Dad-to-Be: The Pregnancy Hype Man
Today’s post is courtesy of Brian Donnelly, a Bright Horizons employee and first-time dad-to-be.
Our first pregnancy has been a roller coaster of emotions – laughter, tears and more time carefully reading online reviews of “pack’n plays” than I’d care to admit. The one piece that I didn’t realize was so crucial in this whole dad-to-be experience is being the constant pregnancy hype man. What’s a hype man (or hype woman)? Great question. The “hype man” is generally the person tasked with keeping the energy up throughout any show – usually by interjecting call and response directives to the audience (i.e. “Put your hands up!” “Make some noise!” “Clap your hands!”).
What I’ve come to realize is that in order to become the Flava Flav to her Chuck D, I need to help my wife stay upbeat through the highs and lows of this pregnancy. This is the job of the pregnancy hype man. We all know that as a husband, you cannot literally do a time share with carrying the baby. So what you need to do is find a way to take away some of the stress and keep your wife excited about the blessing that’s on the way…even if that blessing is what’s causing her to be sick every morning for months. And it’s not to say that your wife is unhappy about having a baby (at least I hope not!), it’s more about helping her through those moments when the pregnancy is making her uncomfortable.
There have been plenty of times when Melanie has been uncomfortable because she’s getting bigger, she’s more tired, she’s sick at odd times or she finds out that something she loved to eat pre-pregnancy is now on the “do not eat” list. This is where the hype man steps in to help turn a bad situation into a better one. Here are a few strategies that I’ve found helpful during those times when things aren’t so great…
Tips for Expectant Dads
Stop eating that too. This is pretty easy. If your wife can’t eat soft cheese and all she really wants is soft cheese, don’t be the jerk that brings home soft cheese because you aren’t the one who is pregnant. Not a good idea. In fact, it’s a terrible idea. Just give it up and talk about the amazingly decadent soft cheese meal you’ll have after the baby arrives.
Compliment the stuff that she’s not seeing. At 32 weeks pregnant, my wife’s hair and skin is amazing. She looks fantastic, but some days she just sees the big bump and feels uncomfortable. Point out the small things because they are there and she might not always notice them. This is just good life advice in general, but I’ve found it even more helpful while she’s been pregnant.
Highlight the fun in the future. Sometimes during work I’ll send along a link to something that we can all do together once the baby is here. Because my wife is living everything in the immediate, she doesn’t always have the time to think about building pillow forts or doing a hike with the baby on our backs. Sometimes highlighting that future fun really makes both of our days better.
Start doing more. If you don’t know how to cook, now is the time to learn. The same really could be said for anything around the house. This isn’t the 1950s, but you’d be surprised with how many guys still can’t manage to take care of simple tasks around the house. I’ve found that helping out with more of the things that she usually tends to do at home really helps her to relax. I hate doing laundry and I really hate vacuuming, but watching my wife actually relax and lay on our couch feeling the baby kick is better than anything.
Do you have any tips for dads-to-be that I missed? Share your ideas for how to be a better pregnancy hype man.
I’m Brian – a soon-to-be dad. I’m excited to share my journey into fatherhood as I am half excited and half terrified by the whole scenario. Along with my wife and our Boston Terrier, I think I’m ready for our life to turn into a complete circus…but in the best way possible.
- E-family news: Pregnancy for Dads – A Father’s Role Before the Baby Arrives
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Did You Go On a Babymoon?
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Helping Dad Adjust When Mom Goes Back to Work
- Read more posts about pregnancy and posts about fathers from the Family Room bloggers