Friday, May 11, 2012

For Fathers of Unborn Children: the Complete Guide for More Sanity

I pulled this from my friend Socorro Smith's blog - I did not write this, but I got a kick out of it, agree with it whole heartedly (minus the fact that the pregnant woman is only sick for 3ish months...I was sick the whole time), and wanted to share it:

Dear fathers of unborn children.  Your wife is pregnant.  Please cut her some slack.  In fact, please cut her as much slack as is humanly possible.  In the first three or four months the fact that there is a little tiny person taking over your wife’s entire life might be completely incomprehensible to you (and heck, you may even be in denial), but it’s something she is reminded of every second of every day.  

Have you ever had another person decide to take up residence in your body (which you’ve had to yourself for 20 odd years) and suddenly start calling all the shots?  Well let me tell you, for the first bit it’s kind of like having the worst roommate ever.  Chances are, your wife is feeling sick, puking, not feeling like eating even if she can, having a lot of mood swings (no, she can’t control them), has to pee all the time, and is extremely tired.  There are a few variations, and some women have it easier than others, but a good rule of thumb is to treat her as if this is the case.

So, since I hear guys aren’t mind readers, here is what you need to be doing:
·         If you know what your wife likes when she isn’t feeling great, do it.  LOTS of it.  Unless she says otherwise.  Some good ideas are foot/back massages, watch her favorite movie with her, cuddle on the couch and talk, buy her flowers unexpectedly, write her a note, etc.
·        Be willing to talk about the baby and the pregnancy, in fact, be the one to bring it up.  Talk to her about the future, how she feels about the pregnancy, etc.  Most likely she’ll do a lot of the talking, but it will mean a lot to her that you’re showing interest.
·         Chances are, if your wife does certain things to make you feel better when you are sick, she’ll be happy to have you do the same for her.  Think really hard about how you like to be taken care of while you’re sick, or things that you liked your mother to do back in the day, and do it for your wife!
·        Be really patient and remember, she isn’t feeling great even if you can’t really see it all the time.
·        Offer to let her take a nap.  (This is in bold because I think it's super important!!!).  If she has chores she needs to do or dinner to make, offer to do them for her so she can take a nap.  If she tries to refuse, insist (lovingly).  This is especially crucial if you already have a child, offer to take him/her out of the house for an hour or two so she can get some rest without hearing her child in the background.  Mommies have a hard time taking a break if they are constantly reminded that their child might need them.
·         Please be sympathetic.  It’s a lot like having a mild case of the flu for three-ish months, I’m assuming you’d be pretty cranky if you were in her place.
·         Be sympathetic to her mood swings.  Her hormones are seriously running the show at this point, if she gets cranky at you, say you’re sorry for making her upset, offer to talk about how she’s feeling, and ask if there is anything you can do for her.  If she bursts out crying unexpectedly, just hug her and tell her you love her.  In general, it’s not a good idea to ask her what’s wrong, because she might not know, and that might just make her cry more.  I know this sounds like I’m asking a lot, but the most important thing you can do is to act sympathetic and caring, even when she’s acting crazy.  You are a manly man, I know you can do it.
·        If there is something that she says she wants to eat, get it for her, quick!!  If your wife is one of the (un)lucky ones who can barely eat during the first part of her pregnancy, it’s really important to get her anything she thinks she can/wants to eat when she says she wants to eat it.  Important tip, she may not want it for long, so do your best to get it soon, or figure out what the next craving is.
·        Tell her often how much you love her and how much you appreciate the sacrifice she’s making to bring your baby into the world!
·         Bottom line?  Be willing to make a lot of concessions for her for the next several months, pregnancy doesn’t last forever, just hold on and try to make it the best experience possible.
You may think I'm absolutely crazy, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.  I know this sounds like a lot to put on your plate, especially if you’re working or going to school full time (or both!!), just know that it will be soooooo worth it!  You don’t have to do all of it at once either, just make an effort, and I promise it WILL pay off.

1 comment:

  1. LOL - love it...poor Spenser. Sometimes something would sound good and we would drive to that restaurant and by the time we made it to the parking lot, I was puking again and couldn't even handle the thought of what I had wanted five minutes ago!! I'm pretty sure he was thinking that he had married a crazy person (but he was very sweet about it, thankfully :).


I love to hear from you! Leave a comment!