Have you ever just given your partner a side eye because he said something that triggered you? It's almost as if he has no idea what it takes and even feels like to be developing not a half or a quarter but a whole human being? Ever just wanted to convince him that it is not just hormones?(Even though, research shows it has a huge effect on your body.But when you're pregnant you don't want to hear that! lol) This process, I have had so many moments of yelling and even crying because I've felt so misunderstood. My husband received the biggest brunt of it. I know I know! Your "baby daddy", "hubby" or as I so eloquently say, "baby farva", understood EVERYTHING that was going on with you. But I'll speak from The Osborne experience. If Tru would've collected a dollar for every time that I said, "you don't understand" or my fave line, " Empathy please!" He would be a multi-millionaire!
I would never say, "I had no idea how we got pregnant." DUH! It was definitely an oversight on my part. (that's another story lol) However it did come as a huge surprise for me. I, for some reason did not take the possibility seriously! So the news took a huge adjustment for myself. Vomiting every day. Feeling like a ton of bricks. I was in no way prepared neither was Tru. My hubby couldn't understand how, through nights of late store runs, last minute food request or holding up my hair during a gag war equated to him not understanding how I was feeling emotionally or physically.
One day, Tru and I got into a disagreement and of course, I felt like he didn't understand. After all, I am about to become a mom. As I cried and vented, as Hubby stepped out. Of course I sobbed, "he doesn't understand". My dad said, "What makes you think he knows what its like to be a soon-to-be-mom? He doesn't know it the way you think he should know. He only knows what he feels and what you tell him. You should talk to him about your feelings and your fears. I think you both should do the same." I didn't want my dad to be right but, he was. I began to practice empathy and saw a different perspective.
When Tru and I came back together after tension went down. I knew what I had to do.
I had to blog on this post because I believe in family and the role of both mother and father. It is so easy to feel alone in the process even when you're around people. The only way for them to know what you are experiencing is by expressing it. It doesn't matter if it's filled with tears. Just get it out. Because we know women are much wiser then men!(don't debate me!) We get to coach them through the process. This in no way looks condescending but informative and an opportunity for social bonding.
5 Ways to Connect Dad to the Experience:
1. Express any new experiences or new findings.
This is not about complaining. It is a method of informing your boo about your current position and feelings. I asked my hubby how would phrasing help with how a man might receive a his ladies method? For example, "Bae, my feet hurt!" versus "Bae, I noticed my feet are getting bigger. It hurts! It's beginning to make me feel..." Or let's say that you found research on why Doula's are beneficial. After you give your information, it is important to "connect" him to what you've learned, otherwise, he will not feel emotionally attached. So you would ask, "Do you think a Doula is for us?" This tip has helped me with introducing new information or just connecting him with the process.
2. Ask questions that involve dad's perspective.
These questions or inquiry can range from the most serious topics to the tummy-hurting-humorous-light-hearted situations. It can be about parenting style or hypothetical scenarios. This involves dad. It also allows for you two to bond on the topic of parenthood. Lastly, you begin to get more insight on where he is as it relates to being a soon-to-be-dad.
3.Download a Baby Tracker
As for me and "baby daddy Tru" we downloaded the What To Expect app. It gives you a weekly update. We'd watch what new developments Baby Ozzie was up to. You will find this also creates a major excitement and anticipation to look forward to.
4.Let dad witness baby activity.
It got so real, when baby Ozzie started moving and Tru was able to witness. Ever so often, I'd encourage Tru to talk to baby and observe how the baby responded. He would be fascinated! After giving me a kiss after work, I'd say, "you didn't kiss or speak to the baby". He'd kneel and lean over to have his moment. It became a norm and eventually a "daddy and bump bonding time".
5. Set aside quality time with him.
While you are going to be a mom, you are still a wife/partner. The bump is the most beautiful thing but try doing something that is leisure and has nothing to do with it! A movie, dinner, museum! Whatever it is just enjoy one another.
These tips have really helped my hubby become more aware of the process of pregnancy and motherhood. You guys won't always get it right but it's all in the process!!
-BelRaye of Belbump