I think this is kind of an early Fathers’ Day post.
I like to read articles about what your man should know about your pregnancy and taking care of a newborn (yes, it’s always “your man.” Never “your woman,” or “your partner” or even “your partners,” of course). I get halfway through the article, think “Why am I reading this? He knows all this stuff,” and then realize I’m reading it because I’m the one who doesn’t know all that stuff.
The other day, I found out that you’re not supposed to give an infant water to drink. What?? Really? And he was like “Yeah, milk only for like six months.” Well, I’ll be. I told him “Maybe we should post on our neighborhood’s message board and see if people have some used baby stuff.” and he instantly responded “Ok, ask for a bassinet, play pen, gently used extra car seat as long as there’s never been an accident and we’ll get it inspected. Post for newborn clothes after we find out the gender.” I told him “There are some good Groupon deals for baby stuff. What should I buy?” Instantly, “Bottle sterilizer.” Damn, he’s on it!
Here are some examples of advice for new dads, about which I am going to reference my spouse or simply make fun of because obviously I know everything:
- “Yes, you’re holding the baby wrong. Do it her way.” Uhhh no, I kinda think I’m gonna do it his way. All his kids lived through infancy. I can’t yet say the same.
- “By the time you change your third diaper, it’ll be the most normal thing in the world.” If you’re talking to him, I think the number you meant is “third billionth.”
- “Take a flask to the hospital.” Oh, I bet you he’s got one filled and ready. …the real question is, do I get one, too?
- “Within six months, you’ll resume some semblance of a sex life.” I’m pretty sure I truly believe that, but he sees right through that little puff of sunshine.
- “You’ll get more advice from your childless friends. Parents will usually shrug and say ‘It will pass.'” I doubt he’ll hear any advice. I doubt he’ll give me much advice, either, regarding what I’m sure will be lots of pie-in-the-sky idealistic childrearing practices I think will actually work and he knows will not. Probably good to let me learn on my own.
- “You’ll be surprised and amazed how well you can function on so little sleep.” Surprised and amazed…. or jaded and resigned?
- “You won’t faint. No one does.” This isn’t about him, but I’m 99% sure people actually do faint… It’s a little thing called vasovagal syncope.
- “You don’t really have to be in the delivery room.” Actually, yes, he really does.
- “Go to all appointments with your wife. This includes Dr and lamaze. Even if you think it’s stupid. Go.” This is unrealistic. We both work. He did say he would go to birthing classes with me, which I really appreciate, because they must get boring by the fourth time (Though… if you are a woman have multiple kids, do you only take them for the first kid? If so, that’s good, then he hasn’t taken one in 23 years).
- “Just because she is gaining weight does not mean you need to also.” Now, that is just about the douchiest advice I’ve ever heard. What, we’re all outraged about body-shaming women, so we’re doing it to men now, too?
- “Giving birth isn’t glamorous. You will see your wife’s body in a way you never have before and may never want to again.” Thank god he will have no surprises there. And his saw his ex-wife give birth and later made two more babies with her. I’m not too worried about this one.
- “Consider asking someone else to take pictures of the birth so you can be totally present. Just make sure it’s someone you and your wife are comfortable with because they will get more than a sneak peak.” Pictures of the BIRTH? What the…? Oh HELL no. Nooooope!
- “Don’t be afraid to cut the cord, it is far easier than you’re imagining.” He’s been there, done that, and I have agreed not to make him do it again.
- “New babies don’t have tears for the first few weeks but don’t let that fool you in to thinking they don’t cry.” Why would anyone who’s listening to a baby cry think it’s not crying because there aren’t any tears? Is this some sort of “you’re just a stupid man” advice?
- “You will never be more jealous of someone than your new baby and the amount of time he (or she) is spending with your wife’s boobs.” If any men read this blog, raise your hand if you are sad that you can’t latch on to your wife’s sore nipple and suck liquid out of it for 20 minutes. Anybody?
- “Your friends without kids may distance themselves from you as your priorities and responsibilities shift as they should. They’ll return when they understand for themselves what being a parent is all about.” Ha… I was just thinking the other day that I’m pretty sure my husband doesn’t have any friends who don’t have kids.
But, my favorite one!
- “Your wife is going to have a million questions to go over together. Humor her.” Although this was really about becoming educated together, finally – this one is good advice for my husband! 🙂
I keep promising myself that I’ll need to learn things on my own and not rely on him too much. I don’t want to give him the impression that I think his main role in this is to teach me the ropes. But I have to admit, it really reassures me to know that he’s experienced and I won’t be left faltering (e.g. giving an infant water. Seriously, who knew?). I had never considered before that I might marry someone with kids, but I am very proud and happy that I didn’t limit myself, and ended up with a spouse who’s an awesome dad!