The Winning Dad: Lesson 1

Lesson 1: Expected pre-game dad behaviour.

Dad mode needs to start as soon as your partner is pregnant, not actually after the baby is born. Your extra support is needed straight away. Why you ask?

Imagine going through pregnancy? Symptoms of pregnancy are: nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, bloating, fatigue, mood swings, crying, constipation and back pain. Sound bad? That’s just the early symptoms. Wait, it gets worse. You can then add: leg pain, body swelling, aching back, pelvis and hips, stomach pain, heartburn, UTI’s, anaemia and shortness of breath.

To top it off your partner has the stress of hoping your baby and the pregnancy is progressing normally and then being anxious or scared of giving birth. All this discomfort and your partner is usually still holding down a job too. To say I respect and admire women through pregnancy is an understatement.

Once you receive the amazing news that you are expecting, you need to adjust your train of thought to make your partner as comfortable as possible. You are now: cleaning the house, cooking, doing the shopping, laundry and changing the linen. For not one minute are you going to complain about your extra workload and do not dare expect a pat on the back. This is the least you can do.

Illustration - Owen Lindsay

Your social calendar now revolves around what your partner wants to do. If you have plans to go out and she doesn’t want to as she is having an off day (which is more than expected when you look at previously mentioned pregnancy symptoms) then you are having a night in. You will show no disappointment in this change of plans either and you may even want to say that you would rather stay home. On these nights in you will do whatever the hell your partner wants to do: if you have to sit through a movie that you despise, let me give you the big tip, you are watching it and making some popcorn too and maybe even giving her a foot massage.

A couple of months pre-birth you will get the nest ready. The biggest clean your house will ever receive and this impeccable standard must be maintained on a weekly basis until birth. This will take many hours but there will be pride in what you have achieved and your partner will be grateful for the initiative you have taken in getting the house ready for your new addition.

“Throughout pre-birth just remember the sacrifice your partner is making. She is the hero.”

Be proud of her and help her through this journey. The least you can do is pick up the slack and alter your lifestyle accordingly.

If, for some, reason your partner is pregnant and you have done none of the above, pull your finger out and start making things right!!!

PS: mum can pull rank on naming rights too. Deal with it. Dads, get to work!!!!

You’re welcome, Symon Jarowyj

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