Your Job as Coach
One of the hardest things for many fathers-to-be is the sense of helplessness they feel. Men can't chip in by carrying their growing baby, giving their partners a break by going to the bathroom every 15 minutes, or by struggling to sleep at night. No, expecting dads just have to watch their partners cope with certain aspects of pregnancy all by themselves.
Some men respond to this situation by becoming Nervous Nellies. They worry over everything, afraid the slightest change means something might be wrong with their unborn child. In these cases, they mean to be helpful but may only end up stressing their partners out!
Some men disengage from the pregnancy experience, leaving their partners to manage the pregnancy alone. Others act out against their partners, even calling them fat or ridiculing them for eating too much. These reactions stem from the same out-of-control feelings. It can be difficult for men who want to step in and help but are instead be relegated only to sit back, watch, and cheer from the sidelines.
The best thing you can to do at this point is to focus on supporting your partner in any way she needs it. Help her reduce her worry, her responsibilities, her load, literally and figuratively. Think of your job as being her coach. Here are some tips:
- Make her snacks or buy her a water bottle so she never is without food or drink
- If you aren't already, help out more at home so she can get more rest
- Give her foot or back massages
In essence, pamper your partner now more than ever because in doing so you will also be pampering and feeding your unborn baby as well as building even more intimacy between you and your partner. If you can remember that everything you do for her you are also doing for your baby, you will feel more connected, more a part of this incredible process of pregnancy.