We all know the phrase, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” I suspect the fathers-to-be out there are suddenly getting a crash course in this reality. Don’t worry guys, we’re here to help you get through this pregnancy with your manhood intact!
First things first, we women are extra sensitive during pregnancy. We cry, we argue, we cry, we laugh, and then we cry again. We experience every possible emotion all at once, and no matter how good we look or feel we’re a tangled web of emotions inside. That being said, here are 5 things you can do to maneuver your way through her minefield of emotions:
1) Engage her Pregnancy as if You Were Pregnant
- Do read a book about becoming a new father and child birth.
- Do clean the house on occasion.
- Do make sure she’s taking time out for herself.
- Do help her write the birth plan, because you care.
- Do take a prenatal yoga class with her (and look cool and hip at the same time, as you rock a “REAL DADS DO YOGA” tee by Maman Jolie) She will love that you’re feeling the flow and Going with your Glow, right along with her.
- Do stock up on diapers the next time you hit the store for a case of beer (Dads, this purchasing pattern has been followed for many years, and stores even strategically stock diapers at the end of the beer aisle now to make it that much easier for you).
- Do remember that this is your child too and your opinion is important!
Basically, stay active, present and on the same page with her. She wants you to be engaged even if you both disagree now and again.
2) Understand and Acknowledge her Pregnancy-Induced Multiple Personality Disorder (even if it scares you)
No matter what she chooses to exude, there are two distinct personalities fighting for control of her emotions.
- Scared Mom-to-Be, fears not living up to the mother she wants to be, fears the pain of giving birth, fears not being prepared enough.
- Scared Woman, fears what will happen to her body, sex appeal and independence, she fears losing you because you may no longer find her attractive.
Notice a theme here guys? She is scared, even if she has been pregnant before. Here are some more Cliff’s Notes to help you, help her, help you:
- Validate her emotions, but don’t try to fix her! She isn’t broken, just temporarily nutty. Give her a hug, lend her an ear and a shoulder to cry on.
- Give her daily accolades. “You are going to be the best mom”, “You are so beautiful right now”. “Youare an amazing wife”. “I love you so much and I look forward to being a Father!”
That’s really it. Now repeat that to her over and over and over again!
3) Claim Her
This is the simplest and often most ignored of the 5 tips:
- Open the car door for her.
- Hold her hand in the grocery store.
- Make a point to make complete eye contact during conversations with her at home as well as in public.
- Sit together and cuddle on the couch as she shares with you the 10 new baby name suggestions of the day, because you care what your baby’s name is going to be.
- Pass on watching the “big game” and go on a walk with her! There will be many more games.
- Take her to the movies and a dinner from time to time. Claim her and show her off in that hot new body that she’s rocking!
You are her security blanket, guys, you are her binky. She needs you to make her feel loved and honored, beautiful and sexy. By making these little gestures you let her know she can rest her head on your shoulder. She can feel safe being vulnerable and exposed because she has you there whenever she needs you.
4) Brass Tacks
Okay, in case no one has told you… we’ll prepare you for this part. Let me do you a solid and get down to the brass tacks. As your lovely growing baby gets bigger, so does her body. As such, there will be some very uncomfortable and uncontrolled, potentially embarrassing, and dare I say, gross awkward moments. She may have issues with minor incontinence as well as some issues with flatulence, and she might not be able to shave her legs… and other sensitive areas. As the partner to a verrry pregnant woman you have two options:
- First, you could run away laughing and/or gagging. This reaction might ensure that you sleep on the couch for the rest of her pregnancy and maybe even longer…
- Or you can take the high road and help her find her humility. Try to lighten the mood and laugh off any private or public moments of physical unpleasantries and help her do some of the things she can’t.
Now I’m not suggesting that you shave her body top to bottom, if that’s not your thing, but you could:
- Create an intimate evening where you shave her legs.
- Massage her aching swollen feet.
- Draw her a nice bubble bath with warm (not hot) water.
If you’re already cringing at the thought of helping her groom herself, perhaps the most loving thing you can do is surprise her with a day at the spa. Let her get her wax on, her hair done, and her toes and nails manicured. She’ll come back primped, happy and glowing. And you will be her hero… yet again!
5) Tell Her
Tell her that you love her and tell her that she is beautiful. Tell her that she is amazing, she is going to be a great mother and tell her she wears your baby well. Tell her you’re excited to see your child and she isgraceful. Tell her these things everyday!