obviously more exhausted parents out there admit that, if they could go back and do their parenting journey all over again, they would do things quite differently. And one dad has gone viral for this exact reason.

Ted Gonder penned down a letter to his childless, twenty-four-year-old self that instructs him on how to better help his partner during the “becoming a parent” phase. His Facebook post was incredibly moving and gained a staggering sixty-eight thousand likes and reactions.

Keep scrolling to read Ted’s letter, and to see his wife’s heartwarming response.

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Ted, from Chicago, Illinois, and Franziska, from Dusseldorf, Germany, have recently gone viral for the best reason.

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And, as most of us know, 1 child is a handful enough, never mind 3.

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And, though Ted was by her side every single time, he now feels that he could have done more.

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And he has concluded that his younger and childless self could have done a lot more to help his partner during their “new parent” phase.

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Ted decided to write a letter to his twenty-four-year-old childless self.

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And in his letter, he listed several things that he could have done more of, to be more supportive of Franziska in the weeks and months after giving birth to their children.

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His letter was opened with a brief introduction, and a heartwarming tribute to his wife. “I’m now 29 and have 3 kids with my wife Franziska who carried and birthed them all like a pro. Here’s what I would tell my childless 24-year-old self about how to be a supportive partner during the “becoming parents” phase.”

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“Wifey carried baby IN her belly for 9 months. 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.”

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Yep, the one everyone hates. But it has to be done! “Wifey is breastfeeding and–while beautiful and fulfilling for her–it’s exhausting. So you change EVERY diaper you can. From diaper #1 onward. You will get over the grossness fast.” 

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Your wife will show off about you! “And you will prevent imbalances and resentment in the relationship; in fact, when all your wife’s friends are complaining about how absent and unsupportive their husbands are, your wife will be bragging about you.”

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Okay, it’ll have to be decaf if she’s breastfeeding, but still. “Make her the decaf coffee every morning. Even if she leaves it cold and forgets to drink it most mornings because she falls back asleep while you’re working or (later) taking the kids to school. She was up all night feeding the baby so help start her day in a way that helps her reset.”

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Ted notes how the postnatal period is an emotional time, so it’s important to keep a new mom’s spirits up. “Tell her she is beautiful and help her see that in the moments when she is feeling most self-critical and hopeless about her body. Remind her of times when she achieved goals in the past. Remind her she is a superhero. She literally just moved all her organs around and gained 20 kilograms to give you a child that will be a gift to you for the rest of your life. Help her see past her body image issues and stay focused on a positive goal, one day at a time.”

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“Take the heat. 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.”

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“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. Normal will return soon and you want her to be grateful that you kept it together when she wasn’t, not resentful and disappointed that you hijacked her emotions by making her problems yours.”

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Ted’s post was shared over fifty thousand times and raked in over sixty thousand reactions and comments. Many women were quick to comment their dispair of feeling alone during this period of their lives, with one social media user writing, “Women often have to hold all that needs to get done in their brains and tell their partners this rather than these men taking the responsibility to look around and see what needs to get done.”

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Franziska responded to Ted’s letter with a Facebook post of her own, writing, “My husband went crazily viral over the past 4ish weeks. As his wife I am proud that his message received so much attention – it needs to. And I am also here to share my 2 cents upon his last two posts. A rare Facebook moment for me so I hope I can make it a good one.”

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“It is amazing to see how many women tagged their significant others to thank them for a similar support. Kudos to all those strong families out there. The world needs kids with strong support systems and their parents are their very first one.”

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In which she responded, “Eehhmmm well… we just really love each other. But there are two things that stand out for me in our relationship: We argue. And always grow from it. It might get heated or loud once in a while (usually household-related sh*t) but we never walk away from it without asking: what’s going to be better next time?”

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“My message? Behind every strong couple stand two individuals who unconditionally and continually invest in each others’ growth. Love is active, not passive. It’s a verb, not a subject.”

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Franziska got back to her regular life. “And with that, I am going back in my little family bubble with no fame and glitter, but loads of boys, laundry, dirty dishes, money to earn, a business to build and my coaching business to grow. Hallelujah.” Absolute family goals.

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