So here I am, second time around and 38 weeks into being the sidekick to the miracle that is pregnancy…
I have read alot of tongue in cheek comments about the Father’s/Partners role in a pregnancy and the best advice I can truly give is to know that deep down, it’s not about you!
You played your part in the making, hopefully you had fun along the way but in the actual pregnancy, its not your body that changes, its not your constant afflictions that cause you to consume vast quantities of Gaviscon (I definitely need to buy shares in them), its not you being kept awake at night by a little person in your stomach with a completely different sleeping pattern to you using your ribs as a football or pushing your bladder all through the night. What you need to do now is to get your shit together, not take anything that was said in pregnant haste to heart and be supportive, most of all be there enough that they know its all going to be ok.
Now with the first pregnancy I will admit we were both full of anxiety and excitement of what was to be, the buying of clothes, baby shower, nesting in our new home but all at the same time with that nagging feeling of the unknown of what was to come at the end of it. Then the baby comes and I won’t go into labour details on this post but trust me if you don’t have a new found level of love and respect for the mother of your child then you need a long hard look at your life.
So that brings me to this time round where my partner is pregnant and we have a wonderful curly haired toddler who likes to think she rules the roost to contend with. This time around you are doing it whilst actually knowing what is to come and if anything that makes it even scarier. My partner has been amazing during both pregnancies but to say that it hasn’t been easy is an understatement. I know that anaemia is very low down the list of things to worry about in a pregnancy but needing constant bed rest and exhaustion with a restless toddler all day whilst I am at work takes its toll and you have to prioritise your life as the Father and Partner to ensure that you are doing what’s best for your family. For me this has been to work alot more flexibly to take on childcare responsibility as much as I can during the day and working from my laptop at night (I am extremely lucky for that flexibility in my job I know) and by taking on all of the household responsibilities.
Now trust me juggling all of that whilst having the pressures of work and everyday life is not a walk in the park but actually it has given me a great insight into what I feel modern family life and in a way modern parenting should be like, I have learnt what an amazing bond i share with my daughter and the added time together actually inspired me to start all of this, I have learnt the difficult job my partner has as a current stay at home mum and I have learnt that my job has been able to cope without me being present in the office in a 9-5 and that actually my productivity and output has improved.
My views on flexible working will be made clear in another post and it will be something I am keen to support in any way that I can..
So gentleman, my final words to you are to grin and bear it if its tough, the prize at the end is worth more than anything else in the world and no matter how tough you think it is, trust me we aren’t doing the hard work..
To finish by recapping the Donts;
Don’t take anything said to you by your pregnant partner too seriously
Don’t be uninformed on different stages of the pregnancy
Don’t go drinking just before due date
Don’t make it about you..
If you would like to add any Donts advice from your own experiences then please comment below or email me them and don’t forget to follow me and check out my Instagram for more views of my day to day life @dads_and_donts