Written by The Daddy before our first child was born in 2013…
Being the father of a baby that isn’t here yet can feel like you’re sitting on the sideline of the most important game of your life. But just because she’s the one doing all the work in actually carrying your future son or daughter, that doesn’t mean your involvement is not important. Sarah is now in her third trimester and I feel more needed than ever. There are so many things that we can do as husbands that will be much appreciated.
Doing the heavy lifting
You should figuratively and literally do the heavy lifting especially if your wife is this far along. Helping around the house is one of the best things you can do for her and the baby. This is a crucial time for both of them and she should not be doing anything that could hurt her or your little one.
Simply helping pick things up or moving things can be a BIG help. I know it’s hard for Sarah to move around especially since she’s been having back pain. I can be on the other side of the house and if I hear her moving around, I’ll rush over to see if there’s anything I can help her with. Most of the time it’s something simple. She’s getting something to drink or is putting away a dish. But that’s something easy I can do to help and something less that she needs to worry about.
You can also do the household chores. I know that Sarah wishes she could do more than she can right now but I really don’t mind helping out. Vacuuming, dusting, mopping, loading and unloading the dishwasher… those things are hard on our wives. I try to do as much of that stuff as I can. Sarah will usually insist that I don’t have to do those things for her. I simply tell her with a smirk, “I’m not just doing this for you now, remember?”
Also, it goes without saying that I don’t let Sarah handle any chemicals whatsoever. It’s a good idea for you to do all the chemical handling. It sounds cool anyway!
I try to help with cleaning so she has a little contact with cleaning chemicals as possible. I also deal with insecticides and other harsh “garage” chemicals such as fertilizer, motor oil, WD-40, etc. If you have any doubt on wether your wife should handle a certain chemical or not, it’s always best to check with her doctor. They’ll know for sure if it’s harmful, or if it’s ok for her to use.
Being there emotionally
Another thing that we as men can do that will make a BIG difference is to be there emotionally for our wives. They’re going through a very difficult time right now. Their bodies are changing in ways they never imagined. They’re in more pain and discomfort than we think. And, emotionally, they’re very fragile at this stage.
Be calm and relaxed for her. You should be the rock in the family. Be steady and solid. There will be times when her stress levels are going to be through the roof. Sometimes for no apparent reason. The worst thing you could do is make it worse by not being there for her. Sarah has told me before that just my presence is soothing and comforting to her. It’s the least we can do.
On that note, be understanding of her emotional state. She is not who she was before she was pregnant. She may behave in unusual ways, become forgetful, become emotional at things she doesn’t normally, etc. This is is expected when hormones are going crazy. Just be understanding of this fact and be supportive. Give her a shoulder to cry on even if you’re not sure what it is she’s crying about.
Show interest in the baby! I know it’s kind of a bummer taking the back seat in this whole pregnancy thing, but that does not mean you cannot be involved. Just sitting with her, talking about the baby shows that you care. Take an interest in feeling for kicks or in talking to the baby or to her. Let her know it’s so that the baby can get used to your voice.
One thing I love doing is research on cool gadgets I want to buy. A really easy way for me to show that I care and that I want to be involved is researching cool baby stuff!
Just be kind
Simply being kind to her goes a long way. It’s simple and effective. Do things for her that you always do or some that you’ve never done. Offer to make her tea (non caffeinated of course) or get her a glass of water so she doesn’t have to get up. Remind her of how much you love her. Run her a bath or give her a neck rub. Surprise her with flowers or her favorite treat. And, of course, let her rest. She’s going to be a lot more tired than normal during this time and naps during the day are good for both her and the baby. What I do is I find something quiet I like to do such as surf the web on my iPad or watch something on my computer. I make sure I have headphones on and just let her sleep on the couch.
It’s easy to be involved in the pregnancy. There’s no excuse to sit to one side and let her go through this wonderful experience on her own. And there’s no reason to feel left out either. There are plenty of things we can do as future fathers that can go a long way and they’re super easy to do. She’s doing the hardest job in all of this right now and we can be there for her and support her. For now, just do these simple things because once baby is here, there’s going to be plenty to keep you busy!
What did you do to help your baby’s mother throughout pregnancy?