Let's face it, ladies, your dad-to-be is being a sport. The pregnancy hasn't been easy for him, either. He's been painting the baby's room, making lists of names, and driving with you to natural-childbirth classes -- all the while quietly worrying if he will truly be up to the task of being a good dad (and if your sex life will really go back to what it was before the pregnancy). Don't you think it's time you showed him some serious appreciation for all he's done for you and your forthcoming child? Here are 10 great ways to give him some love.
1. Show up to his appointments. He's going with you not only to the prenatal appointments, but to all six baby showers your extended family is throwing for you. So if he's got a community softball match or his favorite band is playing the local pub? Make a point of showing up. It'll mean a lot to him to know you're cheering him on.
2. Grab a cold one (or six). Pick up a frosty six-pack of your guy's favorite brew (or a bottle of scotch, a good cabernet sauvignon, whatever). Consider it payback for that 2 A.M. dash he made to get you a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream the other night.
3. Do the write thing. Write your dad-to-be a letter telling him why you know he'll be a great father. Handwrite it. On good paper. He will keep this note for the rest of his life.
4. Be a reliever. Ask him about the top three things he's stressed about doing as a dad -- really listen to him, and then talk about ways the two of you can become more comfortable and less afraid of those areas of parenthood. Sometimes just talking about an insecurity can help relieve it -- and since most of the pressure to make this baby has been on y-o-u, chances are, he feels weird even admitting that he's got hang-ups.
5. Show your emergency reflexes. Draw up an emergency contact list for your dad-to-be. I don't mean numbers for the Police, Poison Control, and the Fire Department -- though that's not a bad idea in general -- I mean a human resources list. Your dad-to-be will need some good, experienced men he can turn to for parenting advice. This list should include any and all relatively cool guys you know who have kids.
6. Put Dad in a box. Take one of his old shoeboxes and fill it with five items that represent, for both of you, his best traits, the ones you hope your baby will inherit.
7. Put character first. Think of all the great dads in all the books and movies you've ever seen. Which character is most like your guy? Make him a present of the book or movie.
8. Bail him out. Your guy will make mistakes -- lots of 'em. You will be mad at his disengagement or the general fact that he doesn't get parenting as naturally and freely as you do. Know this, and acknowledge it now, and when you feel your anger boiling up at him, he will present you with this card (which is basically admitting that he screwed up) and you will let him off the hook. It's a win-win he'll be extra grateful for.
9. Invest in some dude-friendly gear. I know you're obsessed with that fashion-y peach and silver diaper bag you saw online, but throw Dad a bone here and invest in a diaper caddy that you'll both be able to rock with pride. Think simple, think solid colors, think...about asking him what he'd actually be happy to use. He'll thank you later, when it's obvious he's got the coolest dad bag on the playground.
10. Cozy on up. Reach out and touch (kiss, hug, etc,) your dad-to-be. It's that simple. The other nine ideas are sweet -- but this one is the one he'll love best.
Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.