It is natural that as you and your partner go through pregnancy, you are going to worry about the baby. You will want to make sure that the baby is OK. This is natural for both you and your partner. The best way to take care of the baby is actually to make sure that you take care of your pregnant partner. As the pregnancy progresses, your partner is going to become progressively more and more tired, especially if she is working during the pregnancy. Do not be surprised if she gets to 7pm and she is ready for bed! This is where you need to step up.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said “The kind of man who thinks that helping with the dishes is beneath him will also think that helping with the baby is beneath him, and then he certainly is not going to be a very successful father.” Guys will use the term “Man Up” in many different contexts. When a friend wants to go home early from a night out as they are tired, when they are too drunk, and they don’t want another drink and various other instances when it is really just nonsense. It is often a phrase associated with “toxic masculinity”. But, in my view there is nothing more manly than providing for your family. Your partner is pregnant, she is tired, step up and take care of her and your unborn child.
Don’t throw money at the problem
The truth is that through centuries of gender stereotyping, men naturally associate supporting their family as paying the bills. But it’s a couple of hundred years since the 1820s. The world has moved on and you need to pitch in, not just throw money at the problem. This means that when it comes to helping around the house you can’t just order food and hire a cleaning service. Whilst this may seem incredibly practical. As your partner goes through her nesting period, she may not take kindly to a random stranger being in the house. Not only can it feeling like an invasion of privacy, if they put things back in the wrong place, it ends up with everything needing to be redone. If you are doing the right thing and stepping up, that means you are going to pay for the service and then have to re do it yourself!
Your partner is going to be assessing you
The truth is your partner is going to be assessing you throughout the pregnancy. Eleanor Roosevelt is not the only woman who thinks chores are an indicator of future fatherhood behaviour. As you go through the pregnancy together, if you are not supporting her, she WILL take this as an indication of how you are going to be when the baby is here. Her worst fear, after something bad happening to the baby, is that she is going to be forced to deal with a new-born on her own without support. A new-born is incredibly hard work and if you are not giving her comfort that you are willing to go the extra mile to help out, you are in for a series of escalating arguments. You may have had a hard day at work and want to go for a couple of drinks after work to unwind. Don’t. Go home and take care of your wife and unborn child. It will save you having to deal with numerous arguments and its good practice for when the baby arrives.
*If you would like a personal coaching session via zoom with myself to help you navigate your first time dad journey, you can reach out to me directly by sending me a message on social media or the “contact” page on my website to organise a session