A Father's Perspective on Pregnancy: What All Women Need to Know
Posted on April 24 2019
Holy crap. There is literally a mini human, made from my own flesh and blood, growing inside my wife. I am going to be the Mufasa to this Simba, the George H.W. to this George W., the Will Smith to this Willow.
Granted, my part in the creation of this soon-to-be beautiful baby was brief. I also recognize that the pain, sacrifice, discomfort, and stress women experience is on a level that men will simply never comprehend. For these reasons and more, I have no right to say anything. BUT, there a few things rattling around in the male mind that women might benefit from knowing.
You need to know that we are just as nervous as you. Obviously we don’t have to go through the terrifyingly difficult childbirth, our hormones are stable, and our bodies won’t balloon out, but we’re starting to realize that we’ve now got another mouth to feed. This is a big deal. We’re going to have to hold this baby tight when they’re fussy, stretch out our arms as they take their first steps, cover their scratches and scrapes with bandaids, teach them how to ride a bike, try and remember how to do long division, drive them to soccer, buy school clothes, and cut the crust off of sandwiches. This is absolutely terrifying.
Just like you, our baby’s mom, we’re kind of freaking out. If we seem like we’re not, that’s probably just numbness or shock. Once this baby comes out, we’re on the clock! There’s no going back, ever. We’re going to be dads and there’s absolutely nothing that can ever change that. It can make us a little queasy imagining all that responsibility.
Don’t get me wrong, most of us are up to the challenge. But that doesn’t make it any less scary. We’re nervous and a little freaked out because we want to do the very best that we can. We already care so much about this child and we want to give them ever opportunity in the world. We’re really scared of failing. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re going to try our best. So let’s do this together. Ladies, if you see us freaking out, reassure us. It probably won’t be long until you could use some comforting words, too. Let’s make this a team effort and be each other’s biggest supporters through this.
Now if we’re going to be a team, we’re going to need to communicate. You’ve probably already had a few moments when you felt your baby’s father could have done better. Maybe we don’t realize how important the gender reveal is to you, or maybe our suggestion to use stretch mark cream could have been approached differently. Whatever it is, first be patient, and second talk to us.
We’re really not trying to be insensitive, unaware, or ignorant. We mean no harm. We just have no idea what you’re going through. So make sure you talk. While we won’t totally get it, tell us about how you are feeling, tell us why what we said was rude, tell us how we can do better. Once you are communicating your basic needs, start telling us about your fears, worries, dreams, and hopes for this child. The more that two parents communicate, the more in sync they become, and the more stable their child’s life is.
Finally, know that we are in love. We’re in love with the woman who is carrying our child, and we are in love with the small, beautiful baby growing inside her. Most men probably don’t show it in flamboyant or extravagant ways. But the love is there. The love is there as we work extra hours, sell the motorcycle, and convert the man-cave into a nursery. The love is there when we run to Chick-Fil-A at 10 PM because that’s all you can eat right now. The love is there as we hear our child’s heartbeat for the first time and hang the ultrasound on the fridge. The love is there as we hold you close and picture our future family.
We’ll make a million mistakes, there’s no way around it. And while it’s already an unfair distribution of effort between us during this pregnancy, we desperately need your help. Talk to us, give us the benefit of the doubt, and love us. We will thrive with your support and become the father that our baby deserves. We won’t let you down.
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