For many of the pregnant women out there, there is a man in the background anticipating the day the baby will arrive and make him a dad. The mom is often not the only one stressing (trust me, I’ve been there!) about what she should expect as she traverses from the first pregnancy test to the moment where she holds the baby in her arms. Dad, too, may have lots of questions along the way.
So just what do pregnant women want their partners to know as they embark on this transition time for their family? Here are a few dos and don’ts to share with the new dads in your life.
- Dads, do listen and communicate with us. You may even find out that your wife is just as anxious about the arrival, and although she’s trying to seem like she has it all together (most the time), she’s scared (a lot of the time), and wants support (always!) as the two of you figure out parenthood TOGETHER.
- Don’t take things personally. Thanks to lots of hormones, emotions are on over-drive. She may cry at the drop of a hat, or it may feel that she snaps at you or loved ones. But put that initial shock aside, and ask a simple question: “Is there anything I can do for you?” The mom will know that you care about making her a little more comfortable or giving her a few moments to just relax and recharge.
- Do your part to stay informed. Remember from tip one that the mom may be just as overwhelmed by all she feels there is for her to know about pregnancy through post-delivery. Show your support by reading up on what she may be feeling from week to week as the pregnancy progresses, or what milestones the baby is making in the womb. It’s not so much about knowing all the facts of every week or trimester as much as it’s about communicating that you care enough to follow the progress of your baby.
- Don’t assume it’s easy work staying home and caring for an infant. Caring for the needs of an infant that is unable to care for him or herself is a daunting task. Being on maternity leave is not a vacation. Make sure you praise her for the good job she is doing (and how sexy she looks!), and when in doubt, use the magic phrase you learned in tip number 2 and really mean it. Changing an extra diaper isn’t the end of the world and will speak volumes about your commitment to the family.
At the end of the day, the important thing is that mom and dad work to truly be partners as they strive to make their family what they want.