Monday, March 07, 2005

Dad/Partner To Do List

I hope you all had a great weekend. I stayed away from the computer for two whole days and you guys left a lot of comments! Wow! Thanks! I will try to respond today. There was this comment posted by "Matty" and pretty much brought me to tears:

Wow, and I thought I was the only tactless wonder. Really, I feel that I have been doing a good job at saying the right things during my beautiful wife's pregnancy, though she makes it easy on me by remaining to be the most beautiful woman in the world, outside and in. I am currently geographically separated from my wife thanks to a career in the military, but the two times I have seen her (through video teleconference), and pictures that I have received, show my beautiful wife looking as great as ever, her belly I find to be even more attractive, her hair looks great as it is growing a little faster now, the stereotyical glow about her while she carries our son makes her radiant and as beautiful as I have ever seen her to be. I love you and miss you terribly honey, and for all those fortunate enough to be with your spouses and moms-to-be during their pregnancies, be happy for what you have, for all others like me, they can't keep us away from our loved ones forever.

* Now, on to the topic at hand. There has been much advice given on the blog for you mothers-to-be. But what about that significant other? Well, this is for you. Both parents are "pregnant" and can take advantage of the time before baby arrives to prepare for their new bundle of joy! Below are some things the new dad (or partner) can do to prepare themself for parenthood:
  • Attend prenatal appointments, especially the ultrasound (around the 20th week).
  • Purchase or borrow parenting books, tapes, or videos.
  • Attend childbirth or Lamaze classes with the pregnant mother.
  • Visit the hospital or birthing center tour with the pregnant mother.
  • Attend parenting classes or new fathers support groups.
  • Increase circle of friends with children for both you and your partner.
  • Check on and request for paternity leave or leave of absence.
  • Assist the mother-to-be in finding a pediatrician.
  • Assist the mother-to-be in setting up the nursery.
  • Develop list of volunteers to help out after the baby arrives.
  • Discuss dividing household and parenting responsibilities.
  • Set up accounts with local eateries, restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Set up a savings account or life insurance policy for your future family.
  • Assist new mother in locating and securing childcare if and when she returns to work.
  • Purchase a pager or cell phone for both you and the new mother.
  • Finalize the "plan of action" for when the mother-to-be goes into labor.
  • Make sure you have all needed emergency information close at hand.
  • Make sure you have her hospital suitcase (and yours as well!) packed and ready to go.
  • Assist in writing out birth announcements, notifying family and friends, etc.
  • RELAX and REJOICE in the joy of being a new parent!
In particular, my husband tried to be there for every doctor's appointment. We soon learned that we needed to bring kleenex for both him and me since we're both weepers. He also handled a lot of the financial planning as well as doing the grunt work of the nursery. And if you are like Matty and are separated from your wife, communication is always a plus. Checking in, asking her how she's doing and constantly telling her that you love her and that she's beautiful. These are the few words that a woman most needs to hear. As an additional note, let's say you are doing the pregnancy solo. More power to you. You can enlist a family member or friend to accompany you on appointments or handle the big obstacles for you. But no one should go through their pregnancy alone. Happy Monday!