Let's face it, guys. We get all of the enjoyment and little of the anguish of the childbirth process.
Here are 11 foolproof ways to be the partner your wife needs as she prepares to make you a daddy.
1. Pick up the slack
You're probably used to your wife doing the bulk of the cooking and cleaning. Now it's time for you to step in and step up. You'll want to bring baby into a clean home, so forget about watching the ballgame on the weekend and start mopping the floors.
2. Don't freak about money
Get ready. Your wife may spend more time shopping. And she's probably going to spend a lot of money on things that you never knew a baby needed. Accept it. Keep an open line of communication about the budget and remember that a lot of things you'll want will be given as gifts at showers.
3. Be on a first name basis with her doctor
In other words, go to her doctor's appointments. It's important for her to know that you're sharing the experience with her. It's also fun — you'll get to hear the baby's heart beat and see the baby's image during the sonogram. Best of all, you can ask her doctor questions about what to expect during pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.
4. Skip boys' night
You might have a regular night out with the boys for drinks. Or a weekly poker game. Or a standing golf game. Enjoy it while you can, but remember that as your wife's pregnancy goes on, she'll need you more and more. It'll mean a lot to her if you skip your regular time with the boys to shop with her for baby clothes or check out a daycare.
5. Skip the alcohol
Open a bottle of solidarity, instead. Join in her quest to remain alcohol-free. It'll be easier than you think.
6. Anticipate her needs
She might need an extra pillow when she sleeps. She might be too uncomfortable to get out of bed to get a drink of water. She might not be able to carry in the groceries. Start thinking about her needs and fulfill them before she even asks. She'll be thrilled.
7. Expect the cravings
One night while I worked late, my wife called me near midnight and asked me to bring home a pepperoni pizza. No problem. That was a craving that I could deal with — and help eat. When her cravings strike, no matter how much work it takes to make it happen, bring her pickles and peanut butter, or a milkshake from her favorite shop way across town.
8. Have photos taken
Your wife is about to undergo a miraculous transformation. Memorialize it with professional photos if you can afford it. If money is tight, ask a friend to take some candid photos of her and a few with you at a nearby park or place that is special to you. This is a memory you'll cherish for the rest of your lives.
9. Interact with the baby
It might seem awkward at first — talking to your wife's belly. But this is one of the many ways to begin bonding with your child. It allows baby to learn your voice and will make your wife swoon, especially if you sing to your future offspring.
There are lots of decisions to be made from what color to paint the nursery to choosing a pediatrician. Your wife needs a sounding board and it's important for you to give thoughtful input.
11. Show her off
Buy your wife some new maternity clothes and her favorite flowers then take her out for a special dinner or night on the town. Her body is expanding in ways she never thought imaginable, she may be stressed about all the expectations, and she is trying to eat healthy. A night out with her favorite man will take her mind off things and give the two of you chance to be just a couple, rather than expectant parents.