What they don’t tell you about pregnancy – dad’s key advice

First of all, dad-to-be, congratulations!

You’re about to enter a totally (and I do mean completely) different stage of your life.

Exciting eh? Or should I say ‘scary’? A bit of both would probably be closest to the truth. What should you expect over the next nine months?

Here’s some dad to dad-to-be advice, based upon the experiences of blogger, Chris McGuire, The Out Of Depth Dad.

Know your fruit

Do you know which is bigger, an olive or a raspberry? No, I’ve not lost the plot. Over the next nine months your child’s growth (in every leaflet you’re given, book or website you read), will be referred to in terms of fruit.

“This week,” they say, “your child is the size of a kumquat.” Which is all very well, unless you don’t know how big a kumquat is.

We’d a moment of confusion when one week the baby was the size of an olive, the next a raspberry.

Surely raspberries are smaller than olives? Maybe it depends on the size of the raspberry? The whole thing’s a minefield!

Don’t overdo it

Men know that fetching and carrying will be expected of them during the pregnancy. You’ll be happy to do it – it’s great to feel like you’ve got a role during this very ‘mum-orientated’ period.

Whatever you do, don’t overdo it! If you try to completely stop her from lifting a finger – you’re likely to be annoying, not helpful.

She won’t thank you for it. Use your common sense, mums-to-be shouldn’t be lifting heavy boxes, they can (however) pour their own cereal.

Of course do any arduous tasks for your partner, but don’t treat her like she can’t do anything for herself. The mum-to-be is pregnant, not ill.

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Perfect your fake smile

Everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, will be queuing up to give you unwanted advice. So you’ll need to perfect a passable fake smile to use for receiving these words of wisdom.

Examples of the unsolicited advice I received were: “The first five years are hell, but after that it gets slightly better” and “Don’t forget who you are.”

I grinned at both – although the first made me want to cry and the second gave me the strong desire to write my name on all my clothes. Just smile your way through, it’s all you can do.

Get ready for nesting

Nobody told me about ‘nesting’, until it happened.

Essentially, at some point over the next nine months, it’s likely a switch will flip in your partner and she’ll get the strong desire to prepare your home for the child.

No big deal, eh? Wrong. Don’t underestimate nesting and don’t resist it.

If you’re very pregnant other-half wants to scrub every surface in your home at three in the morning (a not unlikely scenario) that’s what’ll need to happen.

NB: Don’t let her do the scrubbing, that’s your job. You’ll find yourself do several arduous jobs (that seem totally unnecessary) throughout the pregnancy – but don’t grumble. Life’s much easier that way.

Say goodbye to the remote control

Sorry to break this to you, but for the next nine months (and frankly beyond) your TV will be showing a gooier selection of programming than usual.

Expect to watch made-for-TV movies on Channel 5, with titles like ‘I loved him then he left me for my tennis coach’.

In our house, watching TV regularly become a tearful occupation (and not just because I was thinking of the shows I was missing).

My advice is, if you want to watch something, do it in the middle of the night. Perhaps you could combine your viewing with scrubbing the underside of the sofa during a bout of nesting?

Shower more often

Once again, I’ve not gone off on a tangent. It may sound like the plot of some low-end superhero movie, but your other-half may develop a heightened sense of smell during the pregnancy.

Amazing eh?

Her super-powered nostrils, combined with a bluntness that often comes from being ‘with child’ means that it’s not uncommon to be asked to ‘up your game’ personal hygiene-wise.

On more than one occasion my partner announced: “You Stink!” – knocking me for six. My advice is to make sure you leave the hot water on, because you’ll be showering a lot more often than you used to.

PS: This may all be down to sensitivity to smell rather than you actually smelling.

NB: Keep an eye on your shoes. It’s not uncommon to find they’ve been binned because: “They stink even worse than you do!"

Enjoy it

Try to enjoy this first pregnancy.

If you go on to have more kids, you’ll look back with envy at the amount of free time you have to prepare right now.

You and your partner are about to do something amazing – bring a little person into the world. Whatever you go on to do in life, this will be your greatest achievement, so enjoy it.

PS. Get some sleep

If there’s one thing I miss from my pre-fatherhood years, it’s sleep. So get lots of it while you can. Once the baby’s born you’ll daydream about sleep – in the same way everyone else thinks about winning the lottery.

I may just take 40 winks now…

Chris McGuire is stay at home dad to his almost 2-year-old son, he blogs as The Out Of Depth Dad .

Twitter: @ Outofdepth_dad . or Instagram: Outofdepthdad.

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