When my wife was pregnant with our first child almost 10 years ago, I received a lot of advice on how to best live with a pregnant woman. Most of it was warm and fuzzy. Some of it was meant to be helpful and show me how to be supportive. But none of it really showed the wonderful and crazy reality of living with a pregnant woman.
In fact, a lot of it set me up for failure. So I think it’s time to get honest. I won’t bullshit you. Let’s bring it down a level. Here are the pregnancy pro tips I wish I’d been given.
1. Take notes when sent out for a craving. Coming home with the wrong taco sauce could get you killed.
2. Comparing a pregnant woman to large objects (house, whale, refrigerator, etc.) makes you an inconsiderate douchebag.
3. The sexiest thing an expectant father can do is attend ob-gyn appointments.
4. When a pregnant woman cries, the best thing to do is not speak.
5. Hand over all rights to the thermostat. It’s easier that way.
6. It’s okay to be tired, but unless you are growing a human, don’t mention it.
7. A man’s old sweatpants and T-shirts are not a satisfactory substitute for maternity clothing, so keep that little budget saver to yourself.
8. Comparing morning sickness to being hungover is funny for about 3 seconds. Trust me.
9. When sent out for pastries or other baked goods, send cell phone photos of all available pastries and baked goods. This will save you a second trip to the store.
10. Pregnancy tends to turn up the volume on everything, especially how much a father snores. Don’t take it personally when you’re sleeping on the sofa.
11. Never use the word “cankle.”
12. No father is long enough to hurt the baby — even you — so just have sex.
13. Never question how often a pregnant woman needs to pee. Just assume that she always needs to pee. Needing to pee is a pregnant woman’s default.
14. 90% of being with a pregnant woman is reassuring her that she will be a great mother.
15. The weeks before childbirth feel like an approaching cliff.
16. Comparing a child kicking inside the womb to a scene from the Sci-Fi film Alien is basically telling a pregnant woman that she’s carrying an alien. You do the math.
17. Keep all assumptions about hormones locked up inside your head.
18. Don’t be afraid to argue with a pregnant woman about how beautiful she is.
19. Spoil her. She’s growing your child. Enough said.
Sure, there are more tips. There always are. But this should get expectant fathers started. And if you are reading this and you have something to add, please do so in the comments section. New fathers can use all the help they can get — trust me.