Pregnancy hormones play a key part in the day-to-day well-being of a pregnant mother. No matter the trimester, irritation is heighted, as the growing burden of carrying a constant bag of weight builds by the day (or so I am told). I have tried to imagine it, and, as the man in the partnership (technically speaking), I simply can’t envision the constant physical and mental burden so many women have to experience during the long 9 months of pregnancy. So, this list is my effort to ensure that the next time your partner has an aching back, lack of breathe or blistering headache, they are being helped, rather than hindered.
- How are you feeling? – Dumb question, she is feeling crap. By the third trimester, she is carrying around quite a deal of extra weight, putting burden on the body. Obviously, the odd enquiry is very much appreciated, after all, it’s always good to show you care. But try not to make it an hourly habit, you might find a tongue lashing soon follows.
- Hey fatty! – Jokes about weight are a no go. Not even once! You may be a budding Chris Rock, but she is more likely to see Lenny Henry before her eyes (Sorry, Lenny!). This one is pretty simple, just keep schtum!
- Can you cook? I’m too tired – Wow! You didn’t really go there did you? You are tired? How do you think she feels. Trust me, when a pregnant lady says she is tired, she means that she is EXHAUSTED! Not only is it about time you learnt to at least turn on the oven, a beautiful bump will make getting to the stove that much harder for her. Without go-go-gadget arms, the stove can become a dangerous place for mum and her bump, so why not show her what man cuisine is all about.
- I have a back ache – I commonly suffer from back aches. In fact, they have hampered most of my adult life. But, trust me, just because your other half normally treats you with curative adoration, she isn’t going to care about this one. She gets a twinge with every single movement; your inability to perform back flips really is of no consequence.
- “My parents want to…” – Grandparents-to-be are bound to get more excited with each passing day of your pregnancy. They don’t mean to, but they can become overbearing and want to see you and bump at every given opportunity. Don’t allow pregnancy to gestate resentment on top of a little life. The wedge that can develop in this time is potentially huge if you place anyone’s needs and wants before your pregnant partner. Men, grow some balls, time to stand up to the ‘rents for once.
- You can’t – When it comes to her body and labour, yes she can! You of course have a say, but final decisions on mums body and labour are always left to mum. “You can’t…” adds doubt, fear and resentment. Not exactly good mindsets for the start of labour, when adrenaline needs to be kept to a minimum. So, be like Barack… “Yes We (she) Can!” (A nice reference back to a time when rationality ruled the free world.)
- Why are you being a bitch? – Again… Wow! This time, you went there? If you go 9 months without thinking the B word, then you are a better man than I. It’s bound to happen. She is tired, in a hormonal hurricane and has a belly that grows larger by the day. But you think it… YOU DONT SAY IT! Even if she does yell at YOU because the muddy-pawed cat jumped on her side of the bed and made a mess. Sorry about that… personal bone of contention!!!!
- I’ll do it tomorrow – If your pregnant partner asks you to do something, get it done and get it done now. Pregnancy is a time of great worry and stress. Mum wants to create a nest at home and, if you are needed for the odd piece of DIY to ensure she has one less worry, complete the task ASAP. Especially in the third trimester! After all, tomorrow may be a day too late!
- Are you stupid? – Believe it or not, the so-called ‘Baby Brain’ is a very real phenomenon. My pregnant partner isn’t about to join Mensa any time soon, but as pregnancy nears its end, she is constantly battling a brain that appears to have temporarily abandoned her. The last thing she needs in these moments is to have it pointed out that she is being an idiot. Chances are, she is aware of it to a frustrating degree. So, until you are challenging Albert Einstein in the intellectual department, its best to avoid throwing stones. You may find that when the pregnancy is done, she has you well and truly placed back into your glass house.
- Don’t make the same mistake twice – Not so much something you may say, as much as something you may do. Our nine points so far are clearly faux pas’ when it comes to dealing with a pregnant partner. But, forgiveness is divine and I am sure the odd erroneous comment will go unpunished (for the most part). But, good God, do not make the same mistake twice. This is the breaking point, the moment when you will learn the red fire of your pregnant goddess. She will make you regret. She will humble you. She will leave you in fear. And, rather annoyingly, she will be totally right. So, just don’t do it.
So, there you have it. Let me say that, whilst it would be terrific to be able to claim I had learnt the above lessons prior to pregnancy, I simply can’t. Sadly, most were discovered through my own naivety and I have had to learnt the hard (and scary) way. This brings me to one final point:
Sure, you could ignore all of the above statements; after all, ignorance is bliss. What isn’t bliss is the wrath of a pregnant woman,. Her wrath is justified, your stupid comments aren’t. So next time a funny joke or a lazy bone comes into play, give yourself a second to think twice, you will thank yourself and hopefully me, for it.