This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I may not know much, but here’s some of the wisdom I’ve gathered during this process. Doing the following, although some of them seem small, will be greatly appreciated by the mom-to-be and you’ll look like a hero.
— Always ask how she feels. Remember, it’s all about her, so before you launch into how your day at work was terrible, let her vent.
— “Is there anything I can get you?” Repeat this question as often as possible, especially late in the pregnancy.
— Clean the house! This is probably the best advice I can give you, especially if you live with a Type A neat freak. If she comes home and finds the dishes done, the laundry folded, the floors swept and the counters clean you will be treated like a god.
— Read up on pregnancy. She wants to be sure she’s not alone in this process, so dazzle her with facts you glean from books and the Internet. A little involvement goes a long way.
— Be proactive. Find the dates and times of birthing classes well in advance and then present them to her. She’ll appreciate your interest.
— Buy her a heating pad or back massager. I can’t tell you how invaluable those two have been. It might be the best investment you make.
— Whenever you have to leave her, don’t forget to say goodbye to the baby. Sounds stupid right? Well it’s not. Give her stomach a little smooch every time you leave her. Besides, the baby can hear your voice for a little less than half the pregnancy so it helps him/her get used to the sound of it.
— Just listen. This was the hardest part for me because I’m an overly opinionated baffoon who likes to hear himself talk. You have to get past that though, because she doesn’t always want you to solve her problems. Sometimes she just wants someone to bitch to and you need to sympathize with her, even if the things she’s talking about seem crazy.
— Go the extra mile. If she casually mentions she’s craving grapefruits and Kit-Kat bars and there are none in the house, that’s not just an off the cuff comment. She’s telling you to get your ass off the couch and feed her. So do it and do it with a big smile on your face because nothing is more important to you than keeping her and the baby happy.
That’s all I’ve got for right now. Any moms or expecting mothers reading this feel free to add your own or correct me.