My wife and I have three kids. With each pregnancy I've said some stupid things that make me very embarrassed. I am going to have a conversation with my former self. My hope is that some of you future fathers out there can learn from my mistakes.
1. "I don't understand why this is making you so tired."
Really, Clint? Of course you don't understand. Why would you even ask that question? The woman is creating a person inside her body. What have you created inside your body? Poop. Pee. Stupid assumptions. How could you possibly understand how tired it makes someone to create a human life? If your wife says she's tired from creating your child, just agree with her. It's a big deal.
2. "Every time I look at your pregnant stomach, I freak out a little."
Dude, I am sure that you're scared. Your wife being pregnant represents new responsibility. But here's the deal. Your wife is probably just as scared, and to top it off, she has to look forward to changing hormones, a sour stomach, and pushing an eight pound baby through the vagina you love so dearly. You are not helping. Try being more supportive. Try getting a little more excited. Kids happen. Don't look to your wife for emotional support. She's got enough to worry about without you moping around and bitching about responsibility. You will be fine. Stop dreading the future and enjoy the moment.
3. "Ugh... why are you crying again?"
Stop acting put out. You still have the power to regulate your emotions and hormones. Congratulations. You're not getting struck with sudden sorrow and frustration along with hot flashes and cravings for cheap hot sauce. The closest thing you've had to a hot flash was the last time you ate at Buffalo Wild Wings. And it was a good flash, and the tears you shed were of joy. Stop making the assumption that if your wife is crying it's for no good reason and she needs to toughen up, or some other masculine crap. Just give her hug. Ask how you can help. Let her have a moment or two alone. It's not that hard.
4. "Babe... it's like 9:30 pm. I don't want to run to Taco Bell."
The last time you had a craving for Taco Bell at 9:30 p.m., you ran your ass out the door and got a double decker taco. Your pregnant wife wants one, and you bitch. Stop it you lazy bastard. Go get your wife a burrito.
5. "You are so hormonal! It's driving me crazy."
Good job stating the obvious jackass. Yes, pregnancy makes a woman crazy/weepy/ragey. You knew this. A million people told you, and you saw it on a million TV shows. No surprises. But that doesn't invalidate her thoughts and feelings, or mean that something isn't important. Sure... you asked her to water the Christmas tree and she had a meltdown. That doesn't mean you need to act like she has a serious problem. The only problem she has is the baby you placed inside her. That's temporary. She is still the woman you love. You are in this together. Don't react with anger. React with compassion.
Any to add?
This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy. Clint Edwards blogs at No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog. Follow him on Facebook. He tweets @byClintEdwards.
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