What is it with us guys freaking out over becoming dads? After all, it’s the women that have to undergo all the emotional and physical transformation during the pregnancy. In all honesty, I think as guys we can do a lot more to ease our partners through their nine month journey of pregnancy while at the same time empowering ourselves to overcome our fears of fatherhood.
Check out these 5 tips on getting prepared for the arrival of your little one.
#1 Get Involved Get involved in your partner’s process as much as possible and as soon as possible. Be curious, ask questions about her experience, and attend as many doctor visits and classes with her as you can. This will ease you into your new role and slowly begin to eliminate your fear.
#2 Ask Questions Accept that you don’t know everything and don’t be afraid to seek council from others. More often than not, experience is the only way to learn, so it is helpful to talk to some experienced parents ahead of time to prepare yourself. You have a whole army of people in your life who have gone through this and are generally happy to dole out advice.
#3 Temper Your Expectations Once your partner is pregnant, don’t assume she is going to react to things the way she used to. She is going through all sorts of physical and emotional changes, so bear with her and cut her some slack. Always act as if you are doing things for the first time and run it by her first.
#4 It’s All About We, Not Me Start early on making choices that are in the best interests of you both, so that it will have become second nature once the baby arrives. For instance, maybe it’s not so smart to commit to those NBA tickets when your partner is vomiting incessantly.
#5Compromise You will be making many compromises when you become a dad. Depending on how your partner handles her pregnancy, these compromises may begin early on or may not affect you until the baby arrives. Once your newborn arrives, choosing what’s best for all three, will become second nature and it will make you a more responsible dad.
For the guy who loves to read and write non-fiction, these Father’s Day books could be the perfect last-minute presents. (You’re welcome!) Five new daddy memoirs just hit stores–four of them really funny–and your man will definitely feel better about his parenting skills after reading these real-life foibles. These titles are especially good for the more involved fathers (who knew tough-guy Sopranos actor Steve Schirripa was hands on?) and SAHDs. And the last book on my Father’s Day list is brave and heartbreaking: A decorated military veteran learns he’s dying of cancer and puts together a collection of advice for his sons.
Find the right read for that special guy below.
Dude toDad: The First 9 Months
by Hugh Weber If you know a father-to-be, this is a straightforward and witty book written just for him. Blogger Hugh Weber breaks down everything the stages of pregnancy, childbirth and new infant in a way that guys will understand. About that baby, he writes: “Picture the worst possible imaginable disturbing (borderline criminal!) thing that could be done to you by a child, increase it by several orders of magnitude, and expect it to occur weekly.”
Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-Home Dad
by Adrian Kulp Based on his popular blog, Adrian tells his story of going from TV executive (he booked comedians for Chelsea Handler and The Late Late Show) to SAHD. He went to baby showers, farmers markets and learned how to accessorize his little daughter. He makes lots of mistakes, writes about them candidly and invites his readers to laugh at them.
Big Daddy’s Rules: Raising Daughters is Tougher than I Look
by Steve Schirripa Most recently, he starred in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, but you may also recognize Steve from his role as Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri on The Sopranos. Now he’s come out with a hilarious book about being dad, AKA Big Daddy. He’s known to be overprotective, highly opinionated and painfully old-fashioned. He’s not into being a cool parent or praising every little thing a kid does. Instead, he’s devoted and completely involved. His motto: “Suck it up. Be there. Because you only get one shot at this.” His stories about his girls are totally relatable and irresistibly funny.
Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenting by Drew Magary If you’ve ever gotten drunk while trick-or-treating (or even thought about it), this book is for you. The author, a writer and blogger for GQ and Gawker, knows how to tell a story. He talks about head lice, retrieving his toddler from a treehouse, saying dirty words in the bathtub and more. Profane and passionate, his book is a touching read about parenting.
Tell My Sons by Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber Two years ago, at the age of 38, Mark learned that he had Stage IV intestinal cancer and was given four months to live. A former aide to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, Mark resolved to fight—to soldier on—but his doctors soon helped him to understand that there was no winning this battle. Faced with this, Mark decided to write a letter to his sons so they would know the advice he would have given, the conversations they would have had, if he were still around. As Mark earned unexpected months, that letter became this book. Check out his video below: