Must-dos for soon-to-be dads
Can we learn anything from Alex Reid’s attempt to empathise with soon-to-be mother of his child Chantelle Houghton? At the very least, it highlights just how difficult some dads find their partner’s pregnancy.
It’s particularly difficult if you’re a first-timer, even more so if you’ve no-one to ask for advice. Here are a few basics which, in my experience, every dad-to-be should make sure they are doing.
1) Learn to love housework
It’s fair to say very few modern men aspire to Victorian my-wife-does-everything household divisions of labour. That said, expectant dads should make a point of getting more involved in doing stuff around the house. Even if they do loads already.
Your partner will be more tired than usual, and find herself increasingly unable to do simple household tasks. So whether its cooking, cleaning, carrying shopping or ironing, doing what your girlfriend or wife can’t manage is very much appreciated.
2) Do your homework
There are lots of uncertainties, worries and fears that accompany pregnancy. So whether reading through guidance from the NHS and other bodies, or leafing through your partner’s pregnancy books before bed, it always helps to do some background reading.
Not only will this reassure your partner that you are at least trying to understand what they’re going through, it’ll also mean you’re more prepared for questions and feel more confident when you’re offering words of support.
3) Be patient, be flexible, be honest
This is a bit of a catch-all for, basically, being prepared for lots of changes. Your partner’s pregnancy can be a physical and emotional rollercoaster, with the potential to put huge strain on relationships.
You’ll probably be the first one to hear about aches, pains, fears and frustrations, as well as being on the brunt end of tetchiness resulting from lack of sleep, or any of the above.
Being prepared to be a little more patient can be really important, but this doesn’t mean you should bottle up your own feelings. Putting your partner first doesn’t mean it should come at the expense of you being able to talk about your own fears, worries and frustrations too.