5 Unflattering Things Expectant Dads Need to Know About Their Pregnant Partners

You might be going through much since the news, "We're pregnant."  Well-wishers just don't know how much things have changed mentally, spiritually, and physically for you.  You may be experiencing some of your partner's pain, mood swings, and other things.  There are thoughts going through your head and they aren't all positive.  So what does an expectant dad does with the mounting pregnancy related issues?  First, try your best to be empathetic, step up to the plate and help when you can, and realize that things will not go back to the way they were prior to having your child or children.  Grieve this fact and move on.  Stop being tempted to live in the past and hope for a similar future.  Your hormonal partner is going through much and you will need to have a support system that will keep you stable.  Consider a team of people who "have been there and done that."  They are available in hospitals, churches, schools, nonprofit groups, etc.  Perform research and include your city and state in the search engine to see what helpful resources are available for troubled expectant dads and their challenging pregnant wives/mates.   

So what might you ponder now when it comes to your pregnant partner?

1.  The expectant mom doesn't always like "that guy" who got her pregnant.  You aren't the same in her eyes at times especially when you act just as irritable as she does.  Of course, you know it takes two to argue, but she is thinking, "What did I do?  What did I do?  Who is this guy really and is he going to be a good dad?"   Sometimes the only thing that is on a pregnant woman's mind is food and pain.  Think about those times when you weren't yourself when you were hungry or having your share of aches.

2.  You're right, "She's crazy."  So what are you going to do about it?  Act crazy too?  Go find something to do to let off steam i.e.) bike ride, exercise, visit your mother/relatives, window shop, sit on a park bench and think about the positive.  View your photo albums and think about good times, but don't wish for them.  Use the present moments to make you stronger, wiser and a better human being.  Work a little later on some days if you just don't have the energy to come home right away. Visit a favorite place or read a good book.  The more you talk to her when she is emotional, sit on your behind when you know things need to be done around the home, her mind and yours will go places they have never gone before.  Too much of anyone or anything isn't good whether pregnant or not.  Lose the pride, you don't have to win any argument--leave her alone for awhile.  Offer to do some things around the place if she doesn't mind--some pregnant women might have issues with the way their mates do things.  You can always put your headphones on and watch TV or listen to music to avoid issues before they begin.  Mind your own business or care for children if you already have a couple.  Take them out of the home and let them run and rip in the park or elsewhere instead of keeping them around their mother when you know she is having a tough time.

3.  Weird things happen with her body, so when she isn't in the mood for a little affection and whatever else, be understanding.  Exercise some self control and focus on the fact you are both having a child.  Learn that your needs will not always be top priority anymore.  Distract yourself by doing some things that will keep you out of trouble.  Chatting with hot chics, talking about them to a woman who already has issues with her increasing weight, or acting more interested in every female but your pregnant partner will only cause more problems for you.  Think about your future child and what kind of example you are setting for him or her.  Cheating and lying will cause confusion and stress on the baby.  Most women sense when their men just aren't being truthful about their whereabouts and with who they were spending time.

4.  Don't be surprised if she or you becomes verbally or physically abusive especially if you are still using recreational drugs, drinking alcohol or smoking.  Mind-altering substances do impact the relationship.  In addition, if there is no healthy outlet for stress, an unsupportive network of family and friends, and other issues, you or she might be tempted to cross the line.  Notice what your trigger buttons are and avoid the drama by focusing on doing things that are positive, peaceful, and prosperous.  Get another job if you feel the need rather than complain about money.  Schedule some extracurricular activities if need be.  Attend church services.  Converse with your partner about how you feel.  Recognize the fact that she is changing and she just might not return to that person you once fell in love with.  Share your experiences with the family physician during the next prenatal appointment.  The doctor might be able to determine what is wrong with you and your partner or provide a resource.

5.  You aren't the only person who doesn't understand or like all that comes with your pregnant mate.  Chances are co-workers and relatives noticed changes too.  However, a family gossip session isn't going to help matters.  Stay loyal to your partner and offer to help her cope.  Maybe she needs bigger clothes, a place to rest her swollen feet, favorite snacks, help with chores and children, time off from work, etc. whatever the issues, address them in kind and loving ways.  If things are a bit too much and you simply can't handle the hormonal woman, then don't beat yourself or her up about it.  Speak with a doctor or therapist on or offline.  If you aren't mentally strong yourself, you may have to consider time away so that you can get your head together before the baby is born.  There may be some opposition about your decision coming from family and friends, but it is always better to leave than to stay and abuse.  If you are having crazy or dark thoughts, you can always express your concern for her safety and baby and then seek professional assistance on your own.

To all the men who read this, stay strong and God bless.  To the women who care about them and others, spread this message.  Keep the faith and always think about the well-being of your offspring when it comes to making major life decisions.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books.   

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